According to an ancient African legend, the Gnu is the the result of various cross breedings. Even the extremely rare Gnu Italicus is the fruit of a curious mix of many colourful experiences: it comes as a stage animal with the body of a classical musician, the brain of a jazzman and rockers’ paws.
The GnuQuartet was born under the star of the PFM, legendary Italian prog band, at the Milan National Theatre, in 2006. Since then they began an uninterrupted sequence of cathodic adventures, valuable collaborations and original projects. The original and versatile sound of this quartet stems out of sheer enthusiasm for music without pre-conceptions, from the chemistry between joy and research, from the virtuosity of an academic upbringing mixed with real passion for modern music.
Since 2006 the GnuQuartet released five records, with both original material and cover versions, and took part to many other projects on the writing, arranging or performing process. GQ did hundreds of gigs in Italy and abroad, as main act or featured group, and played many radio and TV shows – Che tempo che fa, Parla con me, Il Tornasole, L’altro lato di Radio 2, Radio 1 Musica, RMC CLassic – as well as Festivals: Festival di Sanremo 2011, European Jazz Expo, Sildajazz Festival di Haugesund, Carinthian Summer Music Festival, Venezia Jazz, MITO Settembre Musica, Festival del Mediterraneo, I Suoni delle Dolomiti, Primo Maggio 2009 with Afterhours, 2010 with Baustelle and 2012 as Soloists accompained by the Roma Sinfonietta. As a proof of their components’ versatility, there is a wealthy list of collaborations of the group with artists who apparently have little in common with each other: great songwriters like Gino Paoli and Niccolò Fabi, rockers Afterhours, electronic stalwarts Motel Connection and poppers Simone Cristicchi and Dolcenera.
In May of 2011 Something Gnu was released in Italy, a record a with jazzy vibe and in October of the same year the record was also released in France. Then the group was engaged in the recording of “muse_ic”, based on the interpretation of compositions by Muse, a classical and electronic sounding project, as well as “Untitled” their first record of entirely original material. In May 2014 GnuQ released the dreaming EP “Karma – GnuQuartet in prog in Mexico, Italy and Korea. A tribute to rock progressive influences in the original music of the group.
Alf Wilhelm Lundberg (Norchestra)
Norwegian guitarist, pianist and composer from Haugesund. Working as a performer, composer, record producer and music educator. Education on jazz in Trondheim 1999-2003, focusing on jazz piano, jazz guitar and composition.
Went studying music in Haugesund from 97-99, where he received plenty of impetus in classical piano, jazz trumpet, composition and music history. It was in this creative and fruitful environment he found his peculiar way of mixing spontaneous improvisation with classical structure composition, a formula he has been true to side.
Right after high school he entered the jazz studies in Trondheim, and immersed himself there in jazz piano, jazz guitar and composition. He has also won several awards, receiving the highest scholarship during Umbria Jazz Clinics from Berklee College of Music in Perugia in 2003, and Statoil Sildajazz Price in 2004. He also received a travel grant from Fund for Performing Artists repeatedly to take hours with Ralph Towner (Roma), Nelson Veras (Paris) and Adam Rogers (New York).
In 2008, various grants from the Fund for Performing Artists to promote his activities as a composer, and in 2010 he was engaged as composer of the commissioned work to Sildajazz 2010 “Suite for the Seagulls” (supported by the Norwegian Arts Council), written for 8-string Brahmsgitar and meeting between Norchestra and the Italian string Quartet Gnu Quartet. He toured and recorded extensively in clubs and at festivals in Italy, France, Germany, Poland, England and Scandinavia. The focus in recent years has been to immerse themselves in the unique instrument Brahmsgitar that, with its expanded registry and distinctive timbre provides many exciting opportunities both in composition and improvisation.