Norway Music The Travel Show


Norway Music

Christa Larwood takes a musical journey though Norway. Along the way she rides one of the world's must stunning rail lines and explores the country's folk traditions.


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LineFromTo

Sarah Campbell, BBC News.

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Warms the cockles.

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Now on BBC News, The Travel Show.

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This week on The Travel Show, I am

in Norway, because I have heard of

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what must be one of the world's most

unique music festivals, where the

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stage and the instruments are made

of ice. So, I am taking the chance

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to head off from Oslo to Bergen on a

musical journey on one of the

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world's most spectacular railways.

I'm going to look deep into Norway's

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routes, trying to get a sense of how

this country's landscapes, culture,

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and society are brought to life by

its music. -- roots. At first, I

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start my trip in Norway's capital of

Oslo. And on the Oslo waterfront, a

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Reformation has been taking place. A

big part of that was the spectacular

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building, the Oslo Opera House. It

celebrates its 10th anniversary this

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year, and is a symbol of this city's

commitment to the arts. So it is a

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perfect place to hear some

traditional Norwegian goat horn.

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PLAYING HORN.

That is so good!

Thank

you!

It is amazing that such a

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variety of sounds come out of such a

simple instrument.

Yes, it is quite

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simple, as you see. It is a bone,

and it is a goat's corn, all at the

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wrong way, this way. Actually, it

was not made for making music. The

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shepherds had it to keep the and

bears away.

So this was a warning.

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This is not pretty music!

Yes, not

many melodies are written down, as

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we know, but some.

Would you say

there is something unique riding

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through Norwegian music, and waiters

come from?

Nature gives me a loss of

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power and a lot of inspiration to

make music. We are quite isolated.

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Still, there are people who do this,

try to make their own voice.

So I am

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about to head off through the

country to Bergen, listening to

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music along the way. It is there a

member should be listening out for?

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Is there something should be paying

attention to?

Try to find some folk

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music, some singers, and also go to

small clubs. Look for the small

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spots. There are people working all

over the place.

So now I have my

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mission, there is a train to catch.

Joining me for the first part of my

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trip is Jan, a fanatic and a man who

wrote a book on the bogans violence.

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Why did you write this big long book

all about this railway? --

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Bergensbanen.

The Bergensbanen is

iconic in Norway and in Europe, I

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think. Many people know the name and

know what they will see when the

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come here.

Along its 308 miles, the

trend never gets challenging but

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starting to rain. At its peak of

over 1200 metres, it is one of

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your's highest railways, before it

descends steeply into Norway's

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second city of Jan. It is elemental

landscape pose a huge challenge, and

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an engineering triumph for those

working on the rail during its

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construction, between 1894 and 1909,

with about 20 people thought to have

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died in the process. At a time when

Norway's independence was always on

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the horizon, that the construction

of the Bergensbanen was more than an

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added convenience for travellers.

This line connected the east and the

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western part of Norway. Before that,

people had to go around and take

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boats by the sea, or small horse

roads, through the mountains. So the

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trends were opening at Norway. The

construction work was darted in

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1898, and at that time, we were

admin by Sweden, and they did not

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like this at all, because they

thought it could be used for

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military purpose.

So this is a sign

of Norwegian strength, that maybe

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was not an approved of?

You could

say that.

So in a way, this is a

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symbol for the founding of the

Norwegian nation.

Yes. All this

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makes it special. You can't find

this in other lines. This is what

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Norway is.

As Jan ridges to stop, I

settle in. Three and a half hours

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from Oslo, I pull into this town.

But it is not my destination. --

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reaches his stop. This town usually

features the eyes busy festival. But

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on a go upwards, almost 500 metres

higher, to the new home of Finse. --

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the Ice Music Festival. You really

feel and see it in the air. It is

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cold here. And it is this cold, the

icy conditions and the elevation,

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that led explorers like Shackleton

to train here before going on there

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at expeditions. Word is today will

reach a low of -23 Celsius tonight.

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So I should write up. -- rug up.

What makes this festival extra

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special is that the instruments are

actually made on the day, from

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nearby ice. Among the line-up this

year is everything from ice horns to

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ice drums, and ice didgeridoos. The

concert is only hours away, and here

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you are making the instruments. This

has to be an unusual thing for a

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musician.

For me it is not. For most

musicians it is. Good sending ice is

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the most difficult part. You cannot

just go to your freezer. You cannot

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go to the next lake. Ice is like

wine - there are good years and bad

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years.

So why ice? What inspired

this festival?

It is nearly 20 years

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as the first time I tried eyes. And

I found the sound so fantastically

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beautiful. -- ice. With this water,

you can drink it after the concert.

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All we can do is give it back to

nature, where it belongs, and also,

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the ice reminds me that we need to

treat ice so gentle not to break it.

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It is like how we treat nature.

Why

is this happening in Norway, in

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particular, aside from all the ice?

At it one of the reasons we can do

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this in Norway is that we are very

lucky that we have for many years at

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a government that was to support

music. This makes it possible for a

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musician like me to work with

contemporary improvised music, to

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survive, to be even be able to build

a house that they buy a house. It

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allows me to experiment. -- that I

have been able to buy a house.

What

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is this?

This is an ice-aphone.

The

sound is phenomenal.

Do you like it?

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That is lovely. Any Jedi could have

a go?

Very carefully. -- any chance

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I could have a go.

I also will

demonstrate no ability. You may as

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given to a child.

Absolutely. It

works?

This is great! -- you may as

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well give it to a child.

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But one of the biggest challenges

are putting on this festival is the

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construction of the venue itself.

And ice concert Hall. -- mandatory.

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And this professor oversees the

construction. He and his students

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have battled conditions for six days

to create a solid structure. -- An

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ice. Each day's work has resulted in

disaster.

