Efterladt – a Danish word that means both “abandoned” and “left behind” – is a posthumously released spoken word album featuring the Polish-Danish author Janina Katz’ last readings made shortly before her death in October 2013. Already then the plan was to produce an album with a musical setting – however, at the time no one knew how ill she was.
During 2014 Martin Hall continued to work on the project, assisted by the project’s original initiator, journalist and writer Søren E. Jensen, and it is this work that is now finally ready to be released in its final form. The album is produced and musically staged by Hall.
Among the musicians on Efterladt you’ll find several artists featured on Hall’s latest solo album, the critically acclaimed Phasewide, Exit Signs – names such as Greek-English pianist Othon Mataragas (probably best known from his works with names such as Marc Almond, Current 93 and Peter Christopherson from Coil and Throbbing Gristle), the young Danish musician Linus Carlsen, producer and visual artist Christian Skeel as well as The Vista Dome Ensemble.
You can pre-order the album and read much more about the release here.
Janina Katz was born in Krakow. She lost most of her relatives in the Plaszow concentration camp in Poland from which she was smuggled out in 1943, three years old. As an adult Katz studied Polish literature and sociology at the Jagielloński University in Krakow, but left Poland in 1969. After a short stay in Germany she moved to Denmark where she made her debut as a writer at the age of 52 – 22 years after her arrival. During her authorship she released 18 books, novels as well as poetry. Her writing especially reflects her Polish Jewish origin and experiences during World War II.
In 1993 she received the National Arts Foundation prize for best novel, My Life as a Barbarian. In 1998 she received the Beatrice Award and in 2002 she was awarded the National Arts Foundation grant for life. In 2012 she was nominated for the Nordic Council Literature Prize for his poetry collection Written in Polish. Janina Katz died on October 18, 2013, at the age of 74.
Portrait taken by Piotr Topperzer.
”AVENUES OF OBLIVION” 1979 (IDENTITY) (08-12-2014)
On the 8th of December 1979 the Danish band Identity – a group that changed name to Ballet Mécanique in January 1980 – played as opening act for Danish punk veterans The Sods in Saltlageret, Copenhagen. On this occasion Identity performed the song Avenues of Oblivion for the first time ever, the later title song of the band’s single debut in May 1980.
The song thereby celebrates its 35th year anniversary these days. If you want to hear a completely different – and much faster – version of the later becae Ballet Mécanique track, then you can hear Identity’s 1979 live version here:
At this time the members of Identity were Martin Hall (vocal, guitar), Morten Versner (bass, violin) and Michael Karshøj (drums). The photo shows Morten Versner with violin case (left) and Martin Hall – with a baseball bat – (right) on their way to a rehearsal in October 1979.
Prototype/Protocol is a performance play (written and enacted in Danish) combining music, film and graphics – an inter-aesthetic meeting between Martin Hall, the avant-garde ensemble Lydenskab and Staal Film. The stage play will be performed during November 2014 at the following occasions:
Friday the 14th of November: KØS MUSEUM (Køge)
Sunday the 16th of November: GRAN TEATER (Aarhus)
Friday the 21st of November: KØBENHAVNS MUSIKTEATER (Copenhagen)
Tuesday the 25th of November: THE ROYAL DANISH EMBASSY (Berlin)
Prototype/Protocol is a story based on the broken chain of connection between three generations – a fragmented, highly personal memory protocol made up of letters, recordings and fictitious memories. The cast of the show is the following: Martin Hall (voice), Maiken Kildegaard (performer), Eskild Winding (piano), Thea Vesti (guitar), Sofia Olsson (cello) and Michael Dinesen/Staal Film (video).
In connection with the premiere of Hall’s new performance play Prototype/Protokol, the Danish newspaper Berlingske’s Sunday section MS (equivalent to The Sunday Times) published an extensive Martin Hall interview on Sunday the 9th of November.
The combined interview and portrait is made by Anders Højberg Kamp. The photographs are taken by is Thomas Lekfeldt. You can find the feature here:
MARTIN HALL’S NEW PERFORMANCE PLAY AT THE ROYAL DANISH EMBASSY IN BERLIN (10-09-2014)
Apart from the three Danish presentations of Martin Hall’s new performance play Prototype/Protocol – an inter-aesthetic meeting between Hall, the musical ensemble Lydenskab and Staal Film – the stage play will also be performed at The Royal Danish Embassy in Berlin.
