Following 2016’s modular synth adaptions of Arthur Russell’s Tower of Meaning, and last year’s collaged cello and vocal interpretations, Christoffer Berg returns for a third year to take on the legacy of late twentieth century avantgarde composer, song writer and producer Arthur Russell. This time, Berg is joined in ensemble, by Maria Arnqvist (saxophone), Cecilia Österholm (keyed fiddle) and Olle Petersson (electronics).
Through research and in dialogue with friends and collaborators of Russell, such as Peter Zummo, Ernie Brooks, Elodie Lauten, Joyce Bowden, Steven Hall, Steve Knutson of Audika Records, Eagle Eye and Nenneh Cherry, a methodology is set: Through recitation in a kind of loving disrespect for the work, Berg furthers on Russell’s particular way of performing his pieces. Improvisation and side-steps, openness for turns, surprising connections between songs, meditation and pointless stalling in duration: all in all an attempt to remain in the stream of consciousness and mode that marks the peculiar style of most of Russell’s recordings.
Christoffer Berg is recognized for his recent studio works with Depeche Mode, but debuted as an experimental musician in the 90s and have since then worked with artists such as Freddie Wadling, Yukimi Nagano, Fever Ray, The Skull Defekts and many others. His solo releases include singular house music for Aniara Recordings and celebrated electronic jazz as Hird.
In a longer period of creative block, Christoffer Berg plunged deep into the world of Arthur Russell and was compelled to engage in it personally. Upon ordering a Chinese cello on eBay, Berg soon found himself on stage with Arthur’s Landing – the legacy band formed by original Russell collaborators including Steven Hall, Ernie Brooks, Peter Zummo and Elodie Lauten. Not long after, the tribute record Red Hot & Russell was released where Berg participates in José Gonzalez’ take on Russell’s posthumous hit This Is How We Walk on the Moon.
This marks the concluding event of a three-year residency, the first of it’s kind on Norbergfestival, where Christoffer Berg further examines the legacy of Arthur Russell, performed in site-specific adaptations for the Mimerlaven mining facility.