Bands, Commissions and Movie Scores

Kirsti, Ola & Erik

Ola's long time running collaboration with vocalist Kirsti Huke and drummer / co-producer Erik Nylander. The trio released "Rags & Silks", a cover-intepreting, low-key album, on Propeller Recordings in 2015. Since it's release, the trio has been working on new material, and the process of the second album, consisting solely of original, new songs, is still ongoing. 

Kirsti Huke & Ola Kvernberg recently did a livestream from their studio, performing works in progress, along with a select few of Ola's compositions. Album to be announced in 2022.

Joshua Redman & Ola Kvernberg

Two pioneers of their instruments join forces as a duo, once described as a ‘collaboration for the history books’. First meeting at Molde International Jazz Festival in 2006, when Joshua Redman was Artist in Residence, they made their first live appearance together ten years later when Ola Kvernberg took the reins. ‘Certainly one of the most intriguing, demanding and ultimately rewarding collaborations I have ever been a part of, and quite possibly the most unique’, notes Redman.

Following an extensive tour in Norway, the duo did their international debut at Wigmore Hall, London, in 2018.

Ola Kvernberg & The Engegård Quartet

This collaboration has roots way back when Ola was a kid, having Arvid Engegård as his peer on classical summer camps. 20+ years later, The Engegård Quartet commissioned two pieces from him: "The Flight" (2017) and "Hypnagogia" (2019). 

The quintet has toured Norway extensively since 2017 and both the new pieces was recorded in Jakobskirken, Oslo, early 2020. The album will be released on LAWO during fall 2021.

The Mechanical Fair

Ola Kvernberg’s Steamdome was for at least one listener the most sensationally visceral album to come his way during 2018. Part future-jazz, part EDM, part avant-rock, part contemporary-classical, wrap-around shamanistic. It was Kvernberg’s follow-up to 2014’s The Mechanical Fair, which has now been issued in an extensively recalibrated version recorded live at the Molde International Jazz Festival in 2016. There are similarities between Steamdome and The Mechanical Fair Live, as you would expect of works coming from the same pen. But on the surface, the two albums could hardly be more different. Steamdome sounds like everyone involved had ingested a truckload of 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine. It is the most intense moments of Stravinsky’s Rite Of Spring ramped up for the age of anxiety. By contrast, The Mechanical Fair Live is restorative, lyrical, balm for the soul, burnished yin to the earlier album’s beserker yang. Premiered in 2013, the work went through a quintet version, a with-strings version, the 2014 album version and further versions with incrementally expanding line-us, before finally arriving at the incarnation heard on Live. “Molde felt like the first time we managed to do it in its entirety,” says Kvernberg. “Without any compromises being made for budget reasons or because of insufficient rehearsal time. So maybe ultimate is the best word.”

- Chris May, allaboutjazz.com

Gammalgrass

Ola's interplay with multiinstrumentalist and founder of Farmers Market (Michael Brecker's favorite band!), Stian Carstensen, exists in numerous forms. They collaborate tightly on everything from movie scores, commissioned compositions and.. not least - gigs.

Gammalgrass was formed in 2007, as the duo was joined by bass player Ole Morten Vågan. Their debut album, "Obsolete Music 1", has still to be followed by a second album. Mostly due to excessive gigging (and gigling) - the trio has performed a massive amount of concerts throughout the world, on everything from chamber music festivals to late-night party gigs. 

One of the many trademarks of the band is taking requests. No request is too small or too big. Follow-up album is slowly finding it's shape on the road. 

Movie Scores & Soundtracks

Ola Kvernberg's career as a movie composer started in 2009. Despite zero experience under his belt, director Rune Denstad Langlo challenged him to do the complete score for his debut fiction "North". The movie went on to receive critical acclaim and several awards, and Ola was nominated for the Amanda Award (Norwegian Oscars-equivalent) for his efforts. 

Following his debut, the collaboration with Langlo is as ongoing as ever, and the duo is at the moment working on their fourth film. 

As the documentary scene has developed into the musical realms of what once was reserved fictional ambitions, Ola's work for documentaries has been a central piece of his portfolio the past few years. Movies like "Two Raging Grannies" and "Only The Devil Lives Without Hope" has earned him the Guldbagge Award (Sweden's biggest movie award) and a Grand Scores -nomination (DE) for "best electro-acoustic score".

His second collaboration with Rune Denstad Langlo was the movie "Chasing the Wind". The score won the Amanda Award for best music, and the title song (performed here by Ola & Engegård Quartet) has later followed Ola on numerous occations.

Ola Kvernberg has composed and produced more than 20 movie scores the past 11 years. Mentionable present and future projects include two large-scale documentary TV-series, a documentary, a short film, a podcast and a concert commission for big band.