A musical showcase at the top of the world

Northern Expo 2018 took place in Svalbard, 78° North

Last month, the Norwegian arctic region of Svalbard hosted an international music showcase event, Northern Expo, inviting the international music industry and press (including representatives of WOMAD and Real World Records) to attend a unique musical presentation which was literally 'at the top of the world'.

Most of the events took place in the city of Longyearbyen, the world’s northernmost settlement with a population of over 1,000 permanent residents. While the light and nature were at their most beautiful and harshest, the organisers of Northern EXPO presented six voices from northern Norway against the beautiful backdrop of the Svalbard islands. The featured artists were Violet Road (pop/rock), Ánnaásuolo (sami/jazz), Mørk (electronica/jazz), Petter Carlsen (pop/rock), Kartellet (folk dance) and Julietnorth (folk music). Listen to a selection of music from these artists on the Northern Expo 2018 Spotify playlist.

Norwegian band Julietnorth, featuring violinist/vocalist Julie Alapnes, was one of the acts performing at Northern Expo 2018.

One of the highlights of the event was a visit to the Russian ghost town of Pyramiden, which was founded in 1910 by Sweden and sold to the Soviet Union in 1927. Since 1998, the town has been largely abandoned, but most of its buildings and infrastructure have remained in place. Upon arrival, delegates were received by the dance group Kartellet, who they followed into the town’s Culture Hall for an immersive, musical tour of the Soviet-era building. The magical atmosphere of the occasion was beautifully captured by CCN Style’s Temujin Doran (see video below).

You can read a full report on Northern Expo over at All About Jazz.


This Russian ghost town hosts a unique concert

Abandoned for 20 years, the Soviet coal-mining town of Pyramiden in the Arctic Circle is the setting for one of the most unique concerts in the world.

Watch on CNN

Northern Expo is organised by the Network for Music Business Development in Northern Norway. Click here for more information about the event.

Further Listening

  • Gula Gula

    Mari Boine Persen

    Released 04 April 1990

    Mari Boine Persen’s music is rooted in the Sámi heritage of Arctic Europe, but to this strong, almost primeval base she has brought a fresh interpretation and new instrumentation. Her voice cuts across guitars, flute, charango and drum with its hauntingly spacious and painfully intimate qualities.

By Online Editor

Main image: Julie Alapnes, violinist and vocalist in the Norwegian band Julietnorth.

Published on Sun, 18 November 18

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