Sunday, 16 November 2014

A 60 Hour live Norwegian Slow TV Songs of Praise

Imagine a live broadcast of Songs of Praise lasting 60 hours with Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New being sung from cover to cover. This would feature around 200 choirs on a rota, occasional transmissions from choirs in other major cities and one from abroad.

Norwegian broadcaster NRK is doing just that from noon local time on Friday 28th November to just before midnight on Sunday 30th November. Based at Our Lady's Church in Trondheim, this will be a marathon live singing through of all 899 hymns in the 2013 revision of the Norwegian Hymnbook (Norsk Salmebok). No advert breaks either.

Called "Salmeboka Minutt for Minutt" (The Hymn Book - Minute by Minute), it is the latest incarnation of a documentary style which has come to be called Slow TV. It started out with a 7 hour train journey from Bergen to Oslo in 2009 with a number of other projects which have included live knitting, a fire and a five and half day continuous televised boat trip along Norway's coast. This 'Sakte TV' allows televised events to unfold at the pace in which they happen. No speeding up, cutting out or slowing down.

The hymn book event will cover songs in the two main Norwegian languages with several regional dialects included. There are also a handful of hymns in English, Spanish, Swedish, and a verse or two in Latin and Zulu spread through the two and a half day show. The ambition is to create a festival, whether people show up in a church and outdoor stages around the country, or sit in the living room TV and share their thoughts via social media.

The broadcast will go out via NRK2 within Norway, and on the internet via the NRK website for the rest of the world. The hashtags for social media are: #NRKSalme or #NRKSalmer (either will work). The official Facebook hub will be at NRKLivet and the broadcast page: Salmeboka Minutt for Minutt.

Since this blog has behind the scenes access for filming a documentary and researching Slow TV, there will be updates and photos here. There are no press releases in English (yet), but following the internal tag 'salmeboka' on this blog will help pick up leads and links to many primary sources in Norwegian.Slow Television -The Slow TV Blog

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