The Counterpoint Project: Russia

The Counterpoint Project: Russia is the first in a series of collaborations between AJO ensemble and international artists. The result of the collaboration is an evening length production for ensemble and two sopranos by Arnt Håkon Ånesen and Sergej Newski entitled, Kjærligheten <3 правила любви.

"The theme is perception of reality through the perspective of love, where emotional creativity and innocence go together with impulse and desire."

Arnt Håkon Ånesen and Sergej Newski

Kjærligheten <3 правила любви is a contemporary music production and international tour of Northern Norway and Russia.

In May 2013, Norwegian contemporary music group, the AJO ensemble, gave ten concerts in the Barents Region, including three Norwegian and seven Russian cities. The tour included a composition written for AJO ensemble by Norwegian composer Arnt Haakon Aanesen and Russian composer Sergej Newsky, entitled Kjærligheten <3 правила любви.

The composition is based on texts from Norwegian and Russian contemporary folk tales. Materials include handwritten love stories by Russian girls in the 1980's, all of which were collected and published by folklorist Sergey Borisov, and a similar Norwegian folklore study by Gry Heggli.

The composition consists of many short sections. The sections use Norwegian and Russian texts and are divided by instrumental interludes. The composition is split between the two composers so that each is responsible for segments in his own language (original or translated). In the final part of the piece there is an endless recitation of folkloric sayings and superstitions – the “rules of love": “if he kisses on the eyebrow – he loves” or “if a girl quenches a match – she is ready for a kiss”.

Kjærligheten <3 правила любви is a collaboration between the AJO ensemble and Pro Arte eNsemble (St. Petersburg). AJO ensemble is joined by sopranos Silje Aker Johnsen and Natalia Pschenitschnikova, and accordionist Sergej Tchirkov.

 The production was funded by BarentsKult, Norsk Kulturråd, Fond for Utøvende, LINN, Nordland Fylkeskommune and Troms Fylkeskommune.




Promotional video for The Counterpoint Project: Russia