2018: Performs her own music as a soloist on the main stage of the Norwegian Opera for Jo Strømgren’s piece Sult/Hunger for the Norwegian National Ballet. She signs with Edition Wilhelm Hansen under Music Sales for publishing and distribution of scores. Featured composer and performer under Sounds of Stockholm and as a performer under Lockenhaus Kammermusikfest. She creates and performs “Now she smiles – No, she doesn’t” with Ensemble Phoenix Basel. A new duo, Avant Joik, with joik singer Katarina Barruk is presented for the first time under Sonar by Day, Barcelona. A new piece for Jeffrey Zeigler, “A Highway in State Space”, is premiered and released on record as a part of the project The Sound of Science. Ekkokammer at Trøndelag Teater including Ratkje as a performer. Aeolian is performed in European cities, “Breaking the News” is performed by Ensemble Intercontemporain soloists, “«And Sing While Thou On Pressed Flowers Dost Sleep»” is performed by Cikada Ensemble in Stockholm and MATCH in Houston and much more. Solo concerts in several places, and a collaboration with Danish trio SVIN. Svartskog Spelemannslag performs abroad for the fist time, at Smôga, Sweden.
2017: Aeolian, a new collaboration with Kathy Hinde written for accordionist Andreas Borregaard and Red Note Ensemble, is premiered at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and the chamber opera/song cycle Revelation with lyrics by Aasne Linnestå is premiered at Ultima by Marianne Beate Kielland and the Engegård Quartet. SPUNK composes “DIKHROOS” for the Borealis Festival featuring the group as soloists with Sjøforsvarets musikkorps. Maja composes for Hanne Borchgrevink’s series LYD og BILDE and for the film Tjaetsie/Water by Sissel M Bergh. As a featured composer and performer at Our Festival/Meidän Festivaali Maja presents solo work as well as a collaboration with artist Maija Tammi, and the string quartet “Tale of Lead and Light” is performed. Nordic Voices performs “A Dismantled Ode To The Moral Value Of Art” worldwide, and Trondheimsolistene performs “Tale of Lead and Frozen Light” on tour in Norway. Marianne Baudouin Lie plays “To F” on tour. Baby operas still going strong, and much more. Solo concerts in Bern, Madeira, Innsbruck, Shenzhen, Berlin, concerts with POING and various other concerts as performer. Record release with UK band Gonimoblast, and “Paragraf 112″ is released on album with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra.
2016: The massive Crepuscular Hour is released as a DVD with visuals by Kathy Hinde and sound mix in surround on Rune Grammofon. The portrait album “And Sing…”, released on 2L, with compositions for Cicada and Oslo Sinfonietta is nominated for Grammy in the category ‘best surround sound’. Maja’s long collaboration with POING results in their second album Kapital & Moral, released on Grappa. SPUNK releases “Still Eating Ginger Bread for Breakfast – The 20th Anniversary Concert”, mixed by Ratkje, on Rune Grammofon. Ekkokammer 2.0 performed again at Ultima, Maja sings with Ensemble Intercontemporain again in “Concerto for Voice” in Krakow, “Tale of Lead and Frozen Light” is performed by Skark at Nordic Music Days in Reykjavik, Fretwork performs “River Mouth Echoes” in Cleveland, Nordic Voices performs “A Dismantled Ode To The Moral Value Of Art” in Barcelona. Arctic Sinfonietta brings “Tale of Lead and Light” on tour in the Barents region. Music contribution to the film Pyromanen by Erik Skjoldbjærg. Two cassette releases with Bjørn Hatterud and a collaboration with Derek Piotr. Other concerts, solo, with SPUNK, BRAK RUG and POING various places in Europe and USA.
