The Dada Project

Veslemøy Solberg : vocals
Ruth Wilhelmine Meyer : vocals
Birgit Løkke : percussion, vocals and piano
Sven Ohrvik : keyboards and programming
Arve Henriksen : trumpet
Birgitte Stærnes : violin

In 1916, a meeting was held at Hugo Ball’s Cabaret (Café) Voltaire in Zürich, during which a paper knife inserted into a French-German dictionary pointed to the word dada, [child’s word for a horse]. This word was seized upon by the group as appropriate for their anti-aesthetic creations and protest activities, which were engendered by disgust for bourgeois values and despair over World War I. The first Dada Project had started.

With our Dada Project, we want to present dadaistic and surrealistic poems and show why these texts are well suited for describing society of today, which to a high degree is characterized by a confusion of values and standards.

The same situation applied a century ago, around the First World War.
Technical and industrial innovations, a new world view, the feeling of “Verfremdung” and of being powerless made many artists question the role of art in society. With reality changing, norms disappearing and God being dead – must not art then pass on other messages, and take on new appearances as well?

In Paris, Pablo Picasso created Cubism, and the Italian writer Marinetti published his Futurist Manifesto in the Paris newspaper Le Figaro. In Russia, different futurist groups discussed form end content fervently, and in Germany, Nietzsche’s demand to redefine all values became the point of departure for expressionism. And in Zürich (neutral during the First World War) a group of multiartists joined forces to create a new provoking, humorous, surrealistic and spontaneous art form – Dadaism. Dadaism spread to Berlin and Paris, and in 1918 the manifesto Der Dada was published.

This is our basis for writing a new kind of music, where the reading of poetry, sound fragments (both traditional and modern), as well as traditional and experimental vocal music meet and blend in new expressions.

Veslemøy Solberg

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