Maja S. K. Ratkje & Stian Westerhus Unplugged

Westerhus and Ratkje are usually connected with effect pedals, samplers, amplifiers and computers. In this concert, they perform their music in an acoustic room with organ, fiddle, acoustic guitar and their voices. The expression can give associations to both 19th-century Kristiania, as well as saloons with emigrated Norwegians in the Midwest.

In the few occasions the duo has presented themselves in the past the response has been overwhelming. Critics have used terms such as “One of the decidedly strongest musical moments of the year”.

A captivating sound world where you can lower or raise your shoulders to the sounds of bowed and plucked strings, bellows, old wood and squeaky pump organ pedals.

Link to album: All Losses Are Restored

Some press clips from live shows:

The revelation Ratkje/Westerhus

Maja S. K. Ratkje and Stian Westerhus’ concert was an overwhelming experience of beauty. The two musicians are known for their electronics and music that might be cool in the unpleasant way. This was the complete opposite, with just their voices, harmonium and acoustic guitar, so profoundly beautiful I could feel it in my chest. (…)

–Molde Int. Jazz Festival, 2020 review – S. Iversen, Jazz i Norge

Maybe the most surprising appearance (…)
They seduced the audience with a highly intimate acoustic performance. The unfolding flow of soulfully gleaming song-lines were permeated by oblique-subtle tonal nuances and roughening percussive interventions. Both developed in dense and continuously tense and evident interplay. They enabled the audience to breath with the flow of their performance thereby kindling immanent cathartic potentials. (…)
It could clearly be felt that the music was permeating epochs creating a specific atmosphere of a past time re-imagined. It felt not so much as a genre-defying work but rather as a time transient work.

–Oslo Jazz Festival, 2019 review – H.Bolte, All About Jazz

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