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The symphony of skiing

Alright, folks, it’s time to buckle up for a different kind of ski edit. Featuring the sounds of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra (SSO) and the skiing of Freeride World Tour competitor Dennis Risvoll, the next four minutes are guaranteed to bring you joy like you’ve never felt before.

One of Scandinavia’s most acclaimed orchestras, the SSO is always seeking to broaden its audience—and what better way than incorporating a favorite local sport. Stein Bjelland, project manager for the SSO, exlpains, “It was simple. What kind of crazy visual could we pair with a classical standard that would get people outside the classical world to take an interest in something they usually ignore? Since we’re Norwegians and it’s crazy cold here, we thought of something everyone can relate to: winter. And then we thought: extreme winter. Skiing.”

Once the idea was born, it was time to pair the symphony’s sounds with stunning ski footage. Local filmmaker Håvard Hanasand, director of the 2017 film, Heedless, which documents the life of Norweigian freeride skier Dennis Risvoll, had unused footage from the movie–including a handful of crash sequences. “When Stein asked me to contribute…footage for Stavanger Symphony Orchestra’s Brahms video, my first thought was that it might be an unconventional mix of sound and image, and I wanted to try it out.”

The combination of Risvoll’s big mountain skiing and SSO’s recording of Johannes Brahms Symphony no. 2 are proper compliments. “In freeriding everything happens very fast, the drops and airtime, doesn’t last that long, so I thought extending that weightless feeling would be cool,” explains Hanasand. “On the contrary, those fast and brutal crashes that the riders experience, let’s extend those too. We found some nice edit points in the violent crashes that made them seem to last forever. Turns out mixing skiing and symphonic music fits quite well, and caters to two quite different audiences!”

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