Maja S. K. Ratkje's new concert performance at Ultima

Startling Revelations

Maja S. K. Ratkje’s new concert performance at Ultima 2017

In difficult times, as mankind struggles with environmental issues, and with political unrest on the rise, we naturally look for signs of hope. A new work, premiered at Ultima Festival 2017, aims to reveal human qualities that are rooted in prehistory.

In Revelations (This Early Song), Norwegian composer Maja S. K. Ratkje, with author Aasne Linnestå, demonstrate how language shapes who we are.

Revelations focuses on a super-family of ancient words – evolved from a common Eurasian source – which are estimated to have survived for the past 15,000 years. Ratkje and Linnestå search for the essence of existence, but also for beauty and hope in the here and now. Revelations is an intense encounter with language that has been preserved across enormous reaches of time and geography.

Maja S. K. Ratkje is one of Norway’s most prolific contemporary composers, as well as an improviser, vocalist and member of the SPUNK quartet.

Principal soloist is mezzosoprano Marianne Beate Kielland, who will be accompanied by four-musician ensemble Engegårdkvartetten. She will sing a text that is based on some of the oldest and most enduring words in all of the world’s languages – those words that express the most fundamental and important elements of what it is to be human. As Aasne Linnestå puts it: ‘Find, connect, bind together. And then put it out there, in the work.’

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