Tag Archives: Norway

Sinikka Langeland’s Enchantment

Sinikka Langeland – The Magical Forest

Sinikka Langeland – The Magical Forest (ECM Records ECM 2448, 2016)

Norwegian folk music, jazz and early music come together in The Magical Forest, a captivating album by Norwegian vocalist, kantele player and composer Sinikka Langeland.

Highlights of The Magical Forest are Sinikka’s gorgeous vocals, her mesmerizing kantele and the beautiful vocal interactions with Oslo’s Trio Mediaeval.

The artists featured on The Magical Forest are Sinikka Langeland on kantele, vocals; Trygve Seim on soprano and tenor saxophones; Arve Henriksen on trumpet; Anders Jormin on double bass; Markku Ounaskari on drums, percussion; and Trio Mediaeval featuring Anna Maria Friman; Berit Opheim; and Linn Andrea Fuglseth on vocals.

Buy The Magical Forest


Den Store Stuten Uncovers the Folk Music of Åseral

Mari Ormberg and singer Kari Røyinlid-Song – Den Store Stuten

Mari Ormberg and singer Kari Røyinlid-Song – Den Store Stuten

Fiddler Mari Ormberg and singer Kari Røyinlid have released an album of folk tunes from The Åseral area of Norway. The album, titled Den Store Stuten (Etnisk Musikklubb EM 120) includes a booklet with liner notes that describe the lyrics, the music and the artists.

The Åseral area is where some of the oldest and most authentic techniques, compositions and original tonal types of Norway are found. The earliest melodies can be dated back to the Middle Ages.

Kari Røynlid was born and raised in Åseral. She grew up learning folk music by being a part of the musical environment in the hamlet. She was predominantly taught by Ingebjørg Liestøl, Jens Røynlid and Kari Røynlid (The older).

Mari Ormberg plays hardanger fiddle. She has a bachelor’s degree in (utøvende) folk music. Since she moved to Åseral in 2010, she has been studying the region’s “slåttespel”, the traditional Norwegian fiddle music.

To order the album go to www.etniskmusikklubb.no


Artist Profiles: Vegar Vårdal

Vegar Vårdal

Vegar Vårdal performs on the regular fiddle and the hardingfele (hardanger fiddle), the Norwegian fiddle with sympathetic strings. He performs both solo and with groups, for concerts and dances for many types of organizations and events.

He has performed numerous concerts and tours both in Norway and abroad. He has appeared as a studio musician in numerous radio and TV programs, and has also made many recordings.

Vegar offers performances based on themes taken from folk music, folk dance and Norwegian folk culture. He also teaches Norwegian folk music or dance to groups or individuals, and gives lectures.

He has had experience in teaching from the elementary school level up to the university level.

He was a member of Rusk.


* Norske turdansar (Norwegian Figure Dances) I, II and III
* Hueknuden Danseslåttar frå Vest-Agder (Dance Tunes from West Agder)
* Danseslåttar frå Finnmark (Dance Tunes from Finnmark)
* Pols i Rørostraktom (Pols in Røros)
* Wizard Women of the North
* Rusk (Heilo HCD7179)


Artist Profiles: Vamp

Vamp in 2016 – Photo by Edgar G. Bachel

Vamp was formed in 1990 by Øyvind Staveland, Calle Øyvind Apeland, Paul Hansen, Bjørn Berge, Odin Staveland and Tore Jamne. It is one of Norway’s best-known and most popular groups in the field modern folk song. The group’s unique blend music has resulted in three Spellemannpris awards so far. Vamp preserves the best of Norwegian modern folk song tradition, and its Celtic music-influenced sound evokes the band members’ close connections to countries bordering the North Sea.

Vamp’s songs are built around the concepts of longing and belonging, and the lyrics are the group’s main focus. Poet Kolbein Falkeid, who has collaborated with Vamp for many years, deserves a special mention. Vamp tours in Norway and Denmark, and the group draws full houses everywhere it plays.


