Danish singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist and author (born April 26, 1963). Album debut with Ballet Mécanique’s The Icecold Waters of the Egocentric Calculation in 1981, a period where he also formed a number of significant experimental bands such as Pesteg Dred, SS-Say, Before and Under For. First book release in 1983, the same year he was admitted to The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (Schools of Visual Arts) in Copenhagen.
Received the prestigious three-year grant as a composer from The National Fund for the Endowment of The Arts in 1995. Included in Krak’s Blue Book in 2003, the same year he founded the record label Panoptikon. Literary breakthrough with the novel The Last Romantic in 2005.
Since then Hall has collaborated with Danish artists such as Efterklang, Else Marie Pade and Tone. Nominated for the Danish National Radio’s P2 Award 2013 with the album If Power Asks Why featuring mezzo-soprano Andrea Pellegrini and pianist Tanja Zapolski. His latest solo release is the critically acclaimed album Phasewide, Exit Signs.
Recent projects include the spoken word album Efterladt, a musical rendering of the late Polish-Danish author Janina Katz’ last readings, and the exhibition H in Copenhagen. In the autumn of 2017 Hall releases his first book for five years, the memoir protocol 1971–1985.
Throughout his career Martin Hall has played remarkably few concerts. However, he has recently given live performances in Germany, at an opera house in Poland and at a London concert with Othon and Marc Almond. A fair amount of Hall’s records has been made available in countries such as Germany, Holland, France, England, Italy and the United States.
Began his musical training at the age of ten at the Piano and Music Academy of Copenhagen. First record release at the age of 17 as singer and composer in the avantgarde ensemble Ballet Mécanique whose debut album The Icecold Waters of the Egocentric Calculation from 1981 is regarded as a cornerstone in contemporary Danish music history (figures on the list over the 50 most important releases in Danish rock ever in the esteemed Danish rock encyclopedia Politikens Rockleksikon).
In 1995 Martin Hall was awarded with the prestigious three-year grant as a composer from The National Fund for the Endowment of The Art. He used the price to break with his current record company and single-handedly finance the production of Random Hold (1996), an album generally regarded as his most significant record release during the 90’s (the album being his second title to figure on the already mentioned Politiken chart).
During the 00’s Hall has collaborated with younger Danish artists such as Efterklang, Marybell Katastrophy, Bjørn Svin and Tone. His album Hospital Cafeterias from 2009 is considered to be yet another milestone in a still evolving career.
Hall’s classical album If Power Asks Why was nominated for the Danish National Radio’s P2 Award 2013 “Lyt til Nyt”. His latest solo release is the critically acclaimed album Phasewide, Exit Signs. Current with the spoken word project Efterladt, a musical rendering of the late Polish-Danish author Janina Katz’ last readings.
Principal musical works:
Made his debut as an author in 1983 with the book The Reconstruction Is Greater, a release described as “the most total and extreme expression of implacability I have ever encountered” in Denmark’s prime literary weekly review (Weekendavisen) – a quite fitting summary of the equal amounts of excitement and furore the book aroused at the time.
In 2005 he released the two-volume novel The Last Romantic, a monumental work reflecting a young man’s journey from the summer of 1980 up until present day and a book that – apart from getting brilliant reviews – constituted Hall’s literary breakthrough in Denmark. His latest novel is Kinoplex from 2010.
During 2011 and 2012 Hall wrote a line of extensive essays about experimental music for various Danish magazines. A selection of these articles was made available in Nostatic! issued in October 2012, a book illustrated by the Danish painter Knud Odde.
Some of his latest literary outlets are the texts Memo, a combined poetic and graphic piece of work released in July 2013, and Comparisons of Monopolies on Violence, an essay written for the academic journal Reception in May 2014. In 2014 he also wrote and directed the stage play Prototype/Protocol. In the autumn of 2017 Hall releases his first book for five years, the memoir protocol 1971–1985.
As a writer Hall has received grants from both The National Fund for the Endowment of The Arts and The Danish Arts Council. He has been translated into several European languages.
Principal literary works:
At the beginning of his career Martin Hall published a line of magazines such as Consumer’s Guide to Welfare. In 1983 he was admitted to The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (Schools of Visual Arts) in Copenhagen. Has designed a large amount of his own record and book releases.
During the 80’s he also collaborated with theatre ensembles such Billedstofteateret and Nyt Dansk Danseteater as well as writing and directing several multimedia-performances with his own The Art Ensemble of Copenhagen. Continued the development of his work with video, design and installation art throughout the 90’s and has worked for theatres such as Operanord, Østre Gasværk and Gladsaxe Teater during the 00’s.
In 2001 Hall wrote the music for the inauguration of Swedish artist Ingvar Cronhammar’s grand scale monument Elia. In 2006 he created the sound environment for the ARoS exhibition Racing Cars, so far the museum’s most visited event ever. Made his debut as an actor in the Danish film The Flame & The Lemon, the most seen Danish motion picture in 2008.
During 2010 Martin Hall once again returned to his theatrical work with the staging of Kinoplex. At the end of this year he also hosted his own television talkshow Salon Midwelt. From 2011 until 2015 Hall was a recurrent guest in The Danish Broadcasting Corporation’s critic’s review Smagsdommerne. In 2014 he wrote and directed the performance play Prototype/Protocol.
In 2015 he wrote the music for the critically acclaimed exhibition H at The Cisterns, an event that was visited by almost 100.000 guests during the year. In the autumn of 2017 he will write the opening music for the Ingvar Cronhamma exhibition Design.