Dream Journey in the Land of the Saga Kings


Etne is a town steeped in history. Back in the late 12th Century, Etne was the home of kings. King Magnus Erlingsson and his father Erling Askew (regent during Magnus’ childhood – he was crowned at five) grew up on Stødle farm and Erling himself built the church that still stands at Stødle. Here, on these historical grounds, the seventh Storytelling Festival (Forteljefestivalen) was held from the 30th of March to the 1st of April this year (2012). As far as I know, Etne is the only storytelling municipality in Norway – it’s been decreed that storytelling shall be the preferred form of artistic expression in public events and conferences.

Forteljefestivalen has mainly focused on local history, especially the era of Erling and his son from the middle of the 12th Century. The storyteller Tone Idun Bolstad has created three commissioned works about central figures during this time period – all of these have had their premiere during a festival; The Saga of Kristin, The King in Etne and Åsa the Bright. In 2009 I myself was asked to make a commissioned work about the Jerusalem voyage of Erling Askew, and since its premiere I have returned to Etne and played the performance The Game of Kings in Stødle Church several times. I’ve travelled there so many times now that I have received a very specific pin.

Now, in 2012, I returned. But this time it didn’t concern Erling Askew. I did a performance for middle school pupils at Enge and Skånevik School with the new performance Poste Mortante and in the evening of the 30th of March it was time for T&M – improvised concert performance with my musician in crime Morten Minothi Kristiansen.

We presented something that could be be best described as a dream journey through an inner life. To work with free improv is just as spooky as it is rewarding – some of the stongets images we wandered through this time was a labour horse carrying all the galaxies on its shoulders and a man with tunnel sight walking through a city where people die like flies around him, accompanied by tolling bells – but soon death becomes nothing but background noise.

Many thanks to Etne Forteljefestival for now!

Poste Mortante
The Game of Kings

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