2015: Festival composer at Trondheim Chamber Music Festival with 15 of Ratkje’s works performed as well as concerts as performer including new version of “Concerto for Voice” for full orchestra, Ekkokammer 2.0, a staged work for Trondheim Voices, and other large works. SPUNK celebrates 20 years anniversary with a concert in Oslo. Premiere of the installation Water Level. European tour with the piece “In Dialogue with Rudnik”. Performing with Hilde Holsen to Hitchcock’s Blackmail at Rainy Days in Luxembourg. Participates in Other Minds, San Francisco with Birds and Traces with Kathy Hinde and Frode Haltli. Releases Celadon on Important Records, recorded at Tomba Emmanuelle, Oslo with Per Gisle Galåen, Jon Wesseltoft and Camille Norment. Releases Rasaka guesting the trio SAKA and Oh No Love, You’re Not Alone with Alpaca Ensemble. Guests Chris Mapp’s Gonimoblast in Birmingham. Solo concerts in Parma, Kongsberg Jazzfestival and much more.
2014: First performance of “Paragraf 112″, written as a joint commission from all the symphony orchestras in Norway for the celebration of the Norwegian constitution. The paragraph is for protecting our nature and climate. First performance of “Tale of Lead and Frozen Light” with the Norwegian Chamber Orchstra at Ultima, Oslo. “Tale of Lead and Light” for string quartet, recorded and released on 2L with the Engegård Quartet. A collaboration with the radio Warsaw resulted in In Dialogue with Rudnik, realised live and on record. Solo concert and performance of Ro – Uro at Imogen Heap’s Reverb festival at The Roundhouse in London. Other solo concerts at FIMAV and tours in Canada, USA and Europe. Concerts with SPUNK, POING and others. Curating 12 concerts featuring scored music and improvisations at a recidency at John Zorn’s club The Stone in New York. Festival composer at PULSAR, Copenhagen. Performing “Concerto for Voice (Moods IIIb)” at the opening concert for Ensemble Intercontemporain’s fall program. Forming new trio, BRAK RUG, with Øyvind Brandtsegg and Siv Øyunn Kjenstad. Record collaborations with Kristian Skylstad, Phantom Orchard, SPUNK and Joëlle Léandre. A guest position at the Norwegian State Academy of Music teaching composition and live electronics. The film VOICE – Sculpting Sound with Maja S. K. Ratkje by IJ. Biermann and Kai Miedendorpis finished. Environmentalism.
2013: Nominated for the Nordic Council Music Prize as performer. World premiere of the large semi-staged choir work ASYLOS in the Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim, with new text by Aasne Linnestå. Ro – Uro performed at the same concert. “Sirkelsalme”, a collaboration with Monica Aasprong premiered at Oslo Poetry Festival. Made music for Lotta Melin’s large scale performance Gare du Nord in Stockholm. Performed in Aamu Song’s Reddress with Øyvind Brandtsegg at Helsinki Festival. In Ghent, POING and Ratkje performs from the Wach auf! with 100 singers for Vooruit’s 100 years’ anniversary. Wach auf! also in Paris, Lillehammer, Copenhagen and Oslo. Solo concerts at River to River Festival and Performa, New York, at Sonica, Glasgow and Sonic Acts, Amsterdam, starting a new collaboration with Polish Radio based on some of Rudnik’s works. Performing in concert with Frode Haltli, HC Gilje, Aura Satz, Tord Knudsen and Ikue Mori. Collaboration with Joachim Montessuis released on vinyl: JANUS on Erratum, Voice re-released on vinyl by Rune Grammofon, duo with Ikue Mori released on vinyl and CD by Bocian Records: Scrumptuous Sabotage, with live recordings from UK tour in 2012. SPUNK’s Das Wohltemperierte SPUNK released in a 6 CD box by Rune Grammofon. Celebrated with a week-long festival in Oslo in January. SPUNK is nominated for this release for Spellemannprisen, the ‘Norwegian Grammy’.
