"Jordens sang" and the absence of critical debate

Panel (in Norwegian)

Thursday, 23 September, at 13:30

Where is new music in Norwegian cultural discourse? Newpapers? Arts criticism? What happened to critical debate in editorial media? NRK? Norwegian cultural life?

Rolf Gupta’s piece Jordens Sang has recently created a powerful engagement among thousands of listeners. It’s great that the music gets performed, but where is the critical reflection on it in the public domain? The opinionated, critical conversation?

Music is more than just what it sound like. It can also be reflected in conversation, discourse and argument. Disagreement is a good, productive thing. Discussion creates consciousness and a sense of relevance and engagement in arts and ideas. If the music is strong enough, it can withstand disagreement and being openly questioned.

At Ultima and the Norsk kritikerlag, we want to raise consciousness and start a running debate about the relevance of contemporary music to society and in our lives. Taking off from the reactions to Jordens Sang, we will discuss the role of new music and the strange disappearance of critical debate in Norway's media and public discourse.

At short notice we have brought together a panel:


Anne Hilde Neset


Eivind Buene (composer and author)

Emil Bernhardt (music researcher, composer and critic)

Erling E. Guldbrandsen (music researcher and critic)

Hilde Halvorsrød (PhD student and leader of music section of Norsk Kritikerlag)

Peter Szilvay (conductor of performances of «Jordens Sang» i 2019 and 2021)