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Albums by Live Maria Roggen

Live Maria Roggen

Lyricist, songwriter and jazz vocalist Live Maria Roggen arrives with her first solo album entitled Circuit Songs (Jazzland Recordings, 2007), consisting of nine songs written, produced and arranged by her with assistance from others. The pieces are based on texts written over the last years that had been gathering in a desk drawer, hidden away from public view, now revealed. Lyrics that are personal as well as intensely private, describing the process of breaking free, of feeling trapped, and of longing to go to some other place other than where you are.

Circuit Songs also features Live Maria’s intricate layering of her own harmonies. She describes this accompanying of herself as the first time her inner vision of textural harmonies has been fully realized, and the experience has been something of a break through for her. “For years I’ve had these ideas within me, and for the first time now I’ve been able to express these entirely in my own style and in my own particular way. It’s allowed me to finally break free”, she states.

Born in 1970 and raised in Norway, her early years were from a household steeped in music. She received violin lessons from the age of six, and played with a youth string orchestra. Piano lessons and symphony orchestras followed thereafter, continuing with voice lessons in her school years and even gaining experience with national television productions and talent contests.

In 1994, together with tuba player Lars Andreas Haug, she formed the duo Tu’ba. Known for its unusual and successful combination of voice and tuba, the duo expanded the boundaries of both performance and style to create an entirely new expression of standards. They released an album entitled TuBa (Curling Legs) in 1998. After a pause with this concept, she plans to start performing with Tu’ba again in 2007, and has recently contributed to a children’s recording under this name.

In 1999, she received the Norwegian Government’s Arts Stipend for newly establish composers. She also participated in the recording Newborn Thing by Wibutee (Jazzland), in which she wrote the lyrics and also co-wrote songs, and in the compilation CD Jazzland Sunday Session (Jazzland). Her work with Wibutee centered from 1997 to 2000, and she indeed considers Circuit Songs a type of progression from this concept.

In 1998 she formed the group she would find national praise with, both from critics and the public alike, in Come Shine. She recorded the album Come Shine (Curling Legs) in 2001, and quickly became a favorite of jazz journalists nationally. Two more albums, Do Do That Voodoo (Curling Legs, 2002) and In Concert (Curling Legs, 2003) further established her as a reputable jazz artist, and with a Spellemannprisen (Norwegian “Grammy”) for the jazz category for Do Do That Voodoo, she firmly solidified herself as an integral force on the Norwegian jazz scene. After years of intensive work, the group has decided to take a pause.

In 2001, she was invited to perform with Pat Metheney and the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra at the Molde International Jazz Festival. The concert proved so successful that a national tour followed in 2002, allowing Live Maria to perform many of the songs that had so influenced her own interest in jazz, by Metheney himself.

She also found time to work on other artist’s projects, contributing her unique vocalizations to Sverre Gjørvad’s Denne Lille Pytten Er Et Hav (Curling Legs) and the Dingobats Pöck (Bergland), both released in 2002.

In 2003 she received the Vital Prize from the Kongsberg Jazz Festival, as well as receiving the honor of the Radka Toneff Memorial Prize. It seemed tthat there was no stopping her accolades, and in 2004 she further received the Rolf Gammlengs Award and in 2005 a two-year Artist’s Stipend from the Norwegian Government.

Roggen also participates in the vocal ensemble Trondheim Voices, which focuses on improvisation and features her own compositions. She hopes to develop this concept more in the future, and feels that the group has a unique expression that can only grow in the coming years.

Today, Live Maria Roggen is recognized as one of Norway’s most respected jazz vocalists, lyricists, and songwriters. She teaches at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo as well as the Jazz Conservatory in Trondheim, and is the mother of a small boy. She performs her work with her live band, the aptly titled Liveband.

With Circuit Songs, Live Maria Roggen is allowed to truly break free, and bring the songs and harmonies locked away for so long into the public light. In her first solo album, she now establishes herself as a focused performer in the modern jazz arena, and shares with us this personal journey.