2012: Composer in Residence at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival with new piece for Cikada: “«And Sing While Thou On Pressed Flowers Dost Sleep»”, Korall Koral , Dancing Cranes, concert with SPUNK, “gagaku variations”, “Concerto for Voice (moods IIIb)” and a new version of Crepuscular Hour for the Town Hall. Festival composer at Båstad Chamber Music Festival in Sweden with new piece for Nordic Voices among other things. Curator of the concert series Voices That Matter at Bergen International Festival with five big concerts with performers like David Moss, Phil Minton, Koichi Makigami, Fretwork, The Norwegian Girls’ Choir and more, creating quite some fuzz when refusing to use oil company Statoil’s logo on her series and posters. The choir piece Ro – Uro is cencored at the UN building in New York. SPUNK makes the six room large installation ROM for Bomuldsfabriken. SPUNK plays the last tone in the series Das Wohlteperierte SPUNK 20.12.2012. Baby opera Korall Koral exceeding 300 performances. Collaborating with light artist HC Gilje for row of solo concerts. Touring with Ikue Mori, Lasse Marhaug, SPUNK and POING (Wach auf! – sometimes with local choirs). Releases albums with Slugfield and Phantom Orchard Orchestra and with the Sardinian collaboration doing Treasure Hunt.
2011: Violinist Pekka Kuusisto invites Ratkje to be composer in residence at Avanti! Summer Sounds in Finland. Lots of concerts ranging from orchestra and chamber music to improvisations. Ratkje and Frode Haltli compose and perform music for the 10 hours and episodes long radioplay NEID by Elfriede Jelinek commissioned by Bayerischer Rundfunk. Premiere of Høyt oppe i fjellet, a performance for children 0-3 years, commissioned by Teater Innlandet in Norway. First performance of “Tale of Lead and Light”, written around the terror attacks on Norway 22nd of July, commissioned and performed by the Engegård Quartet. Tanja Orning performs the cello solo “to F”. Trondheim Sinfonietta with singer Anne-Lise Berntsen and actor Trond Peter Stamsø Munch premiers Ein Häppchen noch, a one-act opera with new libretto by Arild Vange and musicians surrounding the audience in the dark. A collaboration with Stephen O’Malley, “Engebøfjellet; where were you when they cut me down from the gallows?”, takes shape at the Henie-Onstad Art Center; the music from the green horn Desibel, is recomposed for amplified low brass orchestra and Stephen’s guitar. “Has the center ever been shaking this much?”, some reviewer asks. Ratkje creates and performs the music for Kjetil Skøien’s docu-theatre performance Larache, commissioned by TrAP for the Norwegian Opera. Performs with Zeena Parkins on tour in Norway. Other concerts with Ikue Mori and Fred Van Hove, Stian Westerhus and Trondheim Jazzorkester, Lasse Marhaug, Stine Janvin Motland, Sidsel Endresen and Maranata. Solo concerts in Mexico, Poland and several other places. Sharing a concert with Diamanda Galás in the Marble Church in Copenhagen gets a lot of attention. SPUNK performs at Donaueschinger Musiktage with Phantom Orchard, at Molde Jazz Festival with Joëlle Léandre and the DVD LIGHT is released on Rune grammofon. POING and Maja’s CD Wach auf! with the ‘red revolution’ as a theme, is released on Øra Fonogram.
2010: Crepuscular Hour, a one hour long performance with lights, noise musician and three choirs is premiered at the Ultima Festival and also broadcast in Norwegian Radio. ‘Honorary mention’ at Prix Ars Electronica for the mobile sound installation Desibel. The green horn is also heard at Bergen International Festival, in the streets of the city centre. Korall Koral still on tour in Norway. Solo concerts in Wroclaw, at the Transart Festival in Bolzano and many other places. The trio with Guro S Moe and Else Olsen S gets a name: Truge after a performance at Oslo Jazz Fstival where Slugfield (the trio with Lasse Marhaug and Paal Nilssen-Love) also plays and records their first album. Recidency on Sardinia with Ikue Mori and others. Birds and Traces (three installations and a concert performance with local children) by Ratkje and Kathy Hinde is premiered at Aldeburgh Music, UK. A Safe Place to Die by Lotta Melin/Agrare is premiered in Stockholm. Voice, the film by Ingo Biermann is taking form.
