Årabrot: Die Nibelungen [secret promo, don't share]

FOR PROMOTIONAL USE ONLY! PRESS ASSETS: Waw (tba) Mp3 (tba) Hi-res cover (tba) Press pictures (By Mohamed Jabaly) On September 7th 2017, Norwegian experimental rock outfit Årabrot took the stage at Tromsø International Film Festival to perform music to screening of Die Nibelungen. For the occasion, Årabrot's core of Kjetil Nernes, Alex Macarte (GNOD) and Karin Park was enforced by percussionist Ane Marthe Sørlien Holen and long time Current 93/Nurse With Wound-collaborator Andrew Lyles. The perfomance has been edited into album format by Andrew Lyles and is scheduled for release on Fysisk Format in 2018. Liner notes by Tromsø Film Society's Ronny Bratten: Silent movie has to be one of the most misleading terms of all time. The silent movie was everything but silent; it was supposed to be performed accompanied with music. Film music was something completely different in a time where movies didn’t include audible dialogue, but was dependent on the music to get their message across. The big silent movies were presented with vibrant music in a movie theatre. Almost ninety years after sound stole the thunder of the silent movie, there still are some dedicated souls that try to keep and further develop the silent movie as an art form. In Tromsø, Silent Movie Days are arranged every fall; a festival that shows classic silent movies with live music performed by artists and bands of different genres. In 1924, the legendary director Fritz Lang made a fantasy movie based on the most Germanic myths of them all; Der Nibelungesage from the years 5- or 600s. The epic story is about how the dragon-slayer Siegfried was murdered at the court of the Burgundians and the later revenge of his wife Kriemhilde. In the middle ages, The Song of the Nibelungs (die Nibelungelied) was written down and the story can be found all over Europe, even in the Norse sagas. Richard Wagner made an opera of the piece, Der Ring des Nibelungen, which is considered one of his main works. Fritz Lang divided the movie into two parts (“Siegfried” and “Krimhield’s Rache”) and was originally meant to be shown over two separate nights, something that wasn’t odd since it run for almost five hours. Siegfried bathes in dragon blood, has a magical rings that gives him unwanted powers that comes in handy when he ends up in a power match at the court of the Burgundians. The movie is filled with dwarves, fog, warriors with strange helmets, ancient honors, sword fights, violence and eroticism. When the local film society in Tromsø wanted to set up a screening at the silent movie festival, the question one was left with was: Who could create new and relevant music to such a masterpiece? It wasn’t difficult to find an answer to the question: Årabrot, of course! Årabrot has done live scores to old silent movies before, including Das Kabinet des Dr. Caligari for the art project Silence & Noise (Tromsø 2011), and it was obvious that Kjetil Nernes was capable to give Die Nibelungen a sound element that the movie deserves. Nernes was contacted and asked: Could you make new music to a five hour long silent movie AND perform it live in just a few months? On paper it seemed like a hopeless project. Way too little time. Way too long of a movie. But, Årabrot is one of a kind. On September 3rd 2016, Årabrot Speciale stood ready at Verdensteatret in Tromsø; a magnificent building built in 1916 and one of the few movie theatres from that period that is operated on a daily basis. Except for front man and composer Nernes, on this day, Årabrot’s crew consisted of Karin Park (keyboard), Ane Marthe Holen (percussion) and the British musicians Andrew Liles (Nurse With Wound) and Alexander Macarte (Arkh Gnod). They barely had time to practice together before the screening, with brand new music so fresh that the g-keys would have slid right off the notes – if Årabrot has used that kind of thing. Fans of Årabrot that assumed that this would be five hours of continuous flat pedal and a wall of noise, were surprised. Årabrot’s Die Nibelungen piece has both quiet, melodic and atmospheric parts, something that makes the loud and hard parts possibly even more monumental than what we expected from the hands of Kjetil Nernes: for example, the movie ends with a twenty minute fight scene accompanied by a heavy, repeating riff that blew the plaster off of Verdensteatret’s vulnerable stucco. Until now, only the lucky ones that were present at this powerful performance have been able to experience this unique musical piece. But with the release of the copy you have in your hand right now, you too can experience the magic from when Årabrot created history. The concert was luckily recorded and Andrew Liles has produced the excerpts that make up this album. One of the strongest concert experiences I’ve ever witnessed was these hours with Årabrot and Die Nibelungen: this album is a documentation of what Årabrot is capable of. And the silent movie has never been less quiet. [caption id="attachment_3369" align="alignnone" width="390"]Photo: Mohamed Jabaly Photo: Mohamed Jabaly (More hires photos here)[/caption]