Monday, November 16, 2015
Thursday 12th November saw 1B1 debut on Brooklyn’s new National Sawdust venue with two very different interpretations of Edvard Grieg’s Holberg Suite. First out was the very gifted, young pianist, Christian Ihle Hadland, with a fierce call and response rendition between him and the orchestra. After a reception hosted by the Norwegian minister of culture, Torill Widvey, the composer / improviser musician Erlend Skomsvoll offered a deconstructed and improvised version of the same music, with the orchestra both performing Mr. Skomsvoll’s recomposed score as well as collectively improvising as a group. The concert left the minister astounded:
The day before, the young Norwegian orchestra was guest of one of USA’s top church choirs, the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, in their weekly "Bach at one" series. The concert included works by Bach and the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, with the historical St. Paul’s Chapel being so packed that a substantial part of the audience enjoyed the concert standing up.
The week was concluded back at National Sawdust where 1B1 and the Choir of Trinity Wall Street offered an evening with music from the soundtrack of the Oscar-winning film The Great Beauty. The sold out show was presented by the New York’s cross-disciplinary Dillon Gallery.
Valerie Dillon found the performance "exquisite and beyond expectations":
The concerts were part of the first instalment of 1B1’s artist residency at the new artist-driven venue National Sawdust in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 1B1 will return to New York and National Sawdust may next year for a wide range of concerts and composer collaborations, among them Laurie Anderson, Paola Prestini, and Terry Riley.
Prestini, who also holds position as executive and creative director at National Sawdust, found the two shows at National Sawdust with 1B1 "emblematic of exactly what National Sawdust stands for".
For 1B1’s own creative director Jan Bjøranger, the journey has only just begun: