At the summer solstice in June 2017, a-ha played the first two acoustic concerts in her career. There, they embarked on a journey into the past. For two weeks, the band rehearsed the acoustic arrangements of their new album “Summer Solstice”. Previously, producer Lars Horntveth worked on these arrangements for six months. In the Øygardshallen, a-ha played finally for respectively only 250 happy people.
a-ha presented some songs from their “MTV Unplugged – Summer Solstice” concert for journalists and fans at the Norwegian Embassy in Berlin on September 12. After the DVD screening, they answered questions from the crowd as well as the host of the event, the Norwegian bestseller author Jo Nesbø. Jos books has sold over 33 million copies in 50 languages around the world.
The beauty of the North Atlantic, the light of the midnight sun, and the exclusivity of the event is only half the story. But, the second narrative strand tells the story how a-ha ventured to new arrangementsand and the compositional essence of their songs.
MORTEN HARKET ABOUT LARS HORNTVETH
Morten Harket refers in this connection to the central role of arranger and producer of “Summer Solstice” Lars Horntveth: “He fertilized our music with new arrangements. Thereby, he touched even elements that we had declared as ‘untouchable’. Thanks to Lars, we came closer together as band. Much more than we were together for a very, very long time.”
17 NEW ARRANGEMENTS
Within the framework of the MTV-Unplugged concerts, a-ha played 17 of their completely new arranged songs. Moreover, a-ha performed two new songs. Additionally, they played two new cover versions. a-ha and their companion volume played only on acoustic vintage instruments.
THE GUEST SINGERS
Overall, four prominent guest singers performed duets with Morten Harket. With great gesture, Ian McCulloch, singer and head of Echo & The Bunnymen, was welcomed on the stage the first night.
On the second night, a-ha welcomed the Yazoo-singer Alison Moyet, Ingrid Helene Håvik from Highasakite, and the American singer Lissie.
As the first release of the new album “MTV Unplugged – Summer Solstice”, a-ha presents the single “This Is Our Home”. The video shows an excerpt from the concert evening.
MTV UNPLUGGED – SUMMER SOLSTICE“ OUT NOW!
MTV presents the TV premiere of the complete concert “MTV Unplugged – Summer Solstice” today. Furthermore, on other channels like Kabel 1 it runs at October 8.
From now on, MTV Unplugged – Summer Solstice is available as CD, DVD, Blu Ray, Vinyl as well as limited Fan-Box.
a-ha is on big tour in Germany, Austria and Switzerland from January 2018. Of course, tickets are available in advance.