Female vocalists hit a high note Musicians resonate in stunning cross-cultural showcase
Take eight Nordic indie groups and five Hong Kong bands and what’s the result? A spectacular weekend of sensational sounds. With women performers to the fore, the overseas stars present their powerful songs of urban life alongside those of local musical heroes in an extravaganza ranging from rock’n’ roll to electro-pop. Nordic food, drink, and cultural displays will also be on hand in this revelatory cosmopolitan rendezvous!
the prototyke lab (Hong Kong)
Eleanoora Rosenholm (Finland)
Jonathan Yang (Hong Kong)
Milkmouth (Hong Kong)
Menke (Sweden)* Einar Stray Orchestra (Norway) 17.11 (Sun) Olivier Cong (Hong Kong) Gyða Valtýsdóttir (Iceland) CTM (Cæcilie Trier Musik) (Denmark) GDJYB (Hong Kong) Pale Honey (Sweden) JFDR (Iceland)
*Change of Artists:
Due to health reasons, Anna von Hausswolff (Sweden) is unable to perform on 16 November and will be replaced by Menke (Sweden). Thank you for your attention.
the prototyke lab (Hong Kong)
prototype: an early sample or model built to test a concept or process
tyke: a mischievous small child (or an unpleasant or coarse man)
the prototyke lab excels at dodging the question, “What kind of music do you play?” The lab techs’ diverse backgrounds and influences allow them to experiment with a genre-bending musical dialect.
“A music laboratory true to their name”
—AM730, Hong Kong
“[the prototyke lab’s] music isn’t merely a mix of Soul/ Jazz/ Pop; it has an undercurrent of something more”
—Initium, Hong Kong
Eleanoora Rosenholm (Finland)
Eleanoora Rosenholm from Pori, Finland is a project by Noora Tommila, Pasi Salmi and Mika Rättö. They have crafted genius pop albums with murderous lyrics inside the dark stonewalls surrounding Fonal Records boss Sami Sänpäkkilä’s SS-Palace studio. Soon they got the show on the road and created a repertoire with seven full pieces. Now Mika is no longer part of the band but serves as the “background godfather” and an audience member. With Noora’s amazing vocals and the genius backing band, they’ve created a disco where any housewife or serial killer would be proud to dance!
Jonathan Yang (Hong Kong)
Jonathan Yang’s styles veer from dark noisy scrambling to heartfelt melancholia. Young and forthcoming, Jonathan’s signature lies in his exuberant display of naked emotions while performing live. He colours his body, full of dusts and ashes, with his music.
Stripped-down honesty can be seen in his lyrics, which make up a fabricated world laden with scars and swellings, an elegant mixture of bittersweet and smoky sentiments.
He is currently the bassist and guitarist at the post punk/noise punk/no wave outfit, DAVID BORING. He also works with the folky songwriting duo Mothgown. Infusing glitchy, trip, hopy, electronics, with rock, folk and noise, Jonathan’s debut EP It’s Time I Head South was digitally released in 2017.
Enigmatic, unnerving and wonderfully unpredictable, Elifantree can move from dreamscapes to fever sweats within the same bar. The trio makes music using the framework of jazz, but usually trek well outside of it. With strong rhythmical textures, outstanding saxophonism, ambient soundscapes and dazzling vocals, they create a sound much larger and wider than the sum of their parts. In recent years, they have opened up new doors in the territory of progressive and improvised music.
In their latest album Anemone (2018), Elifantree introduced the thrilling sounds of the electronic wind instrument (EWI) for the first time during their long history as a band. Multi-instrumentalists Anni Elif and Pauli Lyytinen are one of those matches made in heaven, both spiritually and musically. The versatile drummer Olavi Louhivuori brings a wonderful spectrum of energy to the group.
Elifantree takes giant steps every time they make new music. Their fifth album Blood Moon, a collaboration with the contemporary electro-acoustic ensemble Tololab, will be released in autumn 2019.
Milkmouth (Hong Kong)
Milkmouth is back again with another energetic and original set of songs. Influenced by pop, indie, and hiphop, they still maintain the striking energy of their roots in rock. Get ready for an electric ecstasy of sounds!
