Harlequins Enigma Biography
Harlequins Enigma is a Bergen, Norway-based band created in 2008 by synth musician, composer, and video producer, Åge Riisnes. Harlequins Enigma is mostly a one-man-band, but Elin Berge, Katie Leung, and Sara Jensen serve as co-members with several album appearances over the years. The primary musical creations revolve around chip-tune, electronica, techno, experimental, video game soundtracks, space, ambient, and new age genres. Åge began experimenting with synth-based music in the early 1990’s. Throughout the years, collaborations with Tangerine Dream, Jean Michel Jarre, Klaus Schulze, Vangelis, Kitaro, Kate Bush, Dave Weckl, Chick Corea, Jan Gabarek, and others have spawned rich, creative, and mature developmental compositional achievements. The name origin of Harlequins Enigma revolves around a “hope for something better, as an eternal flame.” It is based upon expectation. Åge describes the circumstances around the creation of the name: “I once had a lighter with a girl on [it], showing a little of her face with a yellow rose & two identical females as guardians at each side of her [with a] picture [depicting] a walking creature that looks like a walking mouse [that is] pregnant.” Riding the electronic waves of sound, Harlequins Enigma bridges the gap between fantasy and reality with a good dose of futuristic embellishments that have been stewing, brooding, and morphing since the early 1990’s. The instrumental prowess glimmers with spacey illusions, ambient washes, and metallic or industrial elements throughout the early years, as well as the present.
Harlequins Enigma is a zany name for seemingly sane compositions that draw upon multiple genres. Åge identifies at least ten different styles of music. The otherwise kaleidoscopic array of styles and influences skirt the outer echelon of human existence in the intergalactic abyss of space, as well as cyberspace. The somewhat dark, electronica is permeated with instances of lighter noise that is upbeat and energetic. The music has been shaped by various life situations and various collaborations that shine through brilliantly on synth. Though, the darker, instrumental side is also explored, which is likely due to Åge’s sensitivity to sunlight. Yet, there are brighter moments, too. Harlequins Enigma encapsulates music that contains many emotions that are happy, sad, and everything in between. In his spare time, Åge enjoys gaming, poetry, hi-fi, music video production, and music in general. Åge’s favorite musicians in the electronic genre are Jean Michel Jarre, Tangerine Dream, Schulze, and Kitaro.
Harlequins Enigma has released twelve full-length albums since 2011. The first three albums released in 2011 include The Journey of Harlequins Enigma 1, 2, and 3. The electronic series was followed by Octagon Vol. 2 – Night Pulse & The Silhouette of Dr. Voodoo, and Octagon Vol. 3 – Battle Without Dishonour. Two singles were also released: “Time Dance” (Liberty Mix) and “Battle Without Dishonor”. In 2012, Harlequins Enigma released Ophidians: Caricature Personalities, NeighbourTribe, The Long Road, and Octagon Vol. 4: Loom. The latest few albums released in 2013, include Ophidians – Big Chiefs, TD Sound 1 (feat. Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream), and Discord (feat. Jean Michel Jarre).
The musical diversity of Harlequins Enigma is partly due to the innate skills and foresight of Åge Riisnes and the incredible variety of talented guest musicians and band co-members that appear on numerous albums. Åge Riisnes is focused on human rights, equality, positive technology, and an affinity for natural world. The musical goals of Harlequins Enigma “are not to stand on stage.” In fact, “no concerts have been played, or will.” Consequently, fans will have to experience the music via downloads or albums. Back in sixth grade, Åge wrote a note in a memoir book about the choosing of a future profession. The question was: “What do you want to become when you grow up?” I answered: rock star.” Though not a rock star in a true sense, Harlequins Enigma traverses the electronic world of music with such mastery of everything the genre entails. Harlequins Enigma joins the accomplished ranks of Edgar Froese, Tangerine Dream, Jean Michel Jarre, and Kitaro as an innovative musician and “reverse supporter of forced schizophrenia politics.” As a thinker and philanthropist, Åge wholeheartedly supports Dyrebeskyttelsen Norway and Amnesty International. Harlequins Enigma’s albums and downloads can be purchased on CD Baby and Amazon.
Harlequins Enigma is a Bergen, Norway-based band created in 2008 by synth musician, composer, and video producer, Åge Riisnes. Harlequins Enigma is mostly a one-man-band, but Elin Berge, Katie Leung, and Sara Jensen serve as co-members with several album appearances over the years. The primary musical creations revolve around chip-tune, electronica, techno, experimental, video game soundtracks, space, ambient, and new age genres & has a soft spot for jazz.
New compilation album out on the nimbit store (free stream)
Album @ nimbit.com - it is a jazz album called "snø" -
it means snow in english. i used a free account to put
it up there & it might reach itunes as i understood it.
anyway there should be free streaming over there, so i
guess you better take a look
time dance single
the journey of harlequins enigma vol.1
the journey of harlequins enigma vol.2
the journey of harlequins enigma vol.3
octagon vol.2 - night pulse & the silhouette of dr.voodoo
octagon vol.3 - battle without dishonour
battle without dishonour single
phase 7 ep
one ticket from loneliness to happiness please ep
the orchestrating ocean ep
voices from the ethereal planes of the rain forests - mini ep
td sound 1
ophidians big chiefs vol.1
ophidians big chiefs vol.2
octagon vol.5 - the neo ubiquitous dimensional sound magnetism
champagne pop at chimp champ`s pop corn party
dreams in dreams
åge (own compositions)
Harlequins Engima creates an exciting, spacey, and electronic treat for fans of ambient, electronic, and chip-tune music. Discord is an album of opposites. Primarily, the title of the album connotes a conflict of noises or sounds. However, the result is much different. The mix of spacious and textured tunes represents a solid creative effort that bridges the gap between electronic and new age. The wide array of sounds showcases Harlequins Enigma’s greatest strength—composing. The lack of vocals does not diminish the songs power or intensity. Anyone with an interest in space, electronic, chip-tune, video games, film scores, and new age concoctions will love the harmonious musings on Discord. "
Artist: Harlequins Enigma
Review by Matthew Forss
Rating: 5 Stars (out of 5)
'Harlequins's Enigma's Enter, is certainly for those who love exploring different types of music and sounds that are far from the mainstream. This is not only an album, but a full musical experience. Hop on board for the ride. You will be glad that you did. I can’t wait to hear what Harlequin’s Enigma has to offer next. They will shock you every time. Open your ears, and your mind."
By Melissa Nastasi
5 Out of 5 Stars
"At any rate, Harlequins Enigma bridges the gap between electronica and experimental with songs that are aided by a number of top-quality performers. The sheer number of tracks is especially rewarding. Anyone with a familiarity with chip-tune, electronica, new age, fusion, ambient, space, and avant-garde music will understand the significance of Octagon Vol. 5. However, it does not take a scientist to appreciate the electronic beauty inherent in Harlequins Enigma’s music. Nothing seems impossible for Harlequins Enigma—and it shows! "
Artist: Harlequins Enigma
Album: Octagon Vol. 5
Review by Matthew Forss
Rating: 5 Stars (out of 5)