Mira Thiruchelvam & VNJE will show us the future for improvised music in Norway.
The orchestra Mira Thiruchelvam has assembled in her cooperation with Vestnorsk Jazzensemble (VNJE) bears a deeply personal signature - and it speaks volumes about the still untapped potential on the Norwegian music scene. Thiruchelvam is a flutist, composer, lyricist and producer, known from her band 9 Grader Nord and award winning collaborations with Gutu Abera and the concert version of Karpes Omar Sheriff. Throughout her career, she has blended her musical background from Sri Lanka with just about anything. In this instance, “just about anything” means diverse impulses such as Syrian oud, Indian classical violin and vocals, indie dream pop from Bergen, greek folk music, modular synths and jazz heavyweights.
Norwegian jazz has long been characterized by a healthy disregard for musical borders, but Thiruchelvam - herself a “non-jazz musician” - still sees room for growth. Just like ensemble member Marianna S. A. Røe did on her Trondheim Jazz Orchestra-project Spiti/Hjem last year, Thiruchelvam has shifted the musical center, building an ensemble where different musical backgrounds - jazz, folk music from around the globe and modern pop music - are of equal importance. The music draws on inspiration from carnatic classical music from Sri Lanka, but it also leaves plenty of room for the strong musical personalities contained in the 11 piece ensemble. Catchy, experimental and shape shifting - Mira Thiruchelvam & VNJE shows us a future for improvised music in Norway, here and now.
Vestnorsk Jazzensemble is a project based orchestra founded by Vestnorsk Jazzsenter commissioning music for handpicked ensembles.
Members of this version of VNJE includes: Mira Thiruchelvam (compositions, vocals, flute, guitar, percussion), Kjetil Møster (sax, choir), Marianna Sangita Angeletaki Røe (vocals, perussion), Harpreet Bansal (violin), Nawar Alnaddaf (oud, vocals), Tejaswinee Kelkar (vocals, harmonium, modular synth), Oda Felicia B.S. Abdelmaguid (keys, choir), Thomas Dahl (guitar) Chris Holm (bass) Kanesan Suntharamoorthy (miruthangam), Øyvind Hegg-Lunde (drums).