2009: Premiere and extensive touring in Norway with Korall Koral, an opera for children 0-3 years old, initially co-produced by and premiered in the foyer of the Norwegian Opera & Ballet. Desibel, the world’s largest mobile horn speaker system with music by Ratkje is commissioned as a political protest agains mining industry in Vevring, Norway. “Moods IV” is first performed by harp player Ellen S. Bødtker in Glinka Hall, St Petersburg. Passing Images quartet performs in Zürich. POING and Maja in Brugge. Duo with Joëlle Léandre in Besancon and at Molde Jazz Festival. Solo at Pori Jazz and PUNKT. Featured musician at ‘Music Unlimited’ in Wels (curated by Ikue Mori) with SPUNK, Phantom Orchard Orchestra and in ‘Cobra’. Plays with Pauline Oliveros under Open Form in Oslo, organised by Else Olsen S. The vinyl Cyborgic, which is a live recording from a solo concert at BLÅ the previous year, is released on Rune grammofon’s sub-label The Last Record Company in 500 hand numbered copies. Youngest daughter is born. Ratkje joins the climate activist network Norsk klimanettverk, writing messages for the network on Twitter.
2008: The portrait album River Mouth Echoes with composed works from 1997-2005 is released on Tzadik, making Ratkje the first Scandinavian on this renown label.Concert and recording with the viola da gamba consort Fretwork in churches in Oslo. Composer in residence at Nordland Musikkfestuke with many concerts with Ratkje’s music, among them the premiere of “HVIL”, written for the singer Marianne Beate Kielland. The work, with text by Aasne Linnestå, is an argument against oil industry in the vulnerable sea in North Norway. Festival profile under the Ilios Festival in Harstad. Composes music (“Breathe”) for a bench installation in Stavanger which is vandalised. Henie-Onstad Art Center commissions the multi-media work LYS by SPUNKfor their 40 years anniversary. Travel Now Infinitely by Trinacria is released on Indie Recordings. Contributes to a compilation of Prince cover songs with a version of the song “solo”. The records are banned. Participates in a version of Stockhausen’s Aus den Sieben Tagen, recorded by BBC in London. Solo at MADE, Umeå and at GRM, Radio France. Performs with Jaap Blonk at North Sea Jazz Festival. Tour and recording with the Phantom Orchard Orchestra, on initiative from SWDR in Baden Baden. SPUNK performs at FIMAV. Duo with Joëlle Léandre in Bouffes du Nord, Paris. Gets a three year grant from the Norwegian Art Grants. Starts to write frequently on album classics for Morgenbladet.
2007: First performance in Japan of Ro – Uro, a staged work with choreography and light design, written for the The Norwegian Girls’ Choir. “Concerto for Voice (moods IIIb)” (the sinfonietta version of “moods III”) is performed with Ratkje and Klangforum Wien in Graz and Vienna. Portrait concert under Kongsberg Jazz Festival with various pieces for Ratkje, POING and Oslo Sinfonietta. “Concerto for Voice (moods IIIb)” performed again by Oslo Sinfonietta under Ultima. The extreme metal band Trinacria is formed after an initiative by the Norwegian Concert Institute to combine Fe-mail with musicians from the band Enslaved. Trinacria performs for the first time under the Inferno Festival in Oslo, being pregnant in the second last month. Later on tour in Norway. Joins Frode Haltli’s quartet that records Passing Images for ECM. Following tour in US including one concert at The Getty Center, LA. SPUNK performs under Banlieues Blaues, Paris. Plays in trio with Else Olsen S and Guro S Moe. Plays duo with Bo Anders Persson (Träd Gräs och Stenar) in a field full of goats and some audience outdoors in the Swedish woods. The essay on inspiration is published in the anthology Arcana II, edited by John Zorn. Gives seminar and concert at the Institute of Living Voice during in Stavanger. RO-URO is performed in Stavanger also. Performs with Phil Minton. First daughter is born.
