Thank you all for your excellent questions about the Afterglow concert on May 3! Magne and Bjørn have sent us some very intriguing answers to share with you:

From Eliana Ramalho:

Can we expect that this experienced will become a part of next a-ha’s gigs?

Magne:

hard to say – this is meant as a way for us to work with exciting new technology in a performance situation, without losing the experience of a full a-ha concert live on stage. originally it was intended as a one-off performance, but if it is as amazing as we hope, i see no reason it cannot resurface in some other form later.

From Eliana Ramalho:

Can we expect holographies of Morten, Magne and Paul, “walking” among the audience?

Bjørn:

We are very careful with using the term ‘hologram’ but we are looking at ways of using projection that create the illusion of 3d space. That being said, we are leaning towards more abstract and artistic effects rather then trying to recreate realistic images of the band, seeing that they are already in the room in living flesh.

From Arjav Rawal:

Will there be a DVD available of the Afterglow concert or any of the concerts this tour?

Magne:

we are planning to record this performance in 360 VR technology and it seems a little pointless not make this material available later on, but in essence we start with the thinking that this is a unique moment to be present in – both for a-ha and the audience.

From Bernadette Glaude:

Will it be a “live music” act or a projection of videos/songs?

Magne:

of course this will be a full live show, pretty much like a normal concert, with a-ha + band on stage, but with a HUGE light installation that pretty much covers the entire arena, so that the audience is immersed in poetic scenography.

From Bernadette Glaude:

Can we really hope to have a great sound quality – without too much “bass”?

Magne:

haha…can there ever be enough bass? not if you ask even, i am sure!

we have a normal concert rig, so sound-wise it will not differ from normal shows.

From Bernadette Glaude:

Will the public have the opportunity to play an active part in the concert? (hope it’s not a karaoke 🙂 )

Magne:

there will be some motion sensor tracking going on, and we have discussed many interactive strategies, but i like to think that even on our normal shows the audience occasionally feel they play an active part. without them it would certainly not be the same for us!

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From Bernadette Glaude:

Will there be more songs from ‘Cast in Steel’? (after all, the concert of ‘Cast in Steel’ only includes 3 titles of the album… sadly)

Magne:

it would be my wish to do this, but as always opinions differ internally.

From Bernadette Glaude:

Can we use cameras/smartphones to film this experiment?

Magne:

as long as there is no flash, i think so – however, being there is the key.

i am personally more in favor of offering a truly immersive recording of this momentous occasion to be fitted to smartphone use, than people watching any show through their personal device, but that is just my humble opinion.

From Marianne Laflor:

Afterglow sounds like the kind of experience most fans would dream of. Have you considered taking some of the elements of it into the shows the weekend before? (I am sure you are aware of the fact that most international fans will have left Oslo before the 3rd of May.)

Magne:

i think this would really be worth staying around for, but knowing how pricey norway is i do not blame anyone for bailing out quickly.

From Marianne Laflor:

Will the music be different (maybe more instrumental?) or is it “just” the visuals that will differ from the other shows?

Magne:

it will be based on a normal show, but perhaps with some new elements.

the overall thinking is to highlight the poetic side of a-ha, but there will also be hits (of course).

From Marianne Laflor:

If the show becomes a success, will you consider doing more of the same?

a-ha.com:

We understand that it may be considered, but the guys think there is something nice about doing it only once, too. However most likely it will be one night only.

From Ellen Schmitt:

I want to ask if this is a real live concert show or some kind of video show with play back music. Please don’t laugh, I’m not the only one who’s wondering!

Magne:

real live concert – with a massive extra dimension.

From Lisa Glenwright:

Will the concert be filmed and released? Many fans would love to be there, but for the logistics aspect! It would be awesome to have something completely different to experience and add to our collections.

Magne:

yes, we are looking into ways of including people around the world – either streaming in 360 or as a recording.

From Lisa Glenwright:

Any thoughts of bringing this to the Royal Albert Hall? (and follow it with EOTS and Memorial Beach played in full the next night!!)

Magne:

hehe…we might steal this idea.

From Celine Feldis:

As I understood, there will be seemingly be a lot a special visual effects, especially in the crowd. But what about the performance of a-ha, I mean: will there be a special set list? Will the videos on the wall be different as in the rest of the tour? Will there be special versions of the songs you plan to play?

Magne:

the video content will not be the normal stuff we have used on this tour. everything will be tailor made for this one show.

From Celine Feldis:

And last but not least : do you plan to record this concert ? 😉

a-ha.com:

Yes, and in a very special way that has never been done before. We will let you know more about that next week.

From Matsumi Mt:

My question is, how long are you working together? Is it from the beginning, before or after you (Magne) started Apparatjik? when and how did you get the idea to create something completely new with a-ha?

Magne:

i actually have a collaboration going with void also with apparatjik for a show in bergen on the 3rd of june (during the bergen international festival) which is based on similar technology, but as apparatjik is much less accessible for a lot of people, doing something unique like this with a-ha seems a good way to give something really different to all our fans – instead of an afterparty we decided to do ‘afterglow’ as a present to our fans and as a way for us to engage with the future of live performance technology.

From Matsumi Mt:

I’m curious how Apparatjik (and Rudolph, my favorite!) was created… Did Magne had the ideas and Bjørn made them real, or you both (and other members from Apparatjik) use computers and create your performance together?

Magne:

the apparatjik performance in bergen is called ‘day of the dead’ and is actually a precursor to a new opera we are working on for 2018 or 2019.

void are artists in a special field, programming for the virtual space and using video-mapping and projection. we have had overall talks about what to achieve and ways of integrating important visual aspects for a-ha or apparatjik respectively.

From Gerlinde Korterink:

I’m just very curious what will be the best place to enjoy the experience: in front row, in the middle of the venue, or ???

Magne:

i think it will change this whole feeling of what spatial placing in a concert means to a certain degree.

to be honest it is pretty difficult to know beforehand which part of the room will be the ‘best’ to look from, but as we are also looking at making various angles available through a special app, it means you can choose were you want to ‘be’.

and as this is a standing crowd only, it also means you are free to move around physically – old school – to find your optimal vantage point.

Bjørn:

I think it very much depends on what kind of experience you are looking for. If you are interested in being immersed in the experience, somewhere in the middle would be ideal. From there you’ll be standing in the middle of the installation while getting a good view at what’s going on on stage and around the venue. I also think that, in contrast to a normal concert, standing all the way at the back will be a great experience as you’ll get an overview of everything that is going on in whole venue, while standing all the way in the front is probably the least interesting (unless your main concern is getting as close as possible to the band). All in all we’ll try to make the experience as great as possible from every vantage point though.

From Diane Mills:

Can the audience be included some way? Wear particular colour or bring props? We enjoyed using our mobile phones to light up the arena during the UK CIS tour. How can we be incorporated with the Afterglow experience as one?

Magne:

we are looking into crowd input as one of the factors – it depends on some practicalities, but we wish to create a sense of everybody belonging in the space together.

From Carlos Macia:

Other than your usual live band, will there be any additional musicians/pre-recorded music used?

Magne:

no

From Carlos Macia:

To Vøid: how does this process differ from previous work with Apparatjik?

Bjørn:

Well, our work on the Apparatjik show is an ongoing process parallel to our work with a-ha and lot of ideas and techniques are shared between the two projects, though the actual content will differ wildly. I think the main difference is that the Apparatjik show will be more of a pre-planned choreography where we try to tell a single story throughout the show. The a-ha show is more a case where we follow the band’s performance and try to strengthen the overall experience of seeing a-ha live. Also, we’ll try to make every song in the a-ha show a little story in itself rather then follow a single narrative throughout the show.

From Carlos Macia:

Can you tell us more about the light technology used in this event?

Bjørn:

Without revealing too much, I can say that a lot of the visual effects will be based on using a projection technique where we combine high output projectors with fog and fabrics to create virtual spaces and environments. All of the content will be created real time and a lot of it will be reactive to how the band performs, both physically and musically. This is achieved through a combination of midi/audio reactive elements as well as real time 3d-cameras on stage.

From Nicola Hunt:

Whose idea was the Afterglow event? Did Void propose it to a-ha or vice versa?