Einar Stray Orchestra (Norway)
"One of the most exciting acts to emerge from Europe" —theVinylDistrict.com
"Pretty much every track I've heard from them makes me think, 'Damn, why has it taken me this long to find them.' Seriously. They're that good"—The 405, UK
"Einar Stray Orchestra delights, surprises, fascinates and captivates"—Aftenposten, Norway
The 16-year-old Einar Stray first recorded his experimental songs in his bedroom in Sandvika, Norway. The songs were played on Myspace in 2006 and went viral. Einar then teamed up with his musician friends to form the Einar Stray Orchestra, and together they released their debut EPs with the Norwegian artist Moddi in 2008. Later, the Orchestra got compressed into a five-piece: Ofelia Østrem Ossum on the cello; Hanna Furuseth (2008–14) / Åsa Ree (2014) / Maja Gravermoen Toresen (2015–) on the violin; Simen Aasen (2010–15) / Steinar Glas (2015– ) on the bass; Lars Fremmerlid on the drums; with Einar's classical-inspired piano playing and deep voice at the core.
So far the quintet has released three critically acclaimed albums (Chiaroscuro , Politricks  and Dear Bigotry [2017, featuring Team Me frontman Marius Hagen]), two EPs and one single (Favors and Fields/Rubato , For the Country , and Penny for Your Thoughts ). With 250 concerts across Europe and Asia since 2008, solid radio rotation in the UK and Germany, and appearance in major Norwegian festivals like Slottsfjell, by:Larm and Øyafestivalen, the band has received rave reviews both at home and abroad as one of Norway's most experienced and playful acts.
Olivier Cong (Hong Kong)
Influenced by Radiohead and Tom Waits, Olivier Cong chose blues and folk for his musical premise. Many of his songs carry a consistently hollow, dark and spacious mood. He has travelled around Europe and performed at pubs and small venues. In 2017, he was invited to perform at the opener of Cigarettes After Sex’s Hong Kong concert. Later, he co-launched the music label Raven & The Sea, and released his debut album A Ghost and His Paintings. He was the first Hong Kong artist featured in Apple Music’s “New Artist Spotlight” in 2018. In recent years, Olivier has been active in different disciplines, having collaborated with Hong Kong Ballet, Hong Kong Pulse Light Festival, PMQ, and many independent choreographers; he has also composed for an independent documentary film by Franco Mella.
Gyða Valtýsdóttir (Iceland)
Gyða Valtýsdóttir has been an active musician since her early teens as a founding member of the experimental pop group Múm.
Classically trained, Gyða made music for films, installations, dance pieces, among many other creative ventures. She possesses a rare range of musical experiences which creates a unique alchemical compound. Her extensive list of collaborators includes a wide palette of musicians and artists, such as Kronos Quartet, Aaron & Bryce Dessner, Josephine Foster, Damien Rice, Dustin O´Halloran, Colin Stetson, Kjartan Sveinsson, and visual artist Ragnar Kjartansson.
Her first solo album Epicycle came out in 2017 on figureight records and received prestigious prizes at the Icelandic Music Awards. A year later she released her first album with her original compositions called Evolution, which was nominated for the Nordic Music Prize and became Album of the Year at the Icelandic Music Awards. That year, her first movie soundtrack came out on the legendary Smekkleysa label and was nominated for Soundtrack of the Year, both at the Icelandic Music Awards and EDDA, the Icelandic Film Awards.
CTM (Cæcilie Trier Musik) (Denmark)
CTM, the abbreviation for Cæcilie Trier Musik, marks the impersonal boundary where intimacies are developed, trampled, and searched through. Cæcilie Trier, the Danish cellist, singer and composer, works and lives in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Her latest two albums Suite for a Young Girl (2016) and Red Dragon (2018; published by Posh Isolation) are collages of classical music, R & B, traditional Scandinavian string music and contemporary experimental pop. Both were released to great critical acclaim and the former was nominated for the Nordic Music Prize in 2017.
