1994 - white nights

Morten and Håvard Rem start working together in Kuredu on the Maldives.

January 1994      

Advert for Paralympics, Aker Brygge - Photo from Topp 1       The restaurant "Figaro" is sold and a Japanese restaurant takes its place.

a-ha do a photo session in connection with the song for the Paralympics at Akerbrygge in Oslo.

12       a-ha go into a studio near Oslo to record the official Paralympics song, "Shapes That Go Together". This song was written as one of the entrants to the competition for the official Olympic song, but wasn't chosen by LOOC. The LPOC (Lillehammer Paralympic Organisation Committee) took the remaining songs and chose a-ha's for their Paralympics songs.
Production starts on the compilation album "Norske hits 80-89". The person in Sony Music responsible for this album (Stig Hammer) wanted a-ha's "Take On Me" to be part of the compilation, but a-ha say no.
13       The press report about a-ha's forthcoming tours of Norway and South Africa in March. Rimi concert - Photo from Dagbladet
15       At the Oslo Plaza hotel, there is a party for the Norwegian supermarket chain "Rimi". a-ha perform an hour long set at the party which RIMI has to pay 1 million NOK for.
22       The UK night time TV show "The New Music" shows clips from "Rock In Rio II" including a short interview with a-ha and a clip of "Take On Me".

February 1994      

5       The exhibition "Crossover" opens at the Sentrum Scene in Oslo, it features work by musicians who also paint: Magne Furuholmen, Silje, Morten Abel, Arild Nyquist, Andrej Nebb, Lillebjørn Nilsen, Eldar Vågan and Michael Krohn. The exhibition opens with a concert where some of the exhibiting artists take part (Dagbladet and VG report on this the next day.)

A video featuring 12 Norwegian artists who are involved in the programme surrounding the Olympic games (a-ha, Trine Rein, Jan Eggum, Sissel Kyrkjebø) in Lillehammer is produced and is sent out to TV stations all over the world. The video is also shown on the big screens during the sport games.

12       a-ha play three concerts in Norway, which are in connection with the Olympic nights and organised to entertain the sport fans during the Olympic games. Two concerts take place in the giant tent "Stampesleita" in Lillehammer and the other at Rockefeller, which is one of the co-organisers of the "Olympic nights" in Oslo. The shows last for around two hours and include the additional songs "Cry Wolf", "Manhattan Skyline", a medley of "Cold As Stone" and "Sycamore Leaves", "Touchy!", "Crying In The Rain" and "The Living Daylights". After the soundcheck for the first show in Lillehammer, a-ha go to the ZDF (German TV channel) "Olympiastudio" to perform "Shapes That Go Together" (broadcast 18 February). The evening concert at Stampesleita, Lillehammer, Norway is attended by the Norwegian Crown Prince Haakon, Princess Märtha Louise, the Spanish Prince Felipe and Princess Elena plus many sport stars. Morten is interviewed by "Aftenposten" backstage before the concert.
13       Stampesleita, Lillehammer, Norway. Rockefeller concert - Photo from Puls
14       Rockefeller, Oslo, Norway; the song "Seemingly Nonstop July" is included in this set.
The organisation "Rett til liv" ("Right to live") presents its appeal for a change of the Constitution, in order to protect foetus from foetus diagnosis and from gene technology. Some famous opponents of abortion sign this appeal, amongst them Morten.
15       The church concert "Gi stemme til de stemmeløse" ("Voice of the voiceless") with Morten Harket, Sigvart Dagsland, Ole Edvard Antonsen and Karoline Kruger takes place at Vangekirke, Hamar, Norway in front of an audience of 900 people. The theme is international communication and comprehension of foreign cultures and is part of a campaign of the organisation "World View". The LOOC (Lillehammer Olympic Organization Committee) was the initiative behind these concerts. It's not only a concert, but a multimedia show with songs, interviews, projections and comments. The two hour long concert begins with Karoline Kruger walking down the middle aisle in the church, picking the other solists out of the audience. These artists then sing some individual material; Morten performs songs from "Poetenes Evangelium" ("Engelen", "Fra Templet" and "Elisabet Synger Ved Johannes Døperens Død"). Some famous musicians play the instruments: Paolo Vinaccia on percussions, Arild Andersen on bass, Iver Kleive and Kjetil Bjerkestrand on keyboards and Børge Øverleir on guitar. The last song, "Den 4. verden", is sung by all of them together, joined also by Yuphin from Thailand and exil-state minister Seim Win of Bhurma. The profit from the two church concerts goes to "World View".
16       Another "Gi stemme til de stemmeløse" ("Voice of the voiceless") concert takes place at Lillehammer Kirke, Lillehammer, Norway; Morten performs "Elisabet Synger Ved Johannes Døperens Død", "Fra Templet" and "Engelen".

Shapes That Go Together video strip

The video to the forthcoming single "Shapes That Go Together", is filmed by Barry Maguire.

18       "Shapes That Go Together" is released in Germany, it enters the German charts, but falls down again quickly.
The German TV channel "ZDF" broadcasts a performance of "Shapes That Go Together" at the Olympiastudio (recorded 12 February).

An interview with Morten in the snow in Lillehammer plus live clips from Lillehammer and Oslo is broadcast on Programm 4, Switzerland (Switzerland Sportstudio Lillehammer 1994).

23       Early in the morning, a-ha arrive in Johannesburg, South Africa; Morten flies in from Sri Lanka where he has been on holiday, while Magne and Pål arrive from Norway. a-ha are interviewed on South African "Radio 5", for the TV show "Top Billings" and Magne is interviewed for the TV show "ZapMag".
24       In Johannesburg, a-ha are interviewed on the South African TV show "Good Morning South Africa". Afterwards, they fly to Kapstadt where they go to a TV show straight from the airport. The crew and the rest of the band, Per Hillestad, Sigurd Køhn and Øyvind Madsen (who is replacing Jørun Bøgeberg on bass for the South African shows) arrive in Cape Town, South Africa. a-ha planned to do a small signing session in a record shop in Cavendish Square but don't make it in the end. They are interviewed for the Radio stations "Radio Good Hope" and "KFM".
25       The first concert of the South African tour is at the Good Hope Centre, Cape Town. The support group on this tour is African band "Cinema".
26       a-ha are interviewed on the TV programme "Ngomgqibloika". Kallie Human Saal, Bloemfontein, South Africa; at this show "Bad Boys Blue" support in addition to "Cinema". a-ha's set includes "Take On Me".
27       a-ha go on safari in the Bongani Game Park for two days. The TV programme "Top Billing" goes with them and do some filming which is shown in a later show.
28       Saambou Arena, Pretoria, South Africa; again "Bad Boys Blue" are an extra support band and "Take On Me" is included in a-ha's set.

During his stay in South Africa, Morten finds time to write some songs for his forthcoming solo album.      
March 1994      

The March issue of the Norwegian magazine "Tique" features a title story on Camilla and also shows pictures of their children.

1       Standard Bank Arena, Johannesburg, South Africa; this show was recorded by the Radio Station "5FM".
2       a-ha are interviewed on the South African show "Grab".
Standard Bank Arena, Johannesburg, South Africa; this show is filmed for South African "TV1".
3       a-ha and band go to Durban.
4       Village Green, Durban, South Africa; there is no support band at this show and saxophonist Sigurd Køhn cannot be there as he has to return to Norway. Norwegian TV channel "NRK" broadcasts the first of two programmes in which it presents the nominations for the Spellemann 93 awards.
5       a-ha return to London via Johannesburg.

Opening ceremony of Paralympics

10       The German music station "Viva" shows a world premiere of the video for "Shapes That Go Together". In Lillehammer, Norway, the opening Ceremony of the Paralympics (10th - 20th March) takes place at Håkons Hall. a-ha perform a live version of the official Paralympics song, "Shapes That Go Together". The show is broadcast live on NRK. a-ha are interviewed before the opening ceremony for the UK childrens' TV Show "The O-Zone" (broadcast 20 March).

a-ha on the O-Zone

11       NRK broadcasts the second of the two programmes in which it presents the nominated artists for the Spellemann 93 awards.
12       "The Chart Show" shows the video for "Shapes That Go Together". This year's Spellemannspris takes place at the Maihaugsalen in Lillehammer. a-ha are nominated in the pop category for "Memorial Beach" (together with Pogo Pops and The Rambelins). The winners are the Pogo Pops. During the show, a-ha perform "Shapes That Go Together" live. Sigurd Køhn with his band "The real thing" are nominated and perform at the award show. Queen Sonja is present for the second time (first time was in 1985.) The show is broadcast live on NRK.

a-ha perform "Shapes That Go Together" on another occasion during the Paralympics (sound check?). This performance is shown with the best moments of the Paralympics later on NRK.