2006: Works on Iceland with the Icelandic Dance Company and choreographer Ólöf Ingólfsdóttir with the performance We have arrived. Festival profile under Other Minds in San Francisco with Per Nørgård, Joëlle Léandre and others, joined by POING who performs a concert of Ratkje’s music before going on tour in US with the same material. Fe-mail performs at Sonic Acts in Amsterdam, IDEAL in Sweden, FIMAV in Canada, at Vancouver Jazz Vestival, with Pekka Kuusisto in Trondheim, on tour in Switzerland and in Norway to celebrate the release of the double album Blixter Toad. Agrare works at the art museum of Ystad. Voice concert and improv performance with Agrare and video artist Kathy Hinde at Bath International Music Festival. Carrying our ears and eyes in small bags by Agrare and Kathy Hinde is first performed at Inkonst in Malmø. Voice concerts at REDCAT, LA, and Empty Bottle, Chicago. Solo and in trio with Phantom Orchard (Ikue Mori and Zeena Parkins) at The Kitchen, NY, where Ratkje is introduced to John Zorn. Solo and guest performance with Matmos in Århus, Denmark. SPUNK’s 10 years anniversary is celebrated with a marathon concert with many guests at BLÅ, Oslo and with the festschrift Fine, lille krumelur, hjelp meg så jeg ei blir stur. SPUNK and Dreams of Tall Buildings performs “White Elephant” by Joseph Byrd under Manchester Expo. The picture vinyl Stalker with edited live recordings from the previous year’s solo concerts is released on Important Records in a limited number of copies, and with Ratkje’s Svartskog photo on one of the sides. Ballads by John Hegre and Maja Ratkje is released by Dekorder. The music for the dance performance Adventura Anatomica is released on Shemishigure.
2005: “Concerto for Voice (moods III)” for large orchestra and Ratkje as a voice soloist, commissioned by Radio France, is first performed at the Radio House in Oslo and then in Paris at the Prescences festival in Radio France. The piece becomes a ‘recommended work’ at UNESCOS Rostrum of Composers the same year. Daria Martin’s movie for art galleries, Wintergarden, with original music by Ratkje is premiered at the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill (UK). Ratkje also plays a central role in the movie. Joins the theatre piece Innhentet by Hærmendene for premiere at Bergen International Festival. The dance performance Adventura Anatomica by Fritzøe/Ratkje/Hansen is premiered at Black Box, Oslo, introducing new software by Øyvind Brandsegg in Ratkje’s solo work. Fe-mail works at Asphodel in San Francisco to complete the music for Blixter Toad, which was originally planned as a DVD + CD release. Fe-mail headlines at the No Fun Fest in Brooklyn and goes later on a more extensive tour in US. Fe-mail + Wolf Eyes at ICA in London, Kongsberg Jazzfestival and at Bad Bonn Kilbi. Voice concerts (with John Hegre and HC Gilje) under Music Biennale Zagreb, with HC Gilje under Transmediale, Berlin and at Interferenze in San Martino Valle Caudina, Italy. Solo improv på Les Voûtes in Paris, in Guangzhou, Kina and at Nattjazzen, Norway. SPUNK does the performance Jazz-gymnastics at Nalen under Stockholm New Music with dancer Lotta Melin as guest. SPUNK plays in Prague and at Festival Printemps de Septembre in Tolouse. Agrare performs at Huddersfield and Romaeuropa Festival. Marries accordion player Frode Haltli. Moves to Svartskog (The Black Forest) near Oslo.
