New PARMA Artist: Magnar Åm

We’re pleased to announce the addition of composer/performer Magnar Åm to the PARMA Family, with his upcoming project: the broken vessel.

MagnarOktober2008 017
Magnar Åm

Born in Trondheim 1952, Magnar is a full-time composer since 1974 and lives in Volda (Western Norway), where he every autumn also teaches “Intuitive composition/improvisation and music filosophy” at Volda University College.

Has written commissioned works for the large orchestras of the country, for choirs like Bergen Cathedral Choir and The Norwegian Soloists Choir, for chamber ensembles like the Oslo String Quartet and Grieg Trio, and for soloists like Geir Inge Lotsberg (violin), Arvid Engegård (Hardanger fiddle), Njål Vindenes (guitar), Jan Hovden (piano), Geir Draugsvoll (accordeon), Bjørn Ianke (double bass), Eirik Birkeland (bassoon), Øyvind Bjorå (violin), Willy Postma (harp), Jun Zhi Cui (Chinese harp), Nils Økland (Hardanger fiddle), Ellen Sejersted Bødtker (harps), Kåre Nordstoga (organ) and many others. Full work list can be seen at or at

Two other musicians, Andreas Barth and Geir Hjorthol, worked with Magnar to create this upcoming album of music, including the use of glass harp, grand piano, keyboard, trumpet, voice, and different percussion instruments, tools and materials left from industrial production in the abandoned factory in which they recorded.

From Geir:

“The title of this album is borrowed from an essay by Walter Benjamin (1892–1940): «The Task of the Translator», first published in 1929. In his text the German critic argues against the common view that there is an original and complete version of the literary work which is possible to translate into an other language without any flaws. To Benjamin the first version of the work is always already incomplete. It is «a broken vessel», with cracks and missing scars. But translation, although it is «impossible», has an important function: it is a renewed version, adding new pieces to the dream of a complete work, which, to be sure, will never be fulfilled. If we stretch Benjamin’s analogy a step further, we could say that art always arises from a wish to participate in the reconstruction of something which is broken, lost, but without any illusion that the last word can be said or the last note played. On the contrary: the loss, the incompleteness, is the point of departure of every new creation. The music on this album can be regarded as a broken vessel in this sense.”

“The recordings were done live during several sessions in October 2016 on a location not meant for music: an empty  factory building in Volda, Norway (The Propeller Hall), where the production had come to an end a few months earlier. We recorded in two different parts of the building, an empty melting hall on the second floor and a larger assembly hall on the first floor. This is reflected in the first and second half of the album, which are recorded in each of these locations. The rooms of the factory speak with their own voices, one of them dark, direct and dramatic, reminding us of the industrial
production in the past, the other more distant, soft and with a lush reverb of five seconds
’ decay. Accompanying the remarcable acoustics of the factory, we hear the distant sound of the traffic outside the building, filtered through the walls of the building and reminding us of the everyday in which we live. We were never in doubt that this had to be part of our music.”

Andreas og Geir
Andreas Barth, Geir Hjorthol

Andreas Barth – Born in Drammen, Norway, 5.11.1974. Lives in Eidsfoss, Norway. Freelance percussionist, sound composer and instrument maker at Farmorhuset (My Grandmother’s House): Workshop, sound studio and record label, established in 2003).

Finds and conveys sounds in different locations, also sounds that are not immediately perceived as music. Using acoustic and electronic instruments Andreas composes music from a diversity of elements, music that appeals to different senses.

Geir Hjorthol – Freelance musician, professor of Nordic literature at Volda University College.

Musical profile
Trumpet as main instrument, supplemented by voice and electronic treatment of sounds. Free improvisation on the basis of «non-musical» sounds, specific for different locations.  Cooperation with performers of other art forms, esp. literature.

Keep an ear out for more information and updates about this upcoming release!


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