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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 served as co-members in the past 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 Garbarek, 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, Vangelis, Røyksopp and Kitaro.
Harlequins Enigma has released twenty-nine 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. 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, Neighbour Tribe & big chiefs (an amiga retro line of music). Octagon Vol. 4: Loom with a classical approach foloowed. The latest few albums released in 2013, include TD Sound 1 (feat. Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream), Discord (feat. Jean Michel Jarre) and 3001 fm : commune feat. Vangelis. 2014 saw the release of TD Sound 2 featuring Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Christoper Franke & Peter Baumann.
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, Itunes and Amazon.
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