2004: Receives the Edvard prize (work of the year) for the music part of No Title Performance and Sparkling Water. Festival composer at Canadian Broadcasting’s festival Soundstreams in Toronto with portrait concert in the Glenn Gould Studio. Artist profile under the Time of Music festival in Viitasaari, Finland. Fe-mail makes music for and performs in the music theatre piece De tenen van God by Anna Luyten under Festival van Vlaanderen. SITAT, a performance featuring Kjetil Skøien, Maja Ratkje, Snorre Hvamen and Ursula Andkjær Olsen is performed under Ultima in Oslo. “Gagaku variations” played by Frode Haltli and string players from Radio France under the festival Prescences is broadcast through EBU. “Rondo-Bastard-Overture-Explosion”, based on the music in No Title… is premiered by POING at the Huddersfield festival. (The opera direcor won’t allow the music to be performed without her acceptance, so Ratkje rewrites several of the pieces.) MAJAAP with Ratkje/Blonk is released on Jaap Blonk’s label Kontrans. Concerts in Netherlands with new works by Carola Baucholt and others for ‘de ereprijs’ and Ratkje/Blonk as voice soloists. Tours with POING, arranged by Jeunesse in Austria. Agrare (Fe-mail + Lotta Melin) is formed after a performance at Moderna Dansteatern in Stockholm. Agrare performs at SKIF in St. Petersburg, Transart in Bolzano, at the Miro museum in Barcelona and on tour in Sweden arranged by the Swedish Concert Institution. SPUNK performs in Porto, Riga, at Bad Bonn Kilbi. Fe-mail performs at Taktlos and on tour in USA where contact with the San Francisco based label and studio at Asphodel is established. Voice concerts (solo concerts with voice and electronics which draws on the record with the same title) at Vancouver Jazz Festival, San Francisco Jazz Festival, Dutch Electronic Art Festival, Nordic Music Days in Copenhagen, LEM and at Sonar, Barcelona, the latter a very important concert which was the first large scale solo concert in the name of Voice.
2003: Voice gets Award of Distinction at Prix Ars Electronica. Prize winners’ concert in Linz with John Hegre, Lasse Marhaug and video artist HC Gilje. “Passing images” is first performed under Klangspuren Schwaz. The scandalous ‘opera’ No Title Performance and Sparkling Water is first performed at the Ultima festival. Solo at Kongsberg International Jazz Festival. Participates in an orchestra initiated by Peer Rohrer, improvising to the old movie Häxan. Duo with Jørgen Træen (Sir Duperman) in an old trolley buss at Bergen International Festival. Performs with the young German/Danish group Professor Doctor Doctor. Two months residency at Edvard Munch-Haus in Warnemünde, north of Rostock, Germany. Starts a collaboration with author and performer Øyvind Berg. Fe-mail’s debut-album Syklubb fra Hælvete is released on vinyl in 500 copies by a couple of young students under the label TV5 after being turned town by anyone else we could think of. Fe-mail performs many concerts this year in Europe, among them at the Art Biennale in Venice, at Bad Bonn Kilbi, with dancer Maja Delak in Ljubljana, with Lotta Melin at GAS, at Konfrontationen, Nickelsdorf and Music Unlimited, Wels and in trio with Kjetil Møster in Stavanger. Celebrates double 30 years’ anniversary with Hild S. Tafjord at Pigalle, Oslo with a marathon long happening with music, reading, jam session, DJ and dancing.
2002: The album Voice, co-produced by Jazzkammer, is released on Rune grammofon. Starts a collaboration with Jaap Blonk. Norwegian Television makes the documentary Maja – i fritt fall. Portrait concert with local musicians in Innsbruck. Reaches the finals in the Gaudeamus Music Week with “swrd”. “gagaku variations” is released on Frode Halt’s debut solo album on ECM, Looking on Darkness. Performs and makes music for the performance Kroppens Dokument by ‘dans design’ in Kristiansund. Gets a two yearsgrant to work as a composer and teach at NTNU in Trondheim. Joins the organising of the free improv festival All Ears in Oslo on initiative from Paal Nilssen-Love (-stays with the festival till 2008). SPUNK performs at Taktlos in Switzerland, Musikprotokoll in Austria and NewMusicNewMedia in Edinburgh. Plays duo with japanese sound artist Sachiko M. Starts the randomly organised Norwegian Noise Orchestra. Fe-mail and dancer/choreographer Lotta Melin makes an improvised performance at the Avanto festival in Helsinki. Goes to Siberia with Jørn Simen Øverli, his family and Frode Haltli. Wach auf! is the new title for Maja and POING’s 1st of May celebration, a concert with an absurd and political edge, an annual tradition after. This first concerts brings the musicians – and local audience – in bus between a number of worn out pubs in Oslo.
