Norwegian piano composer and performer Håkon Skogstad is making music his way. Classically trained and currently pursuing a PhD in classical performance, he is using Argentinean influences to create beautiful musical fusion and his own sound. This is fully realised on ‘Visions of Tango’, an 11-track masterpiece featuring Håkon on piano with the critically acclaimed Norwegian string orchestra The Trondheim Soloists and former principal violinist of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra Atle Sponberg. It even includes a four movement journey into the ‘Histoire Du Tango’ – arranged for violin and piano, influenced by Skogstad’s unique playing style.
“In a classical pianist world of extreme competition and a supernatural high talent, I have found my own direction – a direction where I can use my diverse and unusual background – a direction where I can (hopefully) make a living out of playing and composing my own music – solo, as a soloist or in my own groups. I make riff-driven classical music rooted in the rhythms, articulation and timing of the Argentine tango.”
As part of a strong musical lineage it was no surprise Håkon chose his current profession. However his style was altered forever upon joining an Argentine-tango ensemble called “Tangueros Del Norte” at the age of 16. Now an experienced performer and gifted composer, he sites one of his main influences as the great Astor Piazzolla, who’s 100th anniversary is this year, and who originally composed the ‘Histoire Du Tango’ before Håkon arranged it. The opening piece though, ‘Concerto for Piano and String Orchestra’, is completely the latter’s own composition, showing the many sides to this gifted musician.
Finding that “my classical technique combined with improvisational skills was useful” in playing Tango music, it’s style is Classical with an edge. Merging the sounds of Argentina with a refined European pallet, Håkon’s music has “the emotions of Classical music, the timing of Jazz and the attitude of rock”. Highly appealing to fans of any genre though, there is something for everyone that can be found in ‘Visions of Tango’, and it is set to be a great success.