Bollywood Beats and Big Band @ SPOT Festival 2016

Lars Møller’s Glow of Benares is a cultural crossroads manifested through artistic expression

The song Indian Train Ride starts off with a big band beat coupled with images of a train station projected onto the wall behind the band, and an Indian melody. Then, violinists bring in the “big sound” with their singing strings, guiding the audience through an incredibly upbeat start of the moving six-song performance titled Glow of Benares.

Glow of Benares is Part 1 of a collaborative musical project piloted by composer Lars Møller. The arrangement is performed by the Randers Chamber Orchestra, the Aarhus Jazz Orchestra and featured artists Abhijit Banerjee and Kala Ramnath.

Former artistic director of the Aarhus Jazz Orchestra, Møller is composer in residence for this project and conducted the performance of the original work Bollywood Beats and Big Band this past Thursday at the Aarhus Musikhuset as part of Day 1 SPOT Festival, an annual music festival in Aarhus that puts a “spotlight” on new bands and artists from Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia.

Filling the Musikhuset’s Rytmisk Sal with a medley of big band sound and notes from the Raga melodic mode of traditional South Asian music, the performance was both moving and spectacular.

Read the full editorial on the Jutland Station website.

Homeless in the “Happiest Country in the World”

How people fall through the cracks in the Danish welfare system.

Like other Nordic countries, Denmark is known globally for its comprehensive social services and a high ranking on the World Happiness Index. It may then come as a surprise that like other urban centres internationally, homelessness is an issue for Denmark’s big cities.

For example, if you are an unemployed citizen of Denmark, you are eligible to receive up to 90% of the income you made at your last job. Compare this to Canada, for example, where unemployment benefits start at 55% of your previous income with a cap at $49,500 CAD per year (approximately 250,500 DKK or 33,500 EUR). Despite this, homelessness remains an issue in larger cities like Copenhagen and Aarhus.

Read the full editorial on the Jutland Station website.