Shining (Norwegian band)

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This article is about the Norwegian band. For the Swedish black metal band, see Shining (Swedish band).
Shining
Shining-band-2009.jpg
Background information
Origin Oslo, Norway
Genres Avant-garde,[1] avant-garde metal,[1][2] progressive rock,[3] experimental rock,[4] jazz fusion,[5] free jazz[2]
Years active 1999–present
Labels BP, Jazzland, Rune Grammofon, Indie
Website www.shining.no
Members Jørgen Munkeby
Torstein Lofthus
Tor Egil Kreken
Bernt Moen
Håkon Sagen
Past members Even Helte Hermansen
Andreas Ulvo
Morten Strøm
Andreas Hessen Schei
Aslak Hartberg
Morten Qvenild

Shining is a Norwegian avant-garde music band from Oslo. Eleven musicians have been a part of the band's line-up in its history, which has consisted of singer, guitarist, saxophonist and songwriter Jørgen Munkeby, guitarist Håkon Sagen, bass guitarist Tor Egil Kreken, keyboardist Bernt Moen, and drummer Torstein Lofthus since 2010.

Shining was created in 1999 as an acoustic instrumental jazz quartet consisting of Munkeby, Lofthus, pianist Morten Qvenild, and double bassist Aslak Hartberg. They released their first albums Where the Ragged People Go and Sweet Shanghai Devil in 2001 and 2003 respectively. Their 2005 album In the Kingdom of Kitsch You Will Be a Monster leaded the band into a more avant-garde, electric, rock-oriented sound, with Qvenild now playing synthesizers and other electronic keyboards, and Hartberg mostly using bass guitar instead of double bass.

Qvenild and Hartberg both left the band before or following the release of the album, being replaced in 2005 by Andreas Hessen Schei and Morten Strøm respectively. Under this line-up, Shining released Grindstone in 2007, an album going into a heavier direction and distancing itself more from jazz, incorporating elements from progressive rock, pop, as well as 19th and 20th century classical music.[6] On the following years, Schei was replaced by Andreas Ulvo who was himself later replaced by Moen, while Kreken replaced Strøm on bass guitar, and in addition the band included guitarist Even Helte Hermansen as a new member in 2010, expanding into a quintet.

The release of their fifth album Blackjazz in 2010 saw Shining turn into an extreme avant-garde metal band, with the use of growled vocals from Munkeby. The same year, Hermansen was replaced by Sagen. Their first live album Live Blackjazz and their latest album to date, One One One, released in 2013, follow the musical direction initiated in Blackjazz. Shining's metal-oriented album were received with much acclaim from both jazz, heavy metal, and more mainstream critics.[7][8][9][10][11][12]

History

Acoustic albums

Shining was formed in 1999 by saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist Jørgen Munkeby. Munkeby had moved to Oslo to study at the Norwegian Academy of Music, and was in need of a band for a concert he had already booked. Knowing no one, he looked for bandmates among his fellow students.[6] There he found bassist Aslak Hartberg, drummer Torstein Lofthus and pianist Morten Qvenild.

Their first album, Where the Ragged People Go, was released 5 November 2001.[13] At a time when the young Norwegian jazz scene was dominated by future jazz, as pioneered by Bugge Wesseltoft and Nils Petter Molvær, Shining received a lot of attention by playing modern and energetic acoustic jazz. Their music especially contrasted that of Jaga Jazzist, a band of which Jørgen Munkeby had been a member since 1994.[14]

The band's John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman-inspired sound[6][13] was further developed on their second album, Sweet Shanghai Devil, released by Jazzland Recordings in 2003. Their music became freer, incorporating more elements from outside the jazz idiom, but remained entirely acoustic.

On Rune Grammofon

2005 saw a complete transformation of Shining's music with the release of their third album, In the Kingdom of Kitsch You Will Be a Monster, where progressive rock and metal were blended in with the experimental jazz heard on Sweet Shanghai Devil. Munkeby's woodwind instruments were accompanied by the Akai EWI, electric guitars and synthesizers, and Aslak Hartberg's double bass was largely replaced by electric bass. Drum machines were also used on the album, as well as a wide range of less common instruments such as the accordion, harmonium, church organ, clavinet and celesta.[15]

Shining had now signed with Rune Grammofon, a record label that specializes in experimental and improvised music. They had also developed a new approach to recording albums. Whereas their previous albums were all recorded with the whole band in front of a couple of microphones, they now recorded parts of songs at different locations. Working with producer Kåre Christoffer Vestrheim, these parts were then mixed together in the studio.[16]

Munkeby has stated that Motorpsycho was the main inspiration to move to a more rock-centric sound, and that the album was strongly influenced by Olivier Messiaen.[6] The move proved to be successful. In the Kingdom of Kitsch You Will Be a Monster was well received by critics, both in Norway[17][18][19][20] and internationally,[21][22][23] and was included in the best new music section on Pitchfork.[24] It would also go on to win the Alarm Award for best jazz album in 2006.[25]

Pianist Morten Qvenild Left Shining between the album's recording and release. Replacing him was Andreas Hessen Schei.[16] Bassist Aslak Hartberg would later be replaced by Morten Strøm for their fourth album, Grindstone.

