"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. "
During the Berlinale – Berlin International Film Festival and the Nordic Film Music Days Christine had the great honor to sit in a panel with Helga Truepel who as a member of the European Parliament has done significant work to protect music rights. Other people in the panel was British composer Chris Smith who as member of the ECSA – European Composer and Songwriter Alliance Coercion group protested against composers being bullied into surrendering their copyright by TV companies. Norwegian Kai Robøle Music publisher and founder of Arctic Rights who works to ensure that the rights of composers and music publishers are managed locally in competition with big international players. The prolific Swedish film composer Jon Ekstrand, currently scoring Marvel’s Morbius. The panel discussed the dangers and consequences of coercion in film music business and what precautions can be made. It was moderated by Alfons Karabuda president of ECSA, executive chairman of SKAP and expert in the field of artistic rights to the UN Human Rights Council.
Other people invited to speak at this year’s Nordic Film Music Days were multi award winning Hildur Guðnadóttir composer of Joker and Chernobyl who spoke about how writing the score to the script of Joker affected the film.
Christine was also invited to speak for a group of film students from the Norwegian film school Danvik FHS. Also here in good company, as Oscar winning producer Nicolás Celis spoke about his work on Roma and the path to where he is now, right before Christine stepped on the stage to speak about working in the US vs in Norway. You can read more about it here: “You Gotta Help Each Other!”
Northern Skies premiered by The Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra
On January 18th two of Christine’s orchestral pieces were performed by Orquesta Sinfónica de Puerto Rico
It was the premiere of the piece Northern Skies, which is a tribute to the Northern Lights and the other piece performed was Storms of Freya, which already premiered in Rousse Opera House, Bulgaria in 2017.
The concert “Three composers with three stories” took place at the Pablo Casals Symphony Hall in Santurce Saturday, January 18 and featured Christine Hals along with 5 other international composers; Vivian Aguiar-Buff, Veronica Quevedo, Chikako Iversen, Amy Mareie Beach, Cindy O’Connor. The concert was conducted by maestro Rafael Enrique Irizarry.
“It is very important for us that there is representation of female composers at our concerts. This way we continue to motivate and empower future generations of women to become interested in classical music as a creative and artistic space where they can be successful,” assured the executive director of the Musical Arts Corporation (CAM), Carlos Ruiz Cortés.
Christine is Norwegian Queen Iduna in FROZEN 2
Listen to Christine sing the song “All Is Found” – “I elven finnes alt” a lullaby about the magical river where all the answers lie.
FUN FACT- the siren in the film is young Iduna played by Norwegian artist AURORA – in the original Frozen Christine was the one doing the magical calls that Elsa kept hearing whenever she was using her snow powers. In Frozen 2 those calls are more prevalent and are the plot of the whole story. Read more under MUSIC.
INCLUSION SALON – CONCERT
On September 7th Christine was one of the composers who were asked to compose and perform music at the very first INCLUSION SALON
This is a concert initiative to help promote minorities within the media world, and women are truly a minority within the world of film and music. There are less than 2% female film composers working today. Christine wrote a piece with ancient Norse lyrics “Hvárt býr Guð?” which means “Where Does God Dwell?” for soprano, choir led by Baraka May, string quartet led by Nina Evtuhov, piano Mike Lang and percussion MB Gordy. The concert was hosted by Michael Levine and Mirette Seireg and produced by Mpath, North Music Group (Abby North) and APM Music. Penka Kouneva was the music director. (photo James Jacoby)
Christine wrote Norwegian lyrics for the Game Soundtrack Elsinore with music composed and produced by Adam Gubman. She also provided vocals for the album that was released in July 2019 by the Materia Colletive. You can read one of the reviews here: Game Grooves
IMAGES AND THE WORLDS OF BEING
The immersive movie Images and the Worlds of Being directed by Kirsi Nevanti and scored by Christine premiered on April 24th in Stockholm
The movie is a VR experience where you’re actually immersed in watching 72 minutes of film spread on 4 different screens in 18 minutes. I had to work mathematically and experiment a lot back and forth to make the music fit with the images and Kirsi’s strong vision. We stretched the music in time which I believe fits perfectly with the idea of “parallel realities and creativity” which is the foundation Kirsi built this project on.
FEATURED VOCALIST in ANT-MAN and the WASP
JERRY GOLDSMITH AWARD NOMINEE
Christine was one of the nominees for a Jerry Goldsmith 2018 Award. Selected from a total of 131 score submissions, Christine’s piece “Calling the Aurora” was one of the 10 nominee’s in the category Free Creation.
GOLDEN BOY - Film Composer & Music Supervisor
In addition to being the film’s score composer, Christine was also music supervisor putting her in charge of the film’s full musical arch. Golden Boy had a total of 11 diegetic songs and Christine wrote and produced 4 of them in addition to finding and placing the other 7. One of the artists on the film was the rapper V Knuckles aka Rahim Muhammed and the rap songs “On a Mission» (click link), “Getting It Done” and “Throw Dat” which fit the film’s vibe perfectly.
The opening song “On Top Of The World” features Christine’s brother as vocalist and was specifically written for this film.
Golden Boy premiered at the FilmOut Festival in San Diego June 8th 2018 .
LEAGUE OF LEGENDS - Nunu & Willump – A Boy and his Yeti
Once again Christine’s Nordic voice is featured in League of Legends by Ornn composer Kyle “Kole” Hicks. This time for the login screen of Freljord Champion Nunu and his Yeti friend Willump. At about 2min36s you can hear Christine’s voice.
“After Nunu discovered the fearsome monster of legend was just waiting for a good snowball fight, he and Willump became the best of friends.”
GOD OF WAR – with the Vitamin String Quartet
On June 13th Christine performed the music from video game God of War with the Vitamin String Quartet at the Novo Theater in Down Town LA for the E3 Gaming Convention 2018.
Musicians; Paul Jacob Cartwright, Amanda Lo, Lauren Elizabeth Baba and Derek Joseph Stein. The music was written by game composer Bear McCreary, arr by Edward Trybek. Host and producer of the show, Geoff Keighley.
MAJESTIC LANDSCAPES – At the Berlinale
In February Christine was invited to open the Nordic Film Music Days in Berlin with her composition “Majestic Landscapes” that she sang for her film composers colleagues, producers, directors and other industry professionals attending the Berlin Film Festival. This video from her hometown Nordkjosbotn was screening behind her.
CALLING THE AURORA – The Northern Lights
Listen and watch as Christine calls the Northern Lights in a river….
Calling The Aurora – is a collaboration with Northern Light photographer Ole C. Salomonsen. The music was recorded with Budapest Scoring Symphonic Orchestra and Choir. Christine is using her special herd call technique kulning to make the Northern Lights appear. This is the same technique as she used while calling the snow in Disney’s Frozen.
LEAGUE OF LEGENDS
Christine scored the animated sci-fi web series Aero Origins by director Arturo Vargas, Desertski Films.
Christine’s music for “Aero Origins” won the World Fest Award for best music in April 2018. In 2015 Christine’s music for “Aero” won for best music in the live action category at the same film festival.
Christine scored the viking movie Einar by Trifilm Pictures. Here’s a video from when she composed Sveina’s theme in the Norwegian mountains. She also recorded ancient Norwegian instruments with the Sami musician and instrument maker Øistein Hanssen and her brother Mads Hals singing 1100 year old lyrics from the viking era.
Christine’s voice is featured in Disney’s Frozen!
In addition to the singing she also wrote lyrics in ancient Norse for the film with original music by Christophe Beck. In the Coronation Scene you can hear the choir piece Heimr Árnadalr sung in the extinct Viking language, Norse.
“Christine Hals – the Norwegian Force of Nature” – DT-BB
“Regional instruments and soloist Christine Hals’ kulning are both used throughout these opening tracks to great effect. The kulning — a high-pitched Scandinavian herding call — later acts as a thematically resonant detail in “Whiteout” as Anna calls out in a search through a blinding blizzard”
“Beck’s underscore includes the Norwegian bukkehorn (ram’s horn) and Norwegian-born, L.A.-based singer Christine Hals’ “kulning”, a high-pitched vocal technique that was once used to call cattle down from Scandinavian mountain pastures.” – Variety by Jon Burlingame
LOS ANGELES FILM CONDUCTING INTENSIVE
Christine was one of 12 participants in Maestro David Newman and Angel Velez very first conducting workshop Los Angeles Film Conducting Intensive January 14-17 2016. At the end of the 4 day intensive, Christine conducted a 67 piece orchestra playing her new piece Northern Skies at the Eastwood Scoring Stage at Warner Bros Studios.
It is by logic that we prove, but by intuition that we discover. To know how to criticize is good, to know how to create is better.
Norwegian-Swedish film composer Christine Hals came from the snowy mountains and fjords of Norway to the beaches and bright boulevards of Los Angeles, CA after completing a Masters degree in Film Scoring at the highly acclaimed Dramatical Institute and the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. Back home, Christine scored for various short movies, features and documentaries, some of which have won several awards. Now she’s ready for even bigger challenges.
Weeks after graduating from a prestigious intensive one year course in music composition on scholarship at the University of Southern California, where Christine studied under the mentorship of A-list composer James Newton Howard, the young composer was head-hunted by Disney Studios. They needed Norwegian lyrics and vocals for a little film called Frozen, and Christine had the perfect artist background. As a young girl, she herded goats using a high-pitched singing style known as “kulning” to call the animals down from icy slopes. She also contributed lyrics in Ancient Norse to one of the songs composed by the film’s composer Christophe Beck. The filmmakers praised her work on Frozen which went on to become the top-grossing film of 2013 and win several Academy Awards including Best Animated Picture for directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, and Best Song for songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Bobby Lopez.
Christine lives, works and plays in Venice where she writes music for films, TV shows and computer games and also provides film vocals and pop vocals for fellow composers. Her background in fine art stands her in good stead when painting with sound for moving pictures. “I see music as colors and landscapes, but I think we all have different interpretations of it, so we see different colors and images. That’s why I love trying to figure out how directors want their films to be heard. I simply love mixing my colors and musical landscapes with their visuals.”
Christine is inspired by the world around her, whether that be the sounds of big city LA or Stockholm, or the murmur of the sea. She holds in her heart memories of Norway’s Northern lights in dark winter, the bright summer midnight sun and the beauty of snow stretching for miles and miles. Christine believes that creativity and your artistic side comes from your soul and your soul is touched by all the experiences you’ve had and all the people you’ve met, resulting in a music that reflects her travels as it explores different cultures, styles and musical imagery, bringing to life the newly-born characters of a filmmaker’s imagination.
Praise for Christine…
“You’re very dedicated and true to your music. You have a very unique sound and an extraordinary voice. What a range!”
Jean Michel Jarre – Jean Michel Jarre is one of Christine’s musical heroes.
“I can’t tell you how much I loved the choral part – it was really good!” … “I think you’re doing really good work. You have really great instincts for film music, I think you’re gonna be very good!”
James Newton Howard – Christine’s former mentor
“Working with Christine is like directing the perfect actor. She asks great questions and understands what the scene is about and what music’s role in it is. Then she surprises you with what she creates, finding moments in the visuals that you never knew were there. She’s always receptive to notes and new approaches to the material. Her passion for the project, musical sensitivity, amazing vocal skills and professionalism make her a pleasure to work with from start to finish.”
Jean Barker – writer/director
“Christine breathes life into every scene she scores. On each of our five collaborations, she’s found a true and unique way to musically write the subtext of the story. She’s used glass to create longing, a chime to depict inescapable sadness, and an mbira to help a young girl find courage to face the world on her own. In addition to Christine’s wide musical range and ample story telling abilities, she is a joyful collaborator who is wholly dedicated to excellence and always delivers.”
Abi Damaris Corbin – director and producer
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity!
Here are some of the magazines, news papers, tv-channels and websites that have interviewed or written about Christine.
NRK – Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation -[COVER STORY] Her kulning became Frozen music –
– Det er litt spesielt at geitelokkeropa eg lærte som barn har inspirert manuset til ein Disney-film, seier Christine Hals.
– It’s rather unique that the goat herding calls I learned as a child has inspired the script for a Disney-movie, says Christine Hals.
Norwegian news magazine VG - excerpt on review for Frozen 2 / Frost 2: NO: Christine Hals’ «I elven finnes alt» må imidlertid trekkes fram som en vellykket tolkning, og Gustav Nilsen gjør en sjarmerende Olaf i «Når jeg blir voksen». EN: Christine Hals version of “All Is Found” must however be emphasized as a successful interpretation, and Gustav Nilsen does a charming Olaf in “When I’m Older”.
Ledernytt – [COVER STORY] Christine was interviewed by Norwegian CEO News on how to best network, as rumor has it she is a master at it.
Z Filmtidsskrift - Christine was interviewed for the Norwegian Film Magazine Z about her favorite film composer/film director collaboration.
Nordlys - NO: På to dager hadde over én million mennesker fått med seg Christine’s nye sang. Christine Hals synger i dataspill med over 100 millioner brukere. EN – In two days over one million people heard Christine’s new song. Christine Hals sings in a computer game with over 100 million users.
Behind The Audio – League of Legends – The music was written by composer Kyle ‘Kole’ Hicks, composer at Riot Games, and features the lead vocal performance by Christine Hals who was already responsible for Nordic vocal parts in Disney’s Frozen.
NRK Radio – Norway’s Official Broadcasting Corporation – Christine Hals from Elverum, lives and works in Los Angeles as a film composer. She has sung and written lyrics to among others, the super hit “Frozen”.
Østnorsk Film She is perhaps most known for her snow calling in Disney’s major success “Frozen”. Here she’s using the Scandinavian herding call technique kulning which she learned from herding goats at her father’s farm in Troms. She also wrote the Norse lyrics in Elsa’s Coronation scene. She’s very much inspired by Norwegian nature and culture which you can hear in her music.
Swedish Music Producers – Christine Hals makes Swedish Music Producers top list. A list that is hard to make considering Sweden is one of the world’s biggest exporters of pop music. Other names on the list is Max Martin, Bloodshy, Avicii, Shellback, Andreas Carlsson, Swedish House Mafia and Robyn. “Christine was born in Norway, but refined in Sweden” As she got her full music education in Sweden and even a Swedish grant to higher studies in the US, Christine considers herself a Scandinavian composer as opposed to only Norwegian.
Alliance For Women Film Composers – Christine is a proud member of the Alliance For Women Film Composers. Here’s her spot on their webpage.
Østlendingen - Norwegian Newspaper
[SATURDAY COVER STORY] – titles “Composes With Her Heart” Christine is one of the world’s few female film composers and has contributed with both lyrics and vocals for Disney’s Frozen.
Nordlys – [COVER STORY] Christine works so hard that she sometimes cries from exhaustion. “Is it worth it? Am I gonna make it?” Christine pours her soul into each project as if it’s the last one.
SVT KOBRA – Swedish Television and KOBRA – Scandinavia’s leading arts and culture TV show visited Christine in Santa Monica while she was working on her new album. They wanted to know how snow sounds.
Østlendingen - Norwegian Newspaper
[SATURDAY COVER STORY] – titles “Catches The Sound Of Snow” “Creates Winter Tones”.
NRK Radio – Buskerud Direkte – Christine was interviewed after she won the prestigious SKAP-award. Nominated and given by The Swedish Society of Songwriters, Composers and Authors – SKAP in December 2014.
SKAP Award - Along with Composers like Nanne Grönvall and film composer Johan Söderqvist Christine was awarded the prestigious SKAP Award on December 9th 2014. “En sångerska skolad i nordisk folktradition som far fram som en komet på filmmusikhimlen. Hennes musik lägger sig som ett tunt snötäcke över stjärnorna på Hollywood Boulevard: Christine Hals! ” “A singer trained in Nordic Folk Tradition who flies over the film music skies like a comet. Her music spreads like a thin veil of snow over the stars on Hollywood Boulevard; Christine Hals!”
Musikindustrin.se – Web page for the Swedish music industry.
SVT – Swedish Television A short written piece about KOBRA and their documentary on snow in art with Christine Hals and Simon Beck among their guests.
Klassisk Musikkmagasin – Norways biggest magazine for Classical Music – title: “The Hollywood Dream”
OPUS magasin – Sweden’s #1 magazine for Classical Music and Opera, [COVER STORY] – title “From Stockholm to L.A. – Christine Hals”
Variety - a weekly American entertainment-trade magazine
Title ‘Frozen’ Aims for Watermark notched by ‘Mermaid,’ ‘Beauty & Beast’ by Jon Burlingame
NRK – Norway’s Official Broadcasting Corporation
Title – “Disney fell for Norwegian Snow Queen” – You can also listen to a radio interview here.
Visit Norway – Frozen directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck talk about Christine’s kulning.
TV2 - Norway’s second largest TV-channel
Title – “Norwegian Christine sang in Disney film”
The Wall Street Journal - an American English-language international daily newspaper
Title Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Frozen” Lets Go With Dynamic Soundtrack
Østlendingen - Norwegian newspaper
[SATURDAY COVER STORY] Title - Christine contributed with music for Oscar winning film
SACC-LA -The Swedish Chamber of Commerce Pre-Oscar party news letter
“The Film Composer Christine Hals, who has done Scandinavian herding calls and lyrics in Old Norse for the Oscar nominated “Frozen”, won the Led Zeppelin signed guitar in the Silent Auction.”
Drammens Tidende – Buskeruds blad – Newspaper
Cover story – title ”Christine Hals – The Norwegian Force of Nature”
Østlendingen - Norwegian newspaper
[COVER STORY] – Title – Christine involved in making music for a huge Disney film
Nordlys - Norwegian newspaper
[COVER STORY] Title – She worked as a concrete sawer in Nordkjosbotn. Now she sings in a Disney film in Hollywood.
Variety: ”Beck’s underscore includes the Norwegian bukkehorn (ram’s horn) and Norwegian-born, L.A.-based singer Christine Hals’ “kulning,” a high-pitched vocal technique that was once used to call cattle down from Scandinavian mountain pastures.”
As solid as a block of Ice
“The Trolls,” “Coronation Day,” and “Heimr Àrnadalr” all feature strong thematic writing, showcasing Beck’s ability to jump musical styles as needed, while staying true to the film’s tone and geographic influences. Regional instruments and soloist Christine Hals’ kulning are both used throughout these opening tracks to great effect. The kulning — a high-pitched Scandinavian herding call — later acts as a thematically resonant detail in “Whiteout” as Anna calls out in a search through a blinding blizzard.
“The score, which was recorded by a full 80-piece orchestra, features 32 vocalists–including native Norwegian Christine Hals, whose rural upbringing inspired her kulning skills.”
“The film also features authentic Norwegian kulning, a melodic herding call utilized by farmers to beckon goats and sheep from mountain pastures. Native Norwegian singer and aspiring film composer Christine Hals was tapped to perform the distinctive vocals for the film.”
Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Frozen” Lets Go With Dynamic Soundtrack “Beck paid homage to the Norway-inspired setting, referencing regional instruments such as the haunting bukkehorn and vocal techniques like kulning, which is a traditional shepherd’s herding call.
“With ‘Frozen,’” he said, “we had the setting to draw from—these incredible icy snowy vistas, which are very evocative. The region provided us with lots of really cool and interesting sound to explore that I’d never heard—I don’t think many people outside of the region have either.”
Filmmakers recruited a Norwegian linguist to help with the lyrics for an Old Norse song written for Elsa’s coronation. And the team even travelled to Norway to record the all-female choir Cantus for a piece inspired by traditional Norwegian music. The score, which was recorded by a full 80-piece orchestra, features 32 vocalists—including native Norwegian Christine Hals, whose rural upbringing inspired her kulning skills.”
“Composer Christophe Beck provided the score for FROZEN. Like the songs, the score can take a scene and communicate an emotion or moment, that might otherwise not have as much impact without it. Using regional instruments and vocal techniques, Beck used his incredible talent to incorporate unique sounds, common to the Norway inspired setting. The score was recorded using a full 80 piece orchestra, with 32 vocalists, including Christine Hals, a native Norwegian.
“That sounds about right – To pepper the script with authentic Norwegian words, accents and phrases, filmmakers called on Jackson Crawford, who teaches Old Norse, Scandinavian mythology, Vikings and sagas at UCLA. His research focuses on the history of Old Norse and Norwegian. Native Norwegian singer and aspiring film composer Christine Hals was tapped to perform the distinctive vocals for the film. “
“Composer Christophe Beck’s score includes rhythmic chanting, the Norwegian bukkehorn (ram’s horn) and Christine Hals’ high-pitched Norwegian “kulning.” Indeed, “Frozen” seems poised to become the next Disney project to transition to the Broadway stage.”
If you can think it you can do it!