frontside artists

Maja S. K. Ratkje

Composer / Performance

At the first Frontside festival in 2019, the Norwegian composer and performance artist Maja S. K. Ratkje had the opportunity to showcase many of her extensive talents. At the heart of Maja’s music is her own voice, an open door to her personal musical expression and a constant tool for bringing her compositions in tune with natural expressions and human truths.


Maja brought her family to Gothenburg and performed folk music from Akershus together with her husband Frode Haltli (a well-renowned accordion player) and their two daughters Marte Ingeborg (then 9 years old) and Frida Helen (then 11 years old). Her husband also performed Maja’s composition “Passing Images” on his accordion.

A film and music piece “Tjaetsie/Water” created by Maja S. K. Ratkje together with filmmaker Sissel M Bergh in 2017 had a prominent place in a wandering concert inside the Röda Stens Konsthall. The film takes us underwater, to the inhabitants of Trondheimsfjorden and Frohavet, and to the surrounding residents. It is a visual and auditory poem – a collage of the here and now and the past. A plea to the mythical Gurrie Kunja, protector of Frohavet: – Birredh, birredh dallah! (Southern Sami dialect which can be translated to Come, come as fast as you can!)

At the festival, Ludwig van Beethoven’s well-known string quartet opus 59 no. 1 was dedicated its own concert on Sunday. Maja S. K. Ratkje refers to Beethoven’s quartet in her own string quartet “Tale of Lead and Light,” which was performed on Saturday by the Asasello Quartet, who also played Beethoven. She wrote the piece in 2011, in the midst of the dreadful time when Norway was hit by both the bombing in Oslo and the massacre on Utøya. Maja writes that the title in her work describes both hope and fear and that “Beethoven’s light shines through, strong and full of life!”


Participated in festivals

2019 M/S Transatlantic