The Royal Danish Embassy
Prototype/Protocol is a story based on the broken chain of connection between three generations – a fragmented, highly personal memory protocol made up of letters, recordings, fictitious memories, video sequences and new music. The Berlin show will be performed in Danish.
You can read more about the play itself and the Danish shows here.
Prototype/Protocol is a performance play (written and enacted in Danish) combining music, film and graphics – an inter-aesthetic meeting between Martin Hall, the avant-garde ensemble Lydenskab and Staal Film. The stage play will be performed at the following three occasions:
Prototype/Protocol is a story based on the broken chain of connection between three generations – a fragmented, highly personal memory protocol made up of letters, recordings and fictitious memories. Via videos, recited pieces of text and an ever-changing musical setting a collage-like story is told – a story about consequences; how the loss of hope in one generation may affect the next.
The cast of the show is as follows:
Martin Hall: Voice
Maiken Kildegaard: Cast
Eskild Winding: Piano (Lydenskab)
Thea Vesti: Guitar (Lydenskab)
Sofia Olsson: Cello (Lydenskab)
Michael Dinesen/Staal Film: Video
You can order tickets for all three performances here: www.teaterbilletter.dk
On Monday the 3rd of November a new photo and debate book Mænd (“Men”) will be released, a book consisting of portraits taken by the Danish photographer Robin Skjoldborg during the period 1984–2014.
The theme of the book is “male identity” and the 256 pages also features a line of short interviews with some of the portrayed artists – participants such as Martin Hall, Danish filmmaker Jørgen Leth, actor Lars Mikkelsen (cover) and rock groups like Kashmir and Nephew.
The interviews and other written content is made by by Roberto Zacharias. The book is released by Gyldendal. In relation to the release the Danish magazine Euroman features a special Robin Skjoldborg section in its November edition. Furthermore the Copenhagen art gallery Bredgade Kunsthandel will be exhibiting a selection of Robin Skjoldborg’s photos during the same month.
On Friday the 7th of November (17.30 CET) Martin Hall will – alongside journalist and writer Søren E. Jensen – present his upcoming 2015 release at this year’s major Danish bookfair, Bogforum at the Bella Center.
The new release is a project that Hall has been working on during the last six months. In relation to his appearance at the bookfair, a special collector’s item concerning the upcoming release will be available – this one day only.
The presentation will be followed by a minor reception at the Lindhardt & Ringhof stand.
In relation to the national Danish Broadcasting Corporation’s yearly focus on Danish musicians and composers, “Spil Dansk Dagen 2014” (October 30), Martin Hall has been invited to design this year’s poster.
The day is an important occasion for all Danish composers and musicians in general. It is always given great attention by the Danish media due to the size of the country in relation to foreign markets.
HALL IN DR P8 JAZZ TWO-HOUR SPECIAL ON SEPTEMBER 7 (20-08-2014)
On Sunday the 7th of September between 10 and 12 AM Martin Hall will be visiting “Jazz & Co.”, a jazz special on Danish Broadcasting Corporation’s P8. In company with by host Niels Christian Cederberg, Hall will be sharing examples of the many musical mutations connected with jazz that have influenced his life and career – according to rumour a journey that will take you through a series of obscure jazz clubs in cities such as Paris, Brussels, Cleveland, New York, London and Bristol. The programme is a live broadcast. It will be available on DR P8 JAZZ.
Former guests in ”Jazz & Co.” have included names such as news presenter Martin Krasnik, journalist and television host Anders Lund Madsen, dancehall artist Raske Penge and actress Ellen Hillingsø.
Henrik Möll (a.k.a. Henrik Mxll) – musician, dj, film editor and founding member of internationally acclaimed 80’s band SS-Say – has died suddenly (in week 31) during the work with his and Carl Abrahamsson’s new documentary project AN ART APART (a series of portraits featuring names such as Kenneth Anger, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and Michael Gira). Henrik Möll reached the age of 54.
In 1983 Martin Hall and Möll formed SS-Say, a group that made its live debut at the legendary William S. Burroughs’ visit in Copenhagen the same year and later released the record Fusion. In 1984 Hall and Möll were the leading forces behind the show Parade and since then Möll contributed to the Hall releases The Hall of Mirrors and Imperfect. Apart from filming and directing several of Hall’s videos during the late 80’s, Möll and Hall toured together with the And Then Again project in 1989.
