The Blood Road (work in progress)

In 2019 I developed the idea of making a music based film on the Blood Road in Nordland, Northern Norway.

The work is in progress, but had to be postponed from 2020 due to Covid-19. I will collaborate with Tanja Orning on composing the music, cinematographer Cecilie Semec and sound technician Cato Langnes. Current plans are shooting and recording spring 2022 and completion autumn 2022.

During WW2, the paramilitary Nazi German Organisation Todt organised construction of vital warfare infrastructure by prinsers of war and concentration camp prisoners. Hitler wanted a continuous rail and road connection especially through the vulnerable county of Nordland. The Blood Road was built by war captives, most of them from Soviet Russia and Yugoslavia, under the auspices of the German occupants. Many died. During the Cold War memorials and cemeteries were ill treated, neglected or removed by Norwegian authorities thorugh Operation Asphalt.

I will research, map and visit the remnants of the prison camps. Unfinished construction ruins, memorials, museums and other points of interest will form part of the material. We shoot film material and record soundscapes. We will drive along the road route, filming from the car, along abandoned, still in use and new sections, capturing the slow movement through the landscape. We will also fly above the road route and shoot aerial footage from a small aeroplane, able to get higher than drones, but lower than airlines, slowly capturing the route and surrounding topography.

The context of music is essential to our perception because the brain uses place and context to interpret any new impression of information. Our memories are closely connected to geographical location. This is fundamental when I work with immersive audiovisual projetcs. Time and space are important elements in order to construct new situations. Musically, three will be three basic elements. Electronic material such as drones or pulses with slow transformation over time, rather raw, saturated by low frequencies or noise is the first. Then soundscapes from habitat we record along the route from ruins of prison camps, graveyards, memorials and unfinished construction ruins – as filled with aural information on the state of that particular place, at that time, or as speaking silence. The third element is acoustical instrument material, layered and slightly electronically processed and blended with the other two. I find that aschetic durational music lets the details in sound and structure become prominent and establish a certain zone for perception.

The actual making of this work is in progress.

The project is economically supported by
– the Arts Council Norway
– the Audio and Visual Fund Norway (Fond for lyd og bilde)
– the Fritt Ord Foundation