is a Swedish experimental singer, composer, improviser and performer, born in Ethiopia 1983. She grew up in Ethiopia, Vietnam and Sweden. Since 2011 she lives in Oslo, Norway.
One of her deepest interests as a singer is to explore the “instrumental” possibilities of the voice. Her singing vocabulary includes sounds and techniques that often contradict a conventional singing style. She has dug deep into non-verbal vocalising, split tone singing, pitchless singing and distorted singing.
She is also particularly involved in music theatre / contemporary opera. There she has performed several staged music theatre pieces like Arnold Schönberg’s ”Pierrot Lunaire”, Salvatore Sciarrinos “Lohengrin”. Composers have written roles especially with her in mind like in Emily Hall’s “Folie à Deux” and Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s “UR_”. Currently she is working with a new contemporary chamber opera work, premiering in 2019, together with Cia Rinne, Juliana Hodkinsson and Louise Beck. Sofia will both compose and perform in this opera.
The collaboration with visual artists is another focus of her artistic practice. She has performed together with visual artist Camille Norment and was part of her piece “Rapture” (Venice Biennale 2015) and “Lull” (Bergen International Festival 2016). She is featured as a singer in an 80 minute cinematic work, “Union of the North”, by Matthew Barney, Erna Ómarsdóttir and Valdimar Jóhannsson. And she is central, as the only singer/performer/human on screen, in a 20 minutes audio-visual work by visual artist Kristina Norman and composer Märt-Matis Lill that will be exhibited in Tallin art museum in February 2018.
As a composer she has been commissioned by Barents Composer Orchestra, Swedish Radio P2, Stockholm Jazz Festival, Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Oslo 14 Vocal Ensemble, Klang – Copenhagen Avantgarde Music Festival, BANFF – Centre for arts and creativity, The Gothenburg Combo and various chamber ensembles. As a teacher in singing and composition she has been part of faculty at BANFF Centre for arts and creativity contemporary music summer curse 2017 and will continue in 2018. She has given lectures and workshops at several Universities around Europe.
Selection of active bands she is involved with: Electric Daisy (Kim Myhr, David Stackenäs, Christian Wallumrød, Jernberg), Solo (voice solo, Jernberg), Fire! Orchestra , The End (Kjetil Møster, Mats Gustafsson, Anders Hana, Greg Saunier, Jernberg), Trondheim Jazz Orchester Sofia Jernberg and Olav Mjelva, Trondheim Jazz Orchestra Espen Reinertsen, Trondheim Jazz Orchestra Ole Morten Vågan, Mette Rasmussen / Sofia Jernberg duo, Lene Grenager / Sofia Jernberg duo, Alexander Hawkins / Sofia Jernberg duo, Peter Evans / Sofia Jernberg duo, PAAVO, The New Songs.
Olav Luksengård Mjelva
comes from Røros in the Sør- Trøndelag region of Norway.
He began playing the fiddle at age seven and some years later started playing the Hardanger fiddle.
He is a founding member of both the Norwegian – Swedish ensemble SVER, The Nordic Fiddlers Bloc, a trio specialising in Norwegian, Swedish and Shetland fiddle music and also the Rydvall/Mjelva duo alongside Swedish Nyckelharpa player Erik Rydvall with whom they have received several awards.
In addition to this he is also in Copper City Ramblers and several other projects.
He has also written music for several documentaries, short movies and theater projects.
In 2010 Olav received the prestigious Spelemannprisen, the Norwegian equivalent of a Grammy award for his debut solo album, and in 2011 he received the prize as part of the Unni Boksasp Ensemble. In 2013 he was also awarded the title of Norway’s folk musician of the year.
Olav is highly sought after as a studio musician and has played on over 40 releases. He is also a widely used instructor and dance musician both in Norway and abroad.
Trondheim Jazz Orchestra
is one of the most important and creative jazz ensembles in Norway. Since it was established in 2000, the orchestra has had a great number of exciting projects with Norwegian and international jazz profiles such as Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Joshua Redman, Erlend Skomsvoll, Eirik Hegdal, Sofia Jernberg, Maria Kannegaard, Kim Myhr, Jenny Hval, Stian Westerhus, Ståle Storløkken, Kristoffer Lo and Marius Neset.
The orchestra belongs to the Mid-Norway Centre of Jazz who initiates and organises new projects. The orchestra is operated as a musicians' pool, so that the orchestra changes as to instrumentation and size from project to project. This gives room for great width in the repertory. The musicians that has been involved in the orchestra is among Norway's most famous jazz profiles.