Pål Jackman founded Wunderkammer somewhere in the mid-nineties after spending a summer on a little room with a guitar and a toy-piano making songs for a band not yet started. He then asked gipsy-violinist Gjertrud Økland to join, jazz double-bass player Per Zanussi, Rock drummer Børge Fjordheim and contemparary-accordionist Johan Egdetveit to join. Four days later they joined on stage and had their first concert in Haugesund. The audience supprisingly loved it and the members of this now new group was astonished as well. The music, a mixture of Anglo-American pop/rock and European gipsy/klezmer/Oom-pah/circus, and a dash of punk attitude, was the vision of Pål Jackman´s Wunderkammer. A rarity chamber where all is allowed as long as it means a clash between various genres.
Wunderkammer released a 7`single with «Tres cojones» and «Black Strap» on the Kippers label of Stavanger in mid-late 90´s. (Black Strap was the result of Pål Jackman´s and brother Morten´s first band the Kippers` heavy whiskey drinking session in a recording studio trying to make pop music. This song initiated in many ways Wunderkammer, -a quest for mixing and experimenting freely with genres.)
Wunderkammer released a second 7`, Poe´s «Eldorado» and «A Hue» and thus started working with cover artist Vegard Hoel. This was released by the local pub and hang-out, Cementen in Stavanger.
Then contemparary/avant garde cellist Tanja Orning from Oslo joined the group and free-jazz double bass player Øyvind Storesund stepped in when Zanussi moved on to playing the saw.
Wunderkammer then released their first album «Wunderkammer»I think in the late nineties or 2000 on the Skarv label. This album got splendid critics all over the country. From this album Goethe´s «Erlkönig» has become an audience favourite and likewise Taxi in Istanbul.
The group have also composed and scored music for film. Among them, a documentary om lobotomi caused the Norwegian government to apologize and give money to former victims of lobotomi. And some of the members also participated in the recording of the music for «Detektor», a quite popular Norwegian feature film. (This lead to Wunderkammer playing at the Norwegian reception at the Berlinale two years ago, and also did a gig at Tacheles in Berlin. Their only concert ever abroad so far).
The next album was released in fall 2002. The cover artwork (by Vegar Hoel) was designed in a way that enables the listener to chose title and front-side. However, officially it has been called «Today I cannot hear music». The album was well received by the press. Many of the tracks of this album features jazz-drummer Paal Nilssen-Love playing together with main drummer Børge Fjordheim. Also Trumpeteer Arve Henriksen plays on a few tracks. Dylan Thomas` «Do not go gentle into that good night», Poe´s «A Dream Within A Dream» and Egon Bondy´s «The Sun was setting behind New Jersey» are some of the poems come songs on this album. Also a direction towards more experimentation is noticeable. Many tracks have much improvisation and several were even made in recording.
Wunderkammer recently recorded two arabian-inspired songs and released them on a «B-sides» Ep together with some former unreleased songs and b-sides, october this year. Both these last albums were released on Honeymilk.
Wunderkammer holds a reputation for being a solid kick-ass live act. Conserts are known to be highly energetic and dynamic. The band just finished a mini-tour around Norway these days. The members also plays various «rarity-instruments» like the saw, a trumpet-violin, ethic flutes and stuff.
The main members touring now are Pål Jackman vocals, Børge Fjordheim drums, Tanja Orning cello, Johan Egdetveit accordeon and Øyvind Storesund doble bass. Occationally joined by Per Zanussi, Gjertrud Økland, Morten Jackman and Paal Nilssen-Love .