MAYHEM songwriter and NIDINGR founder Morten Bergeton Iversen aka Teloch has written the music to accompany the production of German dramatist and poet Bertolt Brecht’s famous play ‘Mother Courage and Her Children’ currently premiered by The Norwegian Theatre in Oslo!
You can watch a trailer with a sneak premiere for the music and performance here:
The Norwegian Theatre states:
“WAR, MONEY AND BLACK METAL
How can we judge a mother that simply tries to keep herself and her children alive?
When The Norwegien Theatre in Oslo hired Lars-Ole Walburg from Germany to direct Bertolt Brecht’s classic play (1939-40), he chose to trash the modernist Paul Dessau’s original music, and instead use black metal as soundscape. Morten Bergeton Iversen, aka Teloch, one of Norways best composers within the genre, was hired for the job. All songs with lyrics by Brecht are now with music by Iversen and are performed partly by Peter Michael Kolstad Vegem and partly by actors who have never sung like this before. The sound of Iversens music is loud and sometimes unpleasant, just like the terrors of war.
‘Mother Courage and Her Children’ tells the story of a woman who lives from selling food, beer, weapons – and anything she gets hold of – to the army. She lives from war, she follows the war around, she gets mad when peace intrudes. But she does not want her own children to join the fighting. One by one the war gets to them anyway. Is it possible to live from the war, without becoming a victim to it, both morally and physically? And what does this say about the ‘peace nation’ Norway, which produces weapons and invests in the military industry?”
Ane Dahl Torp, who plays Mother Courage is one of Norway’s most renowned actresses, much seen on stage as well as in movies and TV-series. It is the first time she sings on stage, and this music has given her a very exciting challenge!
“The rhythm is extremely hard to follow, it is so tight and strict”
says Ane Dahl Torp.
“You can not hesitate for a second. The guys in the band says my vocal is a bit influenced by Norwegian folk music, but that is just the way I sing, I guess! Morten’s music gives a lot to the performance as a whole, but also to my role as Mother Courage. The black metal genre is very emotional.”
“A German team of theatre people approached me and asked if I could write music for a play they where putting up in Oslo, Norway, where I live. My first thought? Fuck off! I mean, I had never set foot inside a theatre, unless it was playing a show for MAYHEM. Therefore the world of theatre meant a bunch of fruity weird people to me. Luckily I still went to a meeting with them in order to check out what they exactly wanted. The team presented a play by Bertolt Brecht, ‘Mother Courage’, about a mother of three that makes money from the war. I was instantly hooked on the idea they presented to me. I also felt that these Germans were very serious about what they are doing. I also liked the prospect of a big production involving some heavy hitters from the Norwegian theatre scene. In the end this turned from ‘Fuck off’ into an interesting challenge. The final result is very cool, and I am proud of what I have done together with the German team, the Norwegian actors and last but not least, the musicians that I have hired to perform my compositions. This is not black metal, of course, but its based on black metal. I kept it simple to not scare of the theatre people, but also to make it easy for the actors to work with. Don’t expect the usual Teloch dissonant riffing here as I went old school instead – simple but effective.”
The ‘Mother Courage’ band:
Stian “Sir” Kårstad (NIDINGR, GOD SEED, TRELLDOM): guitar
Øyrvind Myrvoll (NIDINGR): drums
Peter Michael Kolstad Vegem (BLOOD TSUNAMI): bass & vocals