Monday, November 16, 2015


Thursday 12th November saw 1B1 debut on Brooklyn’s new National Sawdust venue with two very different interpretations of Edvard Grieg’s Holberg Suite. First out was the very gifted, young pianist, Christian Ihle Hadland, with a fierce call and response rendition between him and the orchestra. After a reception hosted by the Norwegian minister of culture, Torill Widvey, the composer / improviser musician Erlend Skomsvoll offered a deconstructed and improvised version of the same music, with the orchestra both performing Mr. Skomsvoll’s recomposed score as well as collectively improvising as a group. The concert left the minister astounded:


What a fantastic evening. This makes me very proud. When I started Talent Norge, this was exactly what I envisioned. 1B1 was the first act we supported, and they are a shining example of our wish to see more cooperations between private sponsors and governmental support. They are young, they are very talented, and the world is waiting for them.


The day before, the young Norwegian orchestra was guest of one of USA’s top church choirs, the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, in their weekly "Bach at one" series. The concert included works by Bach and the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, with the historical St. Paul’s Chapel being so packed that a substantial part of the audience enjoyed the concert standing up.


The week was concluded back at National Sawdust where 1B1 and the Choir of Trinity Wall Street offered an evening with music from the soundtrack of the Oscar-winning film The Great Beauty. The sold out show was presented by the New York’s cross-disciplinary Dillon Gallery.


Valerie Dillon found the performance "exquisite and beyond expectations":


I thought that it was brilliant beyond words, very powerful and heartbreaking.


The concerts were part of the first instalment of 1B1’s artist residency at the new artist-driven venue National Sawdust in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 1B1 will return to New York and National Sawdust may next year for a wide range of concerts and composer collaborations, among them Laurie Anderson, Paola Prestini, and Terry Riley.


Prestini, who also holds position as executive and creative director at National Sawdust, found the two shows at National Sawdust with 1B1 "emblematic of exactly what National Sawdust stands for".


I have admired the passion, talent and openness of 1B1, and the grand sense of adventure. The new connections made are exactly what we dreamed of. Great Beauty was one of the most beautiful performances I have seen. Bravi!!! Can't wait to have 1b1 back in the Spring, and, I can't wait to write for them.


For 1B1’s own creative director Jan Bjøranger, the journey has only just begun:


It feels fantastic to have gained this level of artistic freedom as a group. We are progressively taking more risks, and it is very satisfactory to know that every musician around you delivers under pressure. I’m very proud of the orchestra, as well as grateful and inspired to be a part of Paola Prestini’s and National Sawdust’s opening program in their very first year.


1B1 debut at National Sawdust1B1 debut at National Sawdust1B1 at St. Pauls ChapelChristian Ihle Hadland1B1 at National Sawdust