2001: Ratkje is the first composer in history to receive the Arne Nordheim prize. Second prize at 23rd International Competition of Electroacoustic Music Russolo with “Sinus Seduction (moods two)”. First performances of “swrd” in Bergen, “Louange II” at Klangspuren Schwaz, “River Mouth Echoes” in Copenhagen and “gagaku variations” in Hardanger. Starts a collaboration with dancer and choreographer Odd-Johan Fritzøe, the first performance: Residents – an eight channel speaker system is built into mobile sculptures designed by Karl Hanssen, music composed by Fe-mail. The radio play, Isplaneten, by Ratkje, Marius Holth and Dagfinn Rosnes is Norwegian Radio’s first externally produced play to be broadcast. Performs and records for the label Sofa with No Spaghetti Edition. Becomes a substitute member of the Norwegian Council of Culture. Starts a collaboration with the artist Per Inge Bjørlo. SPUNK starts a series of school concerts with randomly prepared surprises made by children for each performance. SPUNK plays, acts and makes shadow theatre. SPUNK play a 40 minute long Bb in Tomba Emmanuelle, known for it’s special acoustics, the date 20.01, 2001, at 20:01, the starting point of a twelve year long concert series called Das Wohltemperierte SPUNK.
2000: Final exam in composition at the Norwegian Academy of Music, one year overtime, but with the highest mark in history. Creates a version of John Cage’s “27’10″554″ in collaboration with percussion player Cathrine Nyheim. Norwegian Radio commissions a piece for their broadcasting on New Years Eve, for the new millenium, for this Ratkje makes a low-fi recording of her own voice through a POD guitar pedal. First performance of “ET OS” and “69 marching bars of leftovers from an old century”, both in Norway. (The march is never marched to, as intended.) Gets first prize at IAWM Search for New Music for “Louange”. The dance performance renverser l’espace by ‘dans design’ and SPUNK is premiered under the Ultima festival. Plays with Merzbow and Zbigniew Karkowski in Bergen where she meets John Hegre. Makes a remix of Jazzkammer, his duo with Lasse Marhaug to be released on the album Rolex on Smalltown Supersound. Participates in a workshop with Otomo Yoshihide at the Art Academy in Oslo, where she meets Lasse Marhaug. Performs with Marhaug at BLÅ, Oslo, and gets the idea to make a vocal record with Jazzkammer as co-producers, a radical turn after being noted for her work as a classical contemporary composer. Performs together with POING for the first time, with the Brecht/Weill-programme at Sauna Bar, Helsinki. SPUNK performs at MusikTriennale Köln (with two substitutes: Ingebrigt H. Flaten and Paal Nilssen-Love, due to injury and sickness) and at ISME in Edmonton, Canada. Gets the idea to go to Japan; one good reason is to visit mother, Signe Kjelstrup, who stays in Kyoto at that time, another is to explore Japanese music and culture to which Ratkje feels a special connection. The result was a one month stay in Tokyo and Kyoto supported by the Sasakawa Foundation with video artist Setsuko Watanabe; the intention was to make a documentary, but the footage was never edited due to lack of support. The trip not being less important for that reason, especially not as Hild Sofie Tafjord decided to come over and join in on a noise concert in Tokyo – a starting point for the duo Fe-mail.
