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Arild Andersen: Electric Electra

Arild Andersen

When director Yannis Margaritis decided to stage Sophocles’ murder-and-revenge tragedy Electra, he wanted a 21st-century soundtrack for a play that was first staged around 420 B.C. So Margaritis turned to Norwegian bassist Arild Andersen, whose 1990 CD, Sagn (ECM), was a favorite.

Sitting in an Oslo bar waiting to hit the stage with guitarist Frode Alnas during the 2005 Oslo Jazz Festival, Andersen laughingly admits that he didn’t reread the whole play before writing the score. “I was at certain rehearsals and listened to the actors,” he says. “I felt their rhythm and the language–it was in ancient Greek. It’s a very strange language. But I love Brazilian music without understanding Portuguese, so it’s not a big difference.”

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