We started with plan a and

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ended up with plan y. Because every

day, you know, it is like you're

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climbing wall, slippery, and

full-back down again. Next day you

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start again. -- Finse. But that is

how it is and that is the challenge.

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You need to work with the forces,

because you can never beat them. --

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fall back. When we work with them,

you know, it is like having a good

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friend.

It seems lead your team is

working very, very hard.

Good luck.

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We will see how it works out. We

just need to see how it goes. We

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have some hours left.

So as evening

approaches, the finishing touches

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are fast being made around the site.

I really like it because it is kind

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of the sound of nature. So it

doesn't sound like anything else you

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have ever heard. So people are

really surprise when they hear it

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for the first time. You don't get to

practise, so the music gets made on

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stage in front of the audience, and

that Israeli special. Many people

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are like, what, is this possible?

That is critical. -- and that is

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really special. I guess there is a

lot of folk music on it. It is very

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Nordic, with the ice and the snow at

the cold winters. Just in the nick

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of time, we gather for it to make an

evening of ice music.

-- we gather

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for an evening of ice music.

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CHEERING AND APPLAUSE

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That was amazing. Such a bonkers

sound scape and amazing to think

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that although were made from rice.

It is also an interesting way to

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experience the landscape of Norway,

freezing cold with a full moon

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overhead. I am frozen through. It is

time to head in.

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Next morning, the festival continues

without me as I returned to the

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Bergensbanen for the next part of my

journey. Travelling on this stretch

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of the line, you start to appreciate

the vast landscapes that this

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country has to offer. And I cannot

imagine a better way of experiencing

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them than this.

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MORNING BY GREIG PLAYS

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well, my train has arrived at its

destination but my musical journey

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across Norway is not yet finished a

close I am in Bergen, a cultural

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hotspot and a great way to

experience the great musical

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heritage of Norway.

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Edvard Grieg, Norway is pot most

well loved composer. Here, a museum

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to him has preserved and restored

the grounds where he wants worked.

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-- once worked.

You can see now we

will enter the house and this is the

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main entrance.

This year will be a

milestone for the mad as it will be

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150 years since he wrote his famous

piano concerto. He really was an

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appreciated composer in his

lifetime.

We know that in Great

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Britain he was one of the most

popular living composers in his

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time.

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The second part of the 19th century

was going together with all of this

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national movement in Norway and

Norway was, by then, a country

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together with Sweden with one king

living in Sweden and he found very

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young and fresh style and I think

that built upon those dance rhythms

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and folk music elements in his

bigger compositions. He looked upon

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folk songs as something universal.

They survive from generation to

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generation and if you slip through

the board as you can find the same

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in folk music.

And some of the folk

music that inspired him can still be

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heard today. One of the best ways to

experience it is with dance. This

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dance company performs contemporary

dance all the way around Norway and

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beyond that is inspired by nature

and traditional Norwegian folk

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roots. They have agreed to show me

some of the traditional elements

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shared in a traditional dance.

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The dance is mostly a show off

lands. 100 years ago women or also

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did that dance. It is mostly boys or

men doing the dance because we want

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to. We want to impress the other men

or women. Put your right foot in

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front of the left. Side words.

Believe me, this is harder than it

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looks.

And if you jump a little on

each step one, two. Yes. Nice? And

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then around.

I think I am getting

hang of it.

One, two, one, two.

And

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then we can come down here. No! So

what is the relationship between the

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dance and the music?

The fiddle is

our national instrument. Some people

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say the fiddle, the music came

because of the dance and some say it

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was the other way. I think they

depend on each other. For me and for

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many it is very important to use the

music dancing and the music makes me

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want to do suddenly some steps and

everything. It is life. Nothing

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planned, it is just happening. Nice!

Back in the old days they used the

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ceilings to kick down a coin or keep

their heels.

They kicked the

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ceiling?

The houses were smaller

back in those days. In the 1800s the

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military started competitions to try

and kick a hat from a stick and it

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was about who could kick the

highest. And then it was

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incorporated in the dance. So we do

it as a part of the dance and, of

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course, it must be a good kick and

the higher it is, the better it is.

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Everyone in Norway, I think if I say

the name of the drams, they think of

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kicking the hat, that it is the man

-- Mangold. At the dance is the main

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goal, kicking the hat is just

topping it. -- they think that

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kicking the hat is the main goal.

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Finally, I wanted to get a sense of

where all of this is leading. In a

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former meat factory a short walk

from the city centre, it serves as a

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venue and melting pot for artists of

all types in the city. This creative

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hub is home to the studios of

electronic, just, hip-hop and many

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other types of music and it is where

much of Norway's future music is

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being thrashed out.

These days

especially there is some new mixing

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of old traditions with very new

electronic and experimental music.

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This man has a studio here and

played saxophone in tonight 's big.

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-- gig.

Tonight we play with a

guitar player. It is ambient

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experimental something, you know. I

think it has a lot to do with the

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size of the city you in urban. Only

a few people play things so you have

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to co-operate. -- city here again.

Bergen I feel like I have

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rediscovered this place through its

music. It is a country constantly

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inspired by nature. In treasures its

traditions but is not afraid to look

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forward. Where artist are free to

experiment and supported as a

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crucial part of society and were

distinctive sounds can be found in

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the smallest of communities. Is the

Bergensbanen showed me Norway's

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muscle its music has shown me its

heart and soul.

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A special edition of the Travel Show from Norway, as Christa Larwood takes a musical journey from Oslo to Bergen along one of the world's must stunning rail lines, the Bergensbanen. Christa looks into the roots of the Norway's music and tries to get a sense of how it's landscapes, culture and society are brought to life through its music. Along the way, she takes in Norway's Ice Music Festival and explores the classical music and dance inspired by the country's folk traditions.


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