Mads Lumholt

The Greenlandic work, Shaman, which was performed at the Etoiles Polaires Arctic Culture Festival 2004-05, is based on an old legend from Thule and is performed on stage by an international ensemble under the direction of the composer, Mads Lumholt.

The hour-long work breaks new ground in many ways in Greenlandic cultural circles. Not only the scale but also the stylistic combination are unusual for a Greenlandic musical work.

The starting point for the work is the old Greenlandic culture and its musical traditions, which are couched in a cultural expression of modern times, musically as well as technologically. Thus the work includes not only pop, rock, improvisation and electronics, but also visual media and effects.

In this way Lumholt is seeking to allow the traditional Greenlandic culture to be communicated through contemporary cultural language in such a way that respect for the original culture is preserved on the one hand yet passed on to a broader, contemporary audience on the other hand.

The composer, Mads Lumholt, has a foot in each culture and age. He was born in Greenland but has lived in Denmark since 1984 where he has worked as a musician, teacher, choir leader and actor for many years.

Amongst other things he has been part of the inter-Nordic orchestra Northern Voices, and at the moment is a singer in the orchestra Nowhereland and in the vocal group No Offence.

At the same time Lumholt grew up with traditional Greenlandic musical culture, especially the work of drum singers and dancers, which his mother collected from old Greenlanders. He drew on this background when he participated in the 2002 production of the opening song for the Arctic Winter Games.

Shaman, is a Greenlandic/Belgian/Icelandic co-production, which has since been performed in Reykjavik, Ghent and Nuuk, amongst others.