GDJYB (Hong Kong)
GDJYB is a 4-piece female indie band based in Hong Kong. Their name originates from a well-loved Chinese dish – steamed meatloaf with egg. Topics of their songs range from daily happenings to social issues, mostly written in Honglish (a combination of English and Cantonese in Hong Kong style and accent). Their latest EP SQUARECLE is aesthetically different from their previous records, as they’ve tried out multiple approaches to experiment how they can convert their uniqueness for a broader audience. After their first album entitled 23:59 Before Tomorrow, they received numerous awards and was invited to perform in Japan, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Australia, the UK, the US and Iceland.
Pale Honey (Sweden)
Pale Honey was nominated as Newcomer of the Year at the P3 Gold-gala in Sweden after their debut album, and nominated also in no less than three categories for Sweden’s Gaffa Prize. Their second album Devotion was released in 2017, followed by tours in Scandinavia, the UK and Germany, and several summer festival appearances such as Denmark’s Roskilde. Devotion gained nominations at the P3 Gold-gala and won a prize at the Swedish Manifest Galan. Currently the band is working on their third album to be released in early 2020. Their new single will be out this October.
JFDR, the latest project by Jófríður Ákadóttir from Iceland, who was previously involved in Samaris, Pascal Pinon and Gangly, too. JFDR is a blend of cyclical guitar parts, soft minimal soundscapes, and poetic wanderings of a journey that ends where it began. Drawing from classical, folk, and electronic backgrounds, JFDR amalgamates the sounds of changing seasons and the singing voice into a current that moves through rough seas to smooth waters. But perhaps JFDR shines the most in her capacity as a wordsmith, employing rich imagery to evoke the subtle emotions embedded in each song. Her first full-length album, co-produced with legendary multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily, was released in 2017.
“I got obsessed with her band Samaris a few years ago,” says Björk, “and then it was amazing to see her do her own stuff. She’s surrounded herself with a really authentic community of friends. There are probably about 150 musicians in Reykjavík, and groups there sort of become the opposite of each other, like, ‘Oh, that singer’s dressed like that, I better dress the opposite.’ Such is the tight-knit scene in Iceland, she continues, that ‘you naturally develop individuality. Also, you’ll be in a classical band and an electronic band and a metal band, and that’s okay. Everything blurs into each other, which I’m sure you can hear in Icelandic music.’”
—“Björk on Her Inspirations”, The Guardian, UK
In her internationally acclaimed debut EP Till Havet (2018), where she put music to eight poems by Swedish author Karin Boye, Menke showed that she posses uniquely her own musical talent. The main single Moln streamed over 5 million times–mainly outside of the Nordics–and has been acknowledged by magazines like Clash, The Line of Best Fit, Spindle and Earmilk.
This time around the lyrics are not by Boye, but by herself. The bittersweet melancholy is still present, as well as the special dynamics of birth, life and death. Her vocals soar over a soulful soundscape constructed by the most unexpected instruments that Menke brings to bear: glass, lyre, cello, banjo, saw, guitar and piano. It’s organic, dramatic and above all else, captivating.
With her new single Echo–her first in English, the artist, multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer that is Sara Menke shows that this is only the beginning of a grand musical journey. And her reciprocal love affair with the minimalistic desolation of the techno scene seems to continue. After collaborations with German electronic producers Alva Noto and Christian Löffler, also The Field and acclaimed Afro Beat producer Tee-Y Mix has interpret in Echo in remixes.
The single Echo was released worldwide in April this year via the Scandinavian independent label Cosmos Music. The latest single Apathy and her second EP Echo of Youth were released in August and September respectively.
“An ambitious, sweeping and poetic beauty”—thelineofbestfit.com
“A poised, coiled work, full of restrained emotions and all the more affecting for that”—Clash, UK
“Delicate and ethereal”—earmilk.com
/ MUSIC SHARING SESSION
Following their weekend gala performances, Icelandic band JFDR connects with Hong Kong’s GDJYB and Jonathan Yang for a smaller-scale jam session to keep up the super-cool contemporary sounds.
20.11 Wed 7:30–9pm
Podium Workshop, Administration Building, Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Free admission. Register online
Arena, Queen Elizabeth Stadium
16.11 (SAT) 4pm-9:30pm 17.11 (Sun) 3pm–7pmSEAT PLAN
$460 (Unreserved Standing)
$360, $240, $180 (Reserved Seating)
$400 (Unreserved Standing)
$300, $200, $160 (Reserved Seating)