Shapes That Go Together 14       "Shapes That Go Together" is released in the UK; it is produced by Chris Neil and arranged by Kjetil Bjerkestrand.
15       In Norway, a-ha do some further 2 hour shows, starting at Olavshallen, Trondheim, Norway. Originally a-ha want to play some small showcases for press, media and folk in the music industry, but suddenly a Norwegian tour is set up, with very expensive ticket prices. At this show a group of fans get up on stage and sing "Stay On These Roads" with a-ha.
17       At the Sentrum Scene, Oslo, Norway, "Jacob's Room" support and "Shapes That Go Together" is included in the set. This show is broadcast on Norwegian Radio in 3 parts.
19       The Norwegian newspaper, "Dagbladet", features a long cover story on Morten.
20       The tour of Norway continues at the Konserthus, Stavanger, Norway; "Shapes That Go Together" is brought into the set list. The interview with a-ha in Lillehammer is broadcast on the UK TV show "The O-Zone". "Shapes That Go Together" enters the UK charts at its highest position of number 27; it stays for 3 weeks in the UK Top 75.
21       The video for "Shapes That Go Together" is shown on "MTV Hit List".
22       Grieghallen, Bergen, Norway; this show includes the song "Locust". After this concert, a-ha talk to some radio journalists.
24       Ibsenhuset, Skien, Norway; "Seemingly Nonstop July" is included in the set.
25       Magne is interviewed on Irish "Radio 2"; following this, a-ha perform "Shapes That Go Together" at "The Irish Music Awards" in Dublin, Ireland.
26       "The Chart Show" again shows the video for "Shapes That Go Together".
a-ha fly from London to Andenes on Andøya (in the district Nordland) where they play a concert at the Rock mot Rus ("Rock against Drugs") festival. All a-ha's equipment has to be flown, at cost, to the festival, but they perform there for free and even had to cancel a TV appearance in London to go there. Due to their flight from London being delayed, a-ha miss their connection to Bodø and instead go to Trondheim, where the military picks them up and takes them to Andenes on their "TwinOtter" (takes 3 hours). a-ha arrive four hours late, but still perform at the Idrettshall for the final day of the three day festival. "Shapes That Go Together" is included in the set list.

Anne Grete Preus - Millimeter a-ha perform "Between Your Mama And Yourself", "Shapes That Go Together" and "Dark Is The Night" live for the Norwegian TV show "U-Musikk".

a-ha perform "Shapes That Go Together" for a Norwegian TV show (Claus Wiese is the host).

The Norwegian singer Anne Grete Preus releases an album, called "Millimeter". Morten sings backing vocals on the title song and Jørun Bøgeberg contributes to some of the songs.

April 1994      

Shapes That Go Together

10       "Shapes That Go Together" is released in Japan on 3" CD.
13       The Norwegian TV channel "NRK" broadcasts the video "Live in Southamerica" (22:40).
21       Morten is invited on the German TV show "Gottschalk" and travels to Munich for the show. Backstage, he decides not to participate.

May 1994      

5       The electric car, which a-ha donated to Bellona back in 1989(?), is confiscated as Bellona continued not to pay parking and toll fees (as Morten and Frederic Hauge did in protest before). As the fines are so high, the car is put on auction.

June 1994      

Time Will Pronounce - MTV

1       Morten is interviewed on "MTV News at night" and "Coca Cola Report" about his contribution to "MTV Vote Europe Weekend". He has, exclusively for "MTV", recorded a song called "Time Will Pronounce", based on the poem by Joseph Brodsky. Morten is shown singing "Time Will Pronounce" (later "Brodsky Tune") on "MTV Europe Vote Europe".
4       The performance of "Time Will Pronounce" is shown during MTV's "Vote Europe Weekend".
5       The compulsary auction of Bellona's electric car takes place in Oslo. The winner of the auction (20,500 NOK), Tor Larsen, donates the car back to Bellona. Morten is present during the auction.
9       The traffic and environment committee starts negotiations for a ten year traffic plan for Oslo. One of the topics is that electric cars should be allowed to park and pass the toll boarder free of charge. Diva - The Sun Always Shines On TV Norwegian CD Single
13       The duo "Diva" (Helene Sommer and Elene Nyborg) from Drammen release their cover version of a-ha's "The Sun Always Shines On TV" in Norway. The video is filmed by Lauren Waaktaar-Savoy and gets banned by NRK as it's "too sexy".
14       In the Norwegian newspaper "VG", there is an article on the Norwegian Musicians who are standing up for Norway's European Union Membership; Morten is among those involved.
18       a-ha and band fly from London (after doing some last rehearsals) to Russia, where they take part in the "White Nights Festival" (16-20 June). Other bands taking part in the festival include Run DMC, Falco, Mr Big and Whitesnake.
White Nights Festival 19       In the afternoon, there is a press conference in the Oktyabrsky Concert Hall, followed by a short soundcheck in the same Hall. In the evening a-ha headline the pop bands night of the White Nights Festival at the Oktyabrsky Concert Hall, St. Petersburg, Russia. This event is organised to raise money for an AIDS campaign and also to reopen St. Petersburg as a culture centre. After the support band "Venue", a-ha come on stage to a sold out hall and perform for approximately an hour. At the zoo - Photo from Dagbladet
24       In Kristiansand, Morten, together with Camilla and Tomine, are present at the opening of a rainforest (1300m2) in the Zoo. Morten is the first to sign the guest book.

July 1994      

24       The UK TV show "The Hollywood report" shows a tiny (1 second!) clip of a-ha at the "White Nights Festival" in Russia.

August 1994      

Magne and Kjetil - Ti kniver i hjertet promotion - Photo from Dagbladet

4       Magne and Kjetil Bjerkestrand are interviewed by Norwegian press at Warner's office in Oslo about the film music they have written for "Ti kniver i hjertet" ("Ten Knives In The Heart"). When asked about a-ha, Magne says they still have a lot to give and they have already started working on the new album. Magne also talks about the scenography and music he is writing for a ballet.
5       Marius Holst's film "Ti kniver i hjertet" has its premiere at the Sagakino in Oslo which is attended by Magne, Marius Holst and also by Pål and Lauren. Early on in the filming, Magne and Marius Holst at Premiere of Ti kniver i hjertet Marius Holst made contact with Magne and asked him to write the music for the whole film. Magne and Kjetil Bjerkestrand worked together as "Timbersound" on creating atmospherical songs to fit the film. The soundtrack album has 21 tracks which are mostly instrumental. Artists appearing on the album include Anna Lena Lofgren and the late opera tenor Jussi Bjørling.
"Dagbladet" features a cover story on the collaboration between Magne, Kjetil Bjerkestrand and Marius Holst.
12       Diva's video "The Sun Always Shines On TV" is shown on the UK TV programme "Passengers".
13       Kjetil Harket gets married to Margrethe Høydalsvik and Morten sings "Morning Has Broken" at his wedding. Kjetil Harket marries Margrethe Hoydalsvik - Photo from VG
23       An interview with Morten is shown on Italian TV show "Radio Carolina".
27       At the Maritim Hall in Haugesund, the "Amandashow" takes place and opens the Haugesund film festival. Magne and Kjetil Bjerkestrand as "Timbersound" perform the song "Ti kniver i hjertet" live. Magne plays guitar and they are accompanied by six musicians. Other artists performing at the show include "The September When", "Horns for Hire" and "Vamp". NRK broadcasts the show live.

At the Oslo Spektrum, "Ti kniver i hjertet" is played live.

In the autumn, Magne begins his civil service at the Henie Onstad Senter.