Magne:

we discussed doing something unique to celebrate what was originally the end of the tour.

we had seen some installations by void – like the one they made for kraftwerk in oslo – and took a meeting with them about it, since that time it started forming organically.

From Natalia Ribeiro:

There’s a possibility to synchronize the sound of keyboards with the images of the screen?

Magne:

yes there is, and it will be 🙂

From Anne Wattier:

For our major pleasure, this unique one-of-a-kind concert will offer to you to “marry” your two artistic passions in a show : musical one and visual one. We know how much the a-ha musical material can inspire visual creativity. Don’t you think that this visual experience could be also an opportunity to fulfill another wish of “rediscovering “ some not so much played songs of your repertoire?

Magne:

certainly, as long as we all agree on this.

From Tiffany Dahlgren:

What a-ha song are you most excited about performing in your collaboration with Void? What a-ha song will be/is the most “challenging” to perform?

Magne:

as we have never done this i can only tell you afterwards! 😉

From Claire Richardson:

Magne said ‘Afterglow’ is fusing the space between the band and the audience. Can Magne talk about this?

Magne:

we have bought approx 3000 m2 of fabric that will be made into one giant light installation, so basically the ‘stage’ is only one of many focal points – put another way, the stage area is extended to the entire hall.

Bjørn:

In this show we are flipping the room around so that most of the visual effects will be centered around the audience and not the band. A lot of these visuals will also react to what the band is doing both musically and physically so you can say that the band is simultaneously creating and experiencing the show as the concert evolves.

From Claire Richardson:

Will it be an all encompassing 360 experience?

Bjørn:

You can say that. We’ll try to use as much of the space available to create effects the immerses the audience in the experience.

From Claire Richardson:

Will the audience need to wear black tops to enhance the effect/experience?

Bjørn:

This won’t affect the show at all but it certainly won’t hurt either. Black is our favourite colour 😉 If I can have it my way, the whole band will be dressed in black as well. What do you say Magne?

From Claire Richardson:

Is it likely to make me feel sick? Moving images etc. (I know, don’t laugh 😉 )

Bjørn:

I can’t imagine it will unless you have some special condition. In that case, we would recommend caution anyhow.

From Martina Rammerstorfer:

How about shall I imagine the afterglow-show? What kind of light technique will be used, will there be also videos or some kind of audio changes to the normal a-ha concerts? I can only guess at the moment.

I imagine it’s not too easy to create a live-show with a great digital, audio, light, video or whatever show to support a-ha but both, the digital-show and a-ha should be in the attention. Is there maybe planned alternated attention or how is the show conceptualized?

Magne:

hey, if it was easy, everyone would be doing it – it will be a challenge, but hopefully worth it.

from an audience point of view you can choose: you want to look at the band as in a normal show – feel free, or if you want to take in the more theatrical and dramatic light-installation, so be it…but hopefully people will find this a total experience. think of it as watching us performing with an aurora borealis phenomenon happening at the same time.

Bjørn:

Yeah, both the band and the supporting experience is important and we are working on balancing the two to ensure the right tension and attention throughout the show. Some parts of the show will be subtle and focused on the band, while at other times you will feel the urge to look around at what’s going on, not just on stage but in the rest of the venue as well.

From Martina Rammerstorfer:

And what difficulties do you come, came or do you still expect to come across in creating and realizing the a-ha afterglow show related to the band, band members, Void and the technical realization? What works very well in creating and realizing the afterglow-show?

Magne:

to paraphrase terry gilliam (in the movie brazil): our complications have had some complications!

Bjørn:

Haha. I love that quote Magne! And honestly, there’s still a lot of hurdles to overcome both technically and creative. I think the most challenging part will actually be getting all the physical parts of the scenography up in time for the show as we are looking at suspending more than 3000 square meters of carefully placed projection-fabric in the venue in less then two days. Also, we are custom writing all the control software for this show which will generate all the content in real time in response to the music and the band’s movement on stage. Needless to say, this is quite a tedious task, but it’s also incredibly rewarding to see the show progress. Honestly, we can’t wait to show it to you!


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