“All my work is about an attempt for dialogue; a dialogue between the cello and a site, a text, an image, a movement, a space. All my work as a composer and performer is concerned with this dialogue.”
Maja Bugge is a Norwegian cellist, composer and cello teacher based in Lancaster, UK. Since 1998 she has created a large body of work both as a solo artist and in collaboration with others for a number of organisations and companies that include Lancaster Institute of Contemporary Art (LICA), Oslo Moderne Teater, the National Theatre Oslo, Beaivvas Theater, NING, Katma Productions and Opera Omnia.
She has a particular interest in devising work with and for children and young people, and also teaches the cello to pupils of all ages and abilities. She has won several prizes and scholarships, including The Cultural Rucksack Norway’s best performance in 2010 for Usynlig. In 2016/17 she is a Jazz North ambassador as a solo performer.
“Maja conjures up a magical atmosphere with her deceptively simple material and the most intimate of expressive instruments: a lone ‘cello. Her music has the power to transform the space around her yet reflect and absorb it, and in doing so she creates an almost meditative-like state in the listener. We are transported into a world of undulating landscapes, distant echoes and slowly-evolving patterns by music which has the strange ability to convey – at the same time – the familiar and the unfamiliar.”
Steve Mead, Artistic Director, Manchester Jazz Festival
“Deeply moving yet experimental with an array of extended cello technique, meditative with a provocative stillness.”
Matt Robinson, Creative Director, Lancaster Jazz Festival
“Bugge’s score was interspersed with spoken text created in collaboration with nine of her cello students who also performed the piece alongside her. This was a mixed group in numerous respects, including age, with the youngest being around nine or ten years old and the oldest in their sixties. The depth of sound and the physical impact of the reverberations created by nine cellos being played together live, is in itself a rare and pleasurable experience but the way this piece portrayed the ‘voices’ of each player (musical and actual), now giving them each their own moment and space, now weaving them together, sometimes in harmony, sometimes as dissonance, was at once complex and intricate and joyful and touching.”
Professor Geraldine Harris, Lancaster University
Usynlig – “This production is a site specific interactive performance created with and for children. It is innovative and crosses artistic borders. Composer Maja Bugge and theatre maker Katrine Strøm uses the library and the literature in a new and unexpected way. They also explore digital tools with great creativity.”
Erlend Loe, Jury Leader, The Norwegian Arts Council, 2010
(Usynlig won first prize for best production).
“Beautiful, meditative music”
Bergens Tidende, Norway