September 1994      

9       The Norwegian newspaper "Bergens Tidende" features an interview with "Chocolate Overdose" drummer Frode Unneland. He was called by Pål Waaktaar after the second "Chocolate Overdose" album as Pål liked the drums and asked Frode to be a-ha's new drummer. Frode then made several trips to Oslo to record some demo songs with a-ha in the studio.
16-16 October       The exhibition "Kunst for frihet" ("art for freedom") opens at the Henie Onstad Senter in Oslo and runs until 16 October. It features one print by each of the 17 Norwegian artists. Magne's picture shows "holes" which are actually the real imprints of bullets shot in wood by himself. There are 250 limited edition folders produced which feature the prints. The profit from the sale of these folders goes to help the Bhurmanese Aye Chan Naing who is involved in the campaign "Free Bhurma", supported also by World View. Last winter, a Norwegian delegation of artists and musicians visited Bhurma and did a concert there, amongst them Morten Harket. The artist Bård Breivik had the idea of supporting Bhurma by organising an art project and has help from Jacob Weidemann, Ørnulf Opdahl, Håkon Bleken, Inger Sitter, Jens Johannessen, Kjell Pahr-Iversen, Olav Christopher Jenssen, Marianne Hekse, Kjell Nupen, Kjell Erik Killi Olsen, Johanne Marie Hansen-Krone, Arvid Pettersen, Thomas Hestvold, Anne Katrine Dolven, Per Kleiva and Magne Furuholmen. Also, the writer Thorvald Steen wrote a special text supplement for the folder.
17-9 October       The exhibition "Norske Bilder 1994" presents 260 works by 64 artists at a small gallery in Kvarteret, Oslo (organised by Galleri Brandstrup in Moss). This is the seventh year of the exhibition which usually shows work by traditional and well established artists. This year, there are twelve new artists including Magne who has five of his woodcuts on show woodcuts under the theme "Absurde landscapes" ("Privat Arkeologi" (110 x 80, available for kr 4,000), "Festet til minnet" (110 x 80, available for kr 4,000), "Tilnærmelse, grønn" (available for kr 2,200), "Tilnærmelse, rød" (available for kr 2,200) and "Tilnærmelse, blygrå" (available for kr 2,200)).
22       The exhibition "Kunst for frihet" opens also at Galleri Opdahl in Stavanger, it is shown there for one weekend in connection with the united writers' organisation's symposium about freedom of speech.
23       "Dagbladet" features a long report about Morten in the Maledives.
23?       Magne meets some "Aftenposten" journalists at the restaurant at Henie Onstad Senter for a long interview.
24       The Norwegian newspaper "Aftenposten" features a long portrait on artist Magne Furuholmen. He reveals that originally he thought of exhibiting under an "alias" name.

October 1994      

The book "Fra uhu til a-ha" by Eivind Tjønneland is released at Huitfeldt Forlag in Norway. It contains ten essays, one of which is about how well the story of the video for "Take On Me" fits into the intellectual history of Europe.

21       Magne is interviewed by Ole Paus on the Norwegian Talk Show "Hjemme Hos Paus". Støt - Photo from Dagbladet
27       In the Norwegian newspaper "Dagbladet", there is article on the dance piece "Støt" which Magne, along with Anderz Doving, has been working on.
28       The premiere of the family show "Dance Energy" by Andanse Teatret takes place at the Sandvika Theatre near Oslo. This show is directed by Anderz Døvings and consists of seven ballets, some of them new, to music from Edvard Grieg to Magne Furuholmen. Magne was scenograph and composer of his 15 minute long contribution "Støt", while Anderz Døving was responsible for the choreography of five female dancers.

November 1994      

5-6       The video for "Take On Me" is at number 12 in "MTV's" Top 100.
9       An EU-concert is held in Oslo, Morten had planned to take part, but doesn't in the end.
13       The big "Yes" or "No" to EU final campaign starts in Norway. Morten is shown in a commercial film for "YES to EU" which is shown before movies at Norwegian cinemas. Norwegian knitwear book
16       The family show "Dance Energy" by Andanse Teatret with Magne's contribution "Støt" is shown for the first time at the Black Box Theatre in Oslo.
20       The Italian TV show "Telelombardia TV" shows an interview with Magne about his album.

December 1994      

7       The Norwegian press again reports about a-ha releasing their next album soon.
11       During the Nobel Peace Prize concert, host Erik Bye hands an artfolder to each of the three nobel peace prize winners Yasser Arafat, Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres. The artfolder is the one made by World View with the 17 Norwegian artists who contributed their works: Jakob Weidemann, Inger Sitter, Håkon Bleken, Magne and others; and is now called "Kunst for fred".
17       "VG" features a longer article about Magne.

Morten models in a Norwegian sweater and skirt for the Norwegian knitwear book "En rett og en...".

a-ha record some new demos, although Paul is the main person who works on the next album. After half a year of working on the new album, Paul hears that Morten is going to release a solo album and that Terry Slater is now Morten's personal managaer. Warner has offered Morten a contract for his solo album as it was thought that he could sell more records than a-ha at this point.

1994/1995 Magne is given some decorating jobs for the Gimle Kulturhus in Moss and for the Worldview International Foundation.

Continue the story: 1995