Sunday, December 6, 2009

Kim Hiorthoy - Hip Iconoclast

Internationally respected graphic artist, filmmaker and electronic musician, Kim Hiorthoy, is producing some amazing music with captivating accompanying visuals. Born in Trondheim, Norway, he studied at this city's Academy of Fine Arts before continuing on at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen and School of Visual Arts in New York. See the graphic to his "My Last Day" LP to the left.

Even with this impressive training, he insists he's an amateur. In a 2004 interview, he elaborated, "I definitely believe in working with an attitude of knowing as little as possible about what you are about to do in order to not be constrained by efforts to 'prove' anything and also to be as open as possible to whatever it is you are about to do. To approach things without the limitations of professionalism." Check out "Alt MÃ¥ste Bli Anorlunda" below.

It is this free attitude that makes his creations so damn good. I'm really grooving on his music at the moment. He's made an astonishing 17 LPs (most are not full length), so there's lots of music to choose from. I'm particularly fond of "Goodbye to Song," with its scratchy background and abrupt stops that nonetheless doesn't disrupt the amazing beats. "This Record Can Not Set," not only has a wonderful toe tapping sound, it also has this amusing manipulated addition mimicking what I perceive as vocals. The cleverly titled, "I thought We Could Eat Friends," is a full on fun dance song that I dare anyone to sit still for.

He brings much of his skills together in his live performances where music and visuals collide. See below.

This multi-talented musician and artist impresses me greatly and I hope you'll give him a try. Check out some of his music on myspace and amazon.

1 comment:

Mochi Mochi said...

MonkeyLounge so cool! Kim Hiorthoy is an amazing artist and musician too long out of the limelight. Thank you so much for focusing attention on this incredibly rich talent.

I saw Kim Hiorthoy open for Mum (another interesting scandinavian band) in 2005 at concert at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Back then there were probably a hundred people who knew about him in the US. He was not the headliner and there were only a few hundred people who got to see him play. The beginning of his performance was so understated. This guy (Kim) walked out onto stage wearing a tee-shirt and jeans. He walked up to a very ordinary lecture podium and opened a Mac laptop. He dropped his head and his shaggy hair fell down over his face, and then the music started. It was amazing. His body barely moved. The shaggy hair flipped about a little as his hands whirred over the laptop keyboard and controls. The music was staggeringly amazing. Tapeloops, fragments of recordings, samples in a really different sort of way. scratches, and electronic tones. Layers and layers of sound. So positive, uplifting, and dancey in a really different sort of way.

Rather than putting himself in front of the audience he put his music there, and stayed fixed behind the wooden lecture podium. When he was done, he gave a nod to acknowledge the audience and shyly left the stage.

I really appreciate the humble nature of this gifted artist. So refreshing and his vision is fresh and delightfully original.

Thanks for a great article! I learned more about Kim from this - so great to know there's so much more music to listen to than the few cd's I have.