Recently Henrik Möll has edited the videos ”MILFs, Cum and Schopenhauer” and ”Dead Horses on a Beach” from the album If Power Asks Why as well as ”Muted Cries” from Phasewide, Exit Signs.
During the years Henrik Möll remained one of Martin Hall’s very few personal friends. When hearing the news of Möll’s untimely death, Hall made the following statement:
”It is with great sorrow and equal amounts of surprise that I’ve just been confronted with the sad news about Henrik’s death. Of the many demises I’ve witnessed through the years, this must be the one that has startled me the most. Henrik was a loyal and true friend, and his death will leave a great and lasting sense of loss in my heart. It is very difficult to fathom the fact, that the person I went for a walk with during the previous week, is now gone forever.”
If you want to find out more about Henrik Möll and his demise, we recommend you to read Carl Abrahamsson’s excellent tribute to him here: Magic Møll Memento Mori.
“PINEAL” SHOWCASE FEAT. HALL, ALMOND AND TOMASINI (23-06-2014)
Othon’s ambitious “Pineal” launch show in London on June 19 was a feast of a concert featuring special guests such as Marc Almond, Martin Hall, Bird Radio and Ernesto Tomasini. You can visit Othon’s website for further updates.
Accompanied by Othon on acoustic piano and Johnny Stage on mandolin, Hall performed the track “Emblematic” for a packed and most enthusiastic venue. One of many feedbacks described the Danish singer’s appearance as “a perfect touch of exquisite moodiness”, a cool contribution of Scandinavian star quality within the night’s abundance of rhythms and orchestral arrangements. You’ll find the latest review of the concert in Trebuchet Magazine.
“Othon’s show was immersive and mercurial.” (QX magazine)
“Operating in a glorious field of his own, Othon Mataragas makes shamanic cabaret for profane saints and sublime madmen.” (The Guardian)
“From the mournful violin and intense flute to the tribal drums and soaring falsetto of Tomasini, this was the musical equivalent of opening a fairy tale pop-up book and watching the characters jump out and dance around your head.” (Trebuchet Magazine)
MARTIN HALL ON STAGE WITH MARC ALMOND IN LONDON (12-06-2014)
On Thursday the 19th of June Martin Hall performs at a concert in London where he’ll be sharing the stage with legendary British singer Marc Almond. Both performers have been invited to appear as special guests at Othon Mataragas’ first major concert in the city for more than one and a half year. The event will take place at The Garage.
Martin Hall recently worked with Othon Mataragas on the singer’s critically acclaimed solo album Phasewide, Exit Signs. The record was released in Germany and several other European countries in October 2013 where it has received brilliant reviews.
Among the other guests at The Garage concert next week you’ll find “the banshee falsetto of London”, opera-inspired singer and actor Ernesto Tomasini, as well as Bird Radio. You van find more news about the show here.
The academic journal Reception is a magazine for Nordic literature. In relation to the 150th anniversary of the second Schleswig War and the 100th anniversary the outbreak of World War 1 the new #72 of the magazine is a special issue about war – and the imprint of war – in Danish and Nordic literature.
In this relation Martin Hall has been invited to write an essay on the subject. Hall’s contribution to the magazine is the text ”Comparisons of Monopolies on Violence”, an article that sets off by telling the story of an experience he had during his childhood years in Spain where he lived as child with his family from 1971 to 1972 (a period where the fascist-oriented General Franco still ruled the country).
Reception #72 was released on May 23. Other contributors include Hans Hertel, Christel Wiinblad and Theis Ørntoft. You can download the publication as pdf here.
You can find an illustrated version of the text (in Danish) here.
MARTIN HALL LIVE IN LONDON ON JUNE 19 (01-05-2014)
As one of the special guests invited on stage in relation to the English musician Othon Mataragas’ first major concert for more than one and half year, Martin Hall will be appearing live at The Garage, London, Thursday the 19th of June (19.30). The names of several other prominent guests will be revealed on Othon’s website and facebook notice in the weeks preceding the concert.