On Grindstone, released on Rune Grammofon January 2007, Shining refined the style developed on In the Kingdom of Kitsch. The compositions were tighter[26] and on a whole the music was harder, although the album featured several softer tracks as well. Apart from metal, classical influences were displayed more overtly[27] and elements of noise and drone were introduced. As its predecessor the year before, Grindstone won the Alarm Award for best jazz album in 2007.[25]

Armageddon concerto

In October 2007 Shining toured Europe as support for the progressive black metal band Enslaved.[28] The concerts usually ended with the two bands doing a cover version of King Crimson's 21st Century Schizoid Man. After seeing a video of one of these covers, the programme committee of Moldejazz commissioned the two bands to write and perform a 90-minute work together.[29]

The resulting work Nine Nights in Nothingness – Glimpses of Downfall, often referred to as The Armageddon Concerto, was first performed at Moldejazz 19 July 2008. The concerto consists of nine movements, five of which were composed by Jørgen Munkeby and four by Ivar Bjørnson of Enslaved.

Inspired by Norse mythology, doomsday cults and science fiction, the music describes the end of the world, a following post-apocalyptic environment and finally a new beginning.[30] Musically the different movements draw inspiration form a wide range of sources, most notably György Ligeti Olivier Messiaen, and John Coltrane, but also Sunn O))) and The Beatles.[31]

As the first performance of The Armageddon Concerto since Moldejazz 2008, Enslaved and Shining were the main headliners at the 2010 Roadburn Festival, where Enslaved were the artist in residence.[32]

Blackjazz

Shining's fifth album Blackjazz was released 18 January 2010 on Indie Recordings. The album's title is meant to describe Shining's sound,[33] which on Blackjazz became even harder and more intense than ever before.

The instrumentation was also far simpler than on the two previous albums, with Jørgen Munkeby focusing on guitars and saxophone. This has made the album's sound closer to how they sound live, as songs from previous albums needed to be simplified for live performances.[34]

According to Munkeby, a big inspiration in the development of the Blackjazz genre, was his work with In Lingua Mortua in 2006/2007. To quote Munkeby: “Lars’ refreshing blend of an impressive intellectual display and direct raw power has been a big inspiration for me. Lars is a true pioneer. He was the first person to invite me to play sax in a black metal setting, and in so doing, contributed strongly to SHINING’s later development of the Blackjazz genre.”[35]

Shining's collaboration with Enslaved is also a clear influence on Blackjazz.[36] The album's first single, Fisheye, is a newer version of the seventh movement of The Armageddon Concerto, and the vinyl edition of Blackjazz includes a studio version of the concerto's first movement as a bonus track. Blackjazz ends with a cover version of 21st Century Schizoid Man, featuring guest vocals by Enslaved's Grutle Kjellson.

Members

Current members

Former members

Discography

Studio albums

Year Album Peak positions Certification
NOR
[37]
2001 Where the Ragged People Go
2003 Sweet Shanghai Devil
2005 In the Kingdom of Kitsch You Will Be a Monster
2007 Grindstone
2010 Blackjazz 9
2013 One One One 36

Live albums

Other works

  • Nine Nights in Nothingness – Glimpses of Downfall (2008)
A 90-minute Armegeddon Concerto composed and performed with Enslaved, commissioned by Moldejazz

