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Summer 2013 was Svein Sturla Hungnes’ last year of directing Henrik Ibsen’s Peer Gynt at Gålåvatnet, after 25 faithful years. This was celebrated by putting together an entirely new play, which was radically different from the traditional rendition of Peer Gynt which the Gålå audience has returned to witness year after year. We meet Peer as an ageing ex rock star, now a successful investor and businessman. He has returned to his hometown as the special guest of honour in a TV talk show, to chat about his life and his carreer. But suddenly we enter Peer’s mind and Peer’s dreams as he starts to hallucinate and meet people from his past, forced to confront bad memories…

Unlike the traditional Peer Gynt play at Gålåvatnet, which uses Edvard Grieg’s fantastic score, the more modern and “urbanized” Peer Gynt: Selvets Keiser needed a fresh, new approach. I created 6 different songs for the TV show based first act, and composed a new score which dominates the last four acts. Certain themes from 2012’s Peer Gynt: Utfor Stupet are revisited and developed further, like the Peer and Solveig theme. For certain crucial scenes, director Hungnes wanted “the ghost of Grieg” to resonate in the background. So there are a few notes of Grieg here and there, put in a new setting. Spot Grieg’s The Death of Aase 3-note main motif played by distant church bells, for instance. The same can be said for the (more obvious) “deconstructed” In the hall of the Mountain King cue.

A soundtrack album of PEER GYNT: SELVETS KEISER was released on Pling Kong Recordings in 2015. Click here to listen to the album on your favourite digital music service, or use the embedded Spotify player below.

Music by Eirik Myhr
Recorded May-July 2013

LEAD VOCALS: Dennis Storhøi (Old Peer Gynt), Hans Marius Hoff Mittet (Young Peer Gynt), Ingeborg Schübeler Gillebo (Solveig), Karoline Krüger (Anitra), Charlotte Frogner (The Lady in Green), Anders Krohn (Ben Dover), Eirik Myhr (Ben Dunder)
BACKING VOCALS: Ingunn Dalland, Marianne Pentha, Charlotte Bredesen
OTHER VOCALS: Anne Mari Eikenæs
VIOLIN: Hilde Kjøll
VIOLA: Gunnhild O. Nordahl, Hilde Nora Ringstad
HORN: Reinert Indrehus
ELECTRIC GUITAR (SOLO): Øyvind Vormeland Salte
PROGRAMMING, KEYBOARDS, DRUMS, ELECTRIC BASS, ELECTRIC GUITARS, ADDITIONAL INSTRUMENTS: Eirik Myhr

Photos by Bård Gundersen – www.peergynt.no

peer gyntClient: Peer Gynt AS
Director: Svein Sturla Hungnes