8 August 2017
Alta's Petter Carlsen-this year's Arctic Talent
Petter Carlsen from Alta in Finnmark has been awarded northern Norway’s largest music prize by Eni Norge, in partnership with the Varanger Festival.
“The 2017 winner has released what the jury believes is one of the best albums of the year by an artist from northern Norway. By getting to the roots of the feelings and emotions that make music what it is, and for the first time in his own language, Carlsen has really kicked up some sparks. And “Sparks” (“Gnist”) is also the title of his most recent album”, says Andreas Wulff, Director of Public Relations at Eni Norge.
“This year’s Arctic Talent is no novice”, says Robert Lundgren, Jury Chair, and Director of the Varanger Festival. “On the contrary, he’s an established musician, with many albums to his name”, he says. “His last album appealed to jury members on a gut level, as well as to our heads and hearts. It represents a watershed in Carlsen’s career. He has come home at last”, says Lundgren. “This is why we believe he has deserved this year’s prize”, he adds.
“With the Arctic Talent award we want to challenge traditional musical boundaries”, say Lundgren and Wulff, pointing out that the prize has previously been awarded to artists from a wide spectrum of genres. “It’s exciting to see that it embraces such a broad range of artistic genres”, they add. This year’s winner explores a tranquil, melancholic musical landscape, in marked contrast to last year’s talent, the opera singer Lilly Jørstad. Previous winners include the multi-talented artist Elle Marja Eira, firmly anchored in the Sami music tradition, and The Band Called Oh! – tripping the boundaries between soul, pop and R&B.
The prize is worth NOK 400,000 kroner and is the largest awarded in northern Norway. Its aim is to fund activities that contribute towards launching an artist’s career over a period of one year from its award. It was inaugurated in 2014 by Eni Norge in partnership with the Varanger Festival. The aim of Arctic Talent is to help talented and ambitious musicians from northern Norway to make a major commercial impact.
“We’ve developed a close and excellent working relationship with the Varanger Festival, which is a vital musical event in northern Norway”, says Wulff. “A lot of exciting things are happening on the music scene in the region, and our hope is that Arctic Talent will provide a launch pad for promising musicians. We also want to ensure that the award will contribute towards boosting cultural activities in northern Norway, and generate exciting experiences for the public”, he says.
The award criteria are linked to artistic quality and the jury’s assessment of the musicians’ potential to make a commercial breakthrough. There is no restriction on musical genre or style, but the winner must have links with the northern region.
The prize is handed over by Eni Norge on behalf of the Goliat licence, in which Statoil is a partner. The winner is selected by a jury made up of experts from a wide variety of genres. The Varanger Festival is responsible for keeping tabs on the prize winner. The jury is assembled by the Varanger Festival and its members must have their roots primarily in the northern music scene. They must be drawn from a wide range of musical genres and have networks and expertise in both the Norwegian and international music industry.
This year’s jury comprises:
Robert Lundgren, Director of the Varanger Festival
Einar Idsøe Eidsvåg, a consultant at Music Norway
Brynjar Rasmussen, a producer at the Jazz Centre of Northern Norway
Fredrik Forssman, Director of the northern Norwegian Rock Music Expert Centre.
Kirsti Lervoll, Former Director of the Riddu Festival.
Andreas Wulff, Director of Public Relations at Eni Norge AS