Awards

Notes

  1. ^ a b Cynic (27 May 2010). "Shining - "Blackjazz" (CD)". metalunderground.com. Retrieved 1 July 2011. "Well put together and seamlessy flowing avant-garde music." 
  2. ^ a b Phil Freeman. "Blackjazz - Review". allmusic.com. Retrieved 1 July 2011. "An astonishing blend of industrial, metal, free jazz, and raw electronic noise..." 
  3. ^ John Kelman (28 March 2005). "Shining: In the Kingdom of Kitsch You Will Be a Monster (2005)". allaboutjazz.com. Retrieved 1 July 2011. "Norwegian's Shining have headed for progressive or art rock territory." 
  4. ^ Steve Leggett. "Shining - Biography". allmusic.com. Retrieved 1 July 2011. "Norway's the Shining specialize in a genre-hopping prog-jazz style that is part bop, part experimental composition, part rock, and might even be called jazz-metal, although specific labels have a hard time sticking firmly to this intriguing quartet." 
  5. ^ John Kelman (17 March 2010). "Shining: Blackjazz (2010)". allaboutjazz.com. Retrieved 1 July 2011. "Starting as an electrified, metal-tinged fusion band..." 
  6. ^ a b c d Matthew Murphy (17 April 2005). "Interview: Shining". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 11 January 2010. 
  7. ^ Kelman, John (2011-12-29). "Shining: Live Blackjazz (2011) Review". All About Jazz. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  8. ^ "One One One Review". Heavy Blog Is Heavy. Heavy Blog is Heavy. Retrieved 2013-09-16. 
  9. ^ "Shining (Norway): One One One Review". Has it Leaked. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  10. ^ Chinen, Nate (20 January 2010). "Several shades of jazz, some infused with metal". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 April 2010. 
  11. ^ Freeman, Phil. "Blackjazz review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 30 April 2010. 
  12. ^ Begrand, Adrien (3 February 2010). "Blackjazz review". PopMatters. PopMatters Media. Retrieved 30 April 2010. 
  13. ^ a b "Shining på Herr Nilsen". ballade.no (in Norwegian). 10 December 2001. Retrieved 11 January 2010. 
  14. ^ Terje Mosnes (20 November 2001). "Shining mot strømmen" [Shining Against the Grain]. Dagbladet (in Norwegian). Retrieved 11 January 2010. 
  15. ^ Audun Reithaug Rasmussen (25 February 2005). "Soundtrack from the Kingdom of Kitsch". groove.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 16 January 2010. 
  16. ^ a b Eivind Kristensen (25 February). "Metamorfose" [Metamorphosis]. Musikk-Kultur (in Norwegian). Retrieved 20 January 2010.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  17. ^ Terje Mosnes (18 January 2005). "Kraft og ynde til tusen" [Total power and grace]. Dagbladet (in Norwegian). Retrieved 20 January 2010. 
  18. ^ Espen A. Hansen (8 March 2005). "Shining: "In The Kingdom Of Kitsch You Will Be A Monster"". VG (in Norwegian). Retrieved 20 January 2010. 
  19. ^ Audun Reithaug Rasmussen (25 February). "Soundtrack from the Kingdom of Kitsch". groove.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 20 January 2010.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  20. ^ Mats Johansen (19 January 2005). "Fra improvisert himmelferd til mektig skjærsild" [From Improvised Heaven to Mighty Purgatory]. panorama.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 20 January 2010. 
  21. ^ Mike Powell (22 March 2005). "Shining - In the Kingdom of Kitsch You Will Be A Monster". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 20 January 2010. 
  22. ^ John Kelman (28 March 2005). "In the Kingdom of Kitsch You Will Be a Monster". All About Jazz. Retrieved 20 January 2010. 
  23. ^ Michael Cramer (8 June 2005). "Shining - In the Kingdom of Kitsch You Will Be a Monster". Dusted Reviews. Retrieved 20 January 2010. 
  24. ^ Brandon Stosuy (11 March 2005). "Shining: In the Kingdom of Kitsch You Will Be a Monster". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 20 January 2010. 
  25. ^ a b "Alarmpris-vinnere" [Winners of the Alarm Award]. alarmprisen.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 20 January 2010. 
  26. ^ Brandon Stosuy (21 February 2007). "Shining: Grindstone". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 20 January 2010. "Shining's fourth album, Grindstone, spits the same flammable energy of 2005's out-of-left-field In the Kingdom of Kitsch You Will Be a Monster, but with more tightly plotted, ultra-extended dynamics and a stretch of chillier, loopier atmospherics." 
  27. ^ Kevin Jagernauth (28 March 2007). "Shining:Grindstone". PopMatters. Retrieved 20 January 2010. "The unholy amalgam of metal riffs, jazz composition, avant freakouts and classical departures make writing about the band a true test." 
  28. ^ "Enslaved and Shining team up for European tour". Music Information Centre Norway. 13 March 2007. Retrieved 21 January 2010. 
  29. ^ "Enslaved og Shining lager bestillingsverk til Moldejazz 2008!" [Enslaved and Shining makes a commissioned work for Moldejazz 2008!]. moldejazz.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 17 January 2010. "Det var etter at programkomiteen i Moldejazz fikk høre et live-opptak av Shining og Enslaveds felles tolkning av King Crimson-låten "21st Century Schizoid Man" at man bestemte seg for å gi banda utfordringen å lage et bestillingsverk til festivalen." 
  30. ^ Eirik Kydland (14 July 2008). "Dommedag på Moldejazz" [Doomsday at Moldejazz]. Dagsavisen (in Norwegian). Retrieved 26 January 2010. 
  31. ^ "Shining og Enslaved Moldejazz 2008". Jazzklubben (radio show). 14 July 2009. 4-15 minutes in. NRK. P2. stream at nrk.no
  32. ^ "Enslaved announced as artists in residence for Roadburn Festival 2010". roadburn.com. 14 October 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2010. 
  33. ^ ""Blackjazz" Out Jan 25th" (Press release). Indie Recordings. 2009-12-05. Retrieved 2010-01-16. 
  34. ^ Ingmar Wåhlberg (30 April 2009). "Intervju: Shining" [Interview: Shining]. groove.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 16 January 2010. 
  35. ^ http://www.inlinguamortua.com/2010/07/24/pre-order/
  36. ^ Ingmar Wåhlberg (30 April 2009). "Intervju: Shining" [Interview: Shining]. groove.no (in Norwegian). Retrieved 16 January 2010. "Det er klart at samarbeidet med Enslaved har inspirert oss, og det har også påvirket soundet på den nye skiva." 
  37. ^ "NorwegianCharts.com Shining discography page". Norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved 2013-04-12. 

External links