1999: With “Waves IIb” she wins the Norwegian Edvard prize (work of the year) and UNESCO’s International Rostrum of Composers in Paris for composer below 30 years, while the previous version, the commission “Waves II”, is finally premiered in Apeldoorn by ‘de ereprijs’. First performance of “Louange” in the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. Creates and performs music to Ibsen’s theatre piece Ghosts, premiered at the Northlands Festival and on tour in Northern Scotland, up to the Orkneys. Writes “essential extensions” as a surprise and a gift for the newly established trio POING (Frode Haltli, Håkon Thelin and Rolf-Erik Nystrøm). SPUNK is performing in installations, exhibitions, concerts and participates even as lecturers in the ISFiT seminar in Trondheim on the theme ‘conflict solving’, and makes music for a TV documentary on women in Norwegian film history. SPUNK’s debut album Det eneste jeg vet er at det ikke er en støvsuger is released on the new Norwegian label Rune grammofon. The absurd electronic trio (x,y,z) (with Asbjørn Flø and Risto Holopainen), existing for a few years, performs at a late night event during Ultima. Participates at IRCAM’s summer course, where she meets David Moss.
1998: “Waves IIb” is first performed by Oslo Sinfonietta. Soloist in chamber opera by Dagfinn Rosnes, performed on Iceland, where she meets the composer Hjalmar Ragnarsson who invites her back to record on the soundtrack for the film Sporlaust by Hilmar Oddsson. SPUNK tours in Scandinavia. Starts a collaboration with drummer Paal Nilssen-Love. Becomes a member of the Society of Norwegian Composers.
1997: Becomes more and more interested in sound analysis, a spectral analysis of the tenor saxophone as performed by Torben Snekkestad becomes the starting point for many pieces to come. “Sinus Seduction” for saxophone and electronics is first performed by Snekkestad at the Music Academy for his exam. Wins first prize and a commission at the Gaudeamus International Young Composers’ Meeting in Apeldoorn, Netherlands with her Xenakis-like approach to the spectrum in a piece for ‘de ereprijs’. Final exam in jazz vocals – all composer students must pass an exam with a self chosen main instrument – with SPUNK as backing band. Song teachers had been Sidsel Endresen among others. Meets Frode Haltli.
1996: The improv quartet SPUNK (with Kristin Andersen, Lene Grenager and Hild Sofie Tafjord) plays in public for the first time, after being formed in 1995, and is seen onstage in Tennessee Williams’ theatre piece This Property is Condemned. The percussion quartet, “For Raindancers”, is published by Norsk Musikkforlag, not a big success, she decides that publishing at the Music Information Centre works much better. Takes a class in programming at NOTAM (Norwegian Center for Technology in Music and the Arts).
1995: Makes it through the needle’s eye, at the second attempt, to the Composition Department at the Academy of Music. Starts Oslo Industrial Ensemble with fellow students. Starts to work with electronics in music in the Academy’s electronic studio – soon her favourite space at the Academy, builds a theremin from a kit. Works with logistics for Oslo Sinfonietta. Becomes the leader of the annual festival UNM (Young Nordic Music), which she leads till 1998.
1993-94: Takes a break with a year at Toneheim folkehøgskole, where she mainly plays the piano and starts to sing jazz. Starts to compose for real and learns the existence of the Norwegian Academy of Music and the possibility to study composition. Meets Hild Sofie Tafjord. Moves to Oslo to attend concerts, take lessons and learn about contemporary music. Plays in Oslo Gamelan. Takes a pre-course in philosophy and logics at the University in Oslo, gets laud.
-93: Born in Trondheim, Norway Dec 29 1973. Takes lessons in classical violin from age 5, but starts to compose on the piano. Sings in children’s choir and string orchestra. Participates in some amateur musicals. Starts to take lessons in classical piano, then jazz and keyboard, but school studies are based in math and science, in which she is has a great interest and talent. Other favourite subjects are religion, physical education, language. Active in Natur & Ungdom, an organisation for young environmentalists.
Enjoy other archive photos in the Norwegian version of the timeline.
Growing up in Norway: