Fredrik Saroea teams up with string ensemble BIT20


UNE 10, 2022 (NORWAY) – "The entire album is somewhat inspired by that scene in [iconic 1986 John Hughes film] Ferris Bueller's Day Off," says Fredrik Saroea about the compelling force that led him to create his new album Rona Diaries: The Chamber Versions Live at The Grieg Hall, Bergen out today via YAP Records. A unique collaboration with acclaimed Norwegian chamber quartet BIT20 Ensemble that weaves his indie rock sensibilities seamlessly into a lush and orchestral tapestry, his new album envelopes itself in the carpe diem message of the seminal teen comedy. "After Ferris tells his cynical best friend Cameron to 'stop and look around once in a while,' Cameron 'drowns' himself in the painting A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat in a museum visit as a Dream Academy's instrumental version of The Smiths' 'Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want' plays in the background," he continues, referencing the lyrics that borrow heavily from the classic Smiths tune.

Fredrik Saroea with BIT20 Ensemble @ Bergen International Festival. Photo: Thor Brødreskift

Best known as the frontman of the critically acclaimed Norwegian global disco punk outfit DATAROCK, Saroea describes the live album as “sad songs served on a bed of orchestrated beauty. It was arranged by Bjørn Morten Christophersen for the amazing BIT20 Ensemble, our acclaimed, national contemporary art music orchestra extraordinaire and represented here by four musicians from all around the world performing on 300-year-old instruments. They magically create lines between my humble songwriting and the timeless etheric nature of skillful execution of the art and passed-down tradition of intricate arrangements and entirely live interplay without any kind of metric backing tracks or conductor.”

As COVID-19 shut down live music in 2020, Saroea started recording solo material that became his first solo album Rona Diaries at YAP Records’ studio in Bergen, Norway with the help of DATAROCK drummer Øyvind Solheim engineering, mixing and co-producing. The 12 songs were then mastered by UK’s GRAMMY®-nominated Mike Marsh (Björk, Massive Attack, Basement Jaxx, Depeche Mode) and released May 28, 2021.

Rona Diaries: The Chamber Versions Live At The Grieg Hall, Bergen released today, June 10, 2022 was mixed in Los Angeles by the two-time GRAMMY® winner Mark Rankin (Harry Styles, Adele, Weezer, Florence + the Machine) and mastered by Mike Marsh (Björk, Depeche Mode, Oasis) in the UK. The album artwork was created by renowned artist Magnus Voll Mathiassen who worked on Rihanna’s Unapologetic and 2021’s Oscars.

Rona Diaries: The Chamber Versions Live at The Grieg Hall, Bergen 



Musician, concert photographer, writer, podcast host and founder of The Hot Mic Music Magazine.

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