NRK to hold MGP debate

by Richard West-Soley 63 views

Norwegian broadcaster NRK has offered national songwriters an open invitation to attend a meeting on raising the participation of home-grown composers in its Eurovision Song Contest selections.

Only some 45% of the 586 entries submitted to NRK for the 2006 Melodi Grand Prix were from Norwegian writers, a figure which is simply not good enough, according to head of delegation Stian Malme. Of the 18 songs chosen to perform in the qualifier rounds, a surprising 12 of them were penned by Swedish writers. The situation earned NRK a great deal of criticism in the national press in the days leading up to the national selection.

Although the position of Norwegian artists was seemingly vindicated by the victory of Christine Guldbrandsen, singing a full-blooded Norwegian song in the Norwegian language, unease remains among those who believe that the national final should be just that: a showcase of national songwriting talent.

Part of the problem is making participation an attractive option for local professional writers, which will be the central theme of the open discussion. Tackling the attitude What's in it for me? will be one of the chief goals for NRK.

The outcomes from the public event are expected to directly influence the station's preparations for the next Melodi Grand Prix, even before the winner of the 2006 edition has performed at the Eurovision Song Contest. The deadline for submission of songs for the 2007 Norwegian selection is currently set at 1st September 2006.

The meeting, which, Malme stresses, is open to all, will take place at the NRK offices in Marienlyst, Oslo, on 6th March at 12:00. Attendees are asked to meet at reception for what promises to be a very interesting debate.

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Richard West-Soley

Senior Editor

Richard's ESC history began way back in 1992, when he discovered the contest could fuel his passion for music and languages. Since then, it's been there at every corner for him in some way or another. He joined the team back in 2006, and quickly developed a love for writing about the contest. In his other life, he heads the development team at the learning resources company Linguascope, and writes about all aspects of language learning on the site