Martin Hall recently worked with Othon on the singer’s critically acclaimed solo album Phasewide, Exit Signs, where they wrote and performed the opening song “Emblematic” together. Guitarist and mandolinist Johnny Stage also appears at the London live show.
In his introduction to the night, Othon writes:
“After more than a year and a half from Othon’s & Tomasini’s sellout concert at St. Leonard’s Shoreditch Church, I am thrilled beyond words to be back on stage together with a fantastic band of musicians, amazing special guests – some most of you know and love and some who I am quite sure you will fall in love with – great visuals and an altogether different setup to any of the shows I have done so far. This is going to be a raw, dreamy, ceremonial and, at times, sweaty event celebrating the arrival of PINEAL. I shall be unveiling more news about the show gradually.”
Martin Hall’s latest album Phasewide, Exit Signs has been met with a line of excellent reviews in both Danish and European medias. The album is the singer’s first solo record for seven years and offers several interesting new collaborations. For a more detailed album description, see the end of this post.
A short summary of the Danish reviews features the following highlights:
( * * * * * )
Gaffa (Denmark’s biggest music magazine)
”To listen to Phasewide, Exit Signs is quite simply an aesthetic experience.”
( * * * * * )
Undertoner (Danish site for independent music)
( * * * * * )
Lydtapet (Danish site for independent music)
”An altogether stunning experience.”
( * * * * * )
Aarhus Stiftstidende (Danish daily newspaper)
”This album is a delight to listen to.”
( * * * * * )
BT (Denmark’s equivalent to The Daily Mirror)
”Haunting beauty and a delicate, melancholic desperation.”
( * * * * )
Jyllands-Posten (Denmark’s biggest newspaper)
“Beautiful and unique.”
Politiken (The Danish equivalent to The Guardian)
Information (Denmark’s equivalent to The Independent)
When Phasewide, Exit Signs was released in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in October, the European reviews were equally enthusiastic. The album release was followed up by a number of articles about Hall in some of Germany’s biggest magazines such as Orkus Magazine, who also put the video ”Muted Cries” in rotation on their channel.
During the years several of Martin Hall’s records have been released on the German market. In the 80’s both Relief and Cutting Through received a lot of attention in the country, and in 1997 Random Hold was released by the German label Public Propaganda with subsequent extremely positive reviews. In 2006 Facsimile likewise received several excellent reviews.
A short overview of some of the international reviews of Phasewide, Exit Signs goes like this:
( 5 / 5 )
Nowamuzyka (Polish site for independent music)
”To bow before such an artist is a duty, to enjoy his art a pleasure not to be denied.”
( 8 / 10 )
Darkroom Magazine (Italian music magazine)
“Intoxicating … be sure to check it out.”
Orkus Magazine (major German music magazine)
”Dark and hypnotic: Hall understands the award of forging strong tension.”
( 12 / 15 )
Musik Reviews (German site for independent music)
“A very positive surprise … impressive.”
( 11 / 15 )
Baby Blaue (German site for independent music)
“A quiet, thoughtful and spherical album.”
( 7 / 10 )
Der Hörspiegel (German site for alternative music)
“Phasewide, Exit Signs allows deep insights into what a brilliant artist Hall is.”
Alternativ Musik (German site for independent music)
“A rousing album.”
Music Scan (German music site)
“A poignant, but obscure experimental album that comes in a kind of cabaret format making it more accessible.”
( 6 / 7 )
Side-Line Music Magazine (Belgian music site)
Phasewide, Exit Signs can be described as a kind of musical log book. The album has been recorded in cities such as Montreal, London and Brussels and Martin Hall works with several new collaborators on this occasion, one of these being the Greek-English pianist Othon Mataragas (probably best known from his works with names such as Marc Almond, Current 93 and Peter Christopherson from Coil and Throbbing Gristle). Other tracks feature artists such as Linus Carlsen and The Funeral Tag Brass Band. Well-known Hall collaborators such as Christian Skeel, Johnny Stage and The Vista Dome Ensemble also appear on the recordings.
In November 2013 Martin Hall was nominated for two GAFFA awards (the biggest Danish music magazine) in the categories “Danish album of the year” and “best Danish male artist”. In December the Polish site Nowamuzyka elected Phasewide, Exit Signs to be “album of the year” (top 10 features artists such as Flaming Lips and Mazzy Star).