* God morgen, søster (Majorselskapet MSCD 1114, 1993)
* Horisonter (Majorselskapet MSCD 1121, 1994)
* 13 Humler (Majorselskapet MSCD 1131, 1996)
* Folken (MajorStudio MSCD 1135, 1996)
* Flua på veggen (Majorstudio MSCD 1138, 1998)
* Ei med alt (Majorstudio MSCD 1146, 1999)
* En annen sol (2000)
* Camomile (Emi Fujita, 2001)
* Månemannen (2002)
* Siste stikk (2005)
* Tir n’a noir 1992 (2006)
* I full symfoni (2006)
* Velkommen inn (2008)
* På Bredden (2008)
* St. Mandag (2008)
* Liten fuggel (2012)
* To me alt (2013)
* Populas (2015)

web site http://www.vamp.no


Artist Profiles: Valkyrien Allstars

Valkyrien Allstars – Photo by Geir Dokken

Norwegian band Valkyrien Allstars plays new music based on traditional Norwegian tunes.

The band’s vibrant sound is characterized by the soulful and powerful vocals of Tuva Syvertsen combined with three funky hardanger fiddles, bass, drums and collective improvisatio. The group was awarded the “Folk Music Artist of the year” in Norway in 2009.

Band Members: Tuva Syvertsen on vocals and Hardanger fiddle; Ola Hilmen on vocals and Hardanger fiddle; Erik Sollid on vocals and Hardanger fiddle.


* Valkyrien Allstars (Heilo/Grappa, 2007)
* To Måner (Heilo/Grappa HCD-7240, 2009)
* Ingen Hverdag (Heilo, 2011)
* Farvel Slekt Og Venner (Heilo, 2014)


Artist Profiles: Vajas

Vajas – 2005 Photo by Britt Halvorsen

Norwegian band Vajas (Echo) represented a synergy of arctic voices and sound: (i) the traditional Sami yoiks of Ánde Somby emanating from the distant tundra; (ii) the entrancing violin stylings and melodic voice of Kristin Mellem; and (iii) the renowned and captivating synthesizer sound voyages and creations of Nils Johansen.

All three accomplished musicians were based in the arctic city of Tromsø, northern Norway.

Ánde Somby is a famous Sami traditional yoiker as well as a well-known legal scholar and indigenous rights activist. Kristen Mellem is a classically trained violinist and composer who works with folk music, yoiking and community theatre. Nils Johansen is a contemporary musician and composer and was the music mastermind of the internationally celebrated group Bel Canto.

Vajas’ essence was the meeting of the cold arctic breeze and human warmth, the traditional Sami yoik combined with soundscapes.


* Tracks in snow (2005)
* Sacred Stone (2006)


Artist Profiles: Utla


Utla is a trio whose music based on the Hardanger fiddle tradition, primarily that of western Norway. The group focuses on creating music on its own terms.

Utla aims at preserving the rich heritage of Hardanger fiddle music. New elements are added through combinations of instruments used, as well as sounds, improvisation and compositional structures. The result is a modern musical expression, unique in both Norwegian and international context.

Musicians: Håkon Høgemo on Hardanger fiddle; Terje Isungset on drums, percussion, Jew’s harp; and Karl Seglem on tenor saxophone, bukkehorn.


* Utla (NOR-CD 9205, 1992)
* Juv (NOR-CD 9309, 1993)
* Brodd (NOR-CD 9514, 1995)
* Dans (NOR-CD 9935, 1999)
* Song (Nor, 2003)


Artist Profiles: Unni Løvlid

Unni Løvlid – Photo by Geir Dokken

Unni Løvlid is one of Norway’s leading folk music vocalists, and was the first musician to be nominated ‘Performer of the Year’ at the Folkelarm festival 2006. The following year she was awarded a Spellemann prize (Norway’s top music award) in the contemporary music category together with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and Grex Vocalis.

Unni Løvlid was born in 1976 in Hornindal in the county of Sogn og Fjordane in western Norway. She has been an active folk musician for some time, and has learned her music from many different sources in Hornindal, including Marta Seljeset Froland.

According to the classification system of the national folk music competition Unni belongs in the top category of folk musicians, something that provided her with a foundation for her masters degree at the Norwegian Academy of Music. Her wide-ranging musical activities include concerts and tours in Norway and abroad, and teaching engagements at the Norwegian Academy of Music, the Ole Bull Academy, and the State Theatre Academy.

Unni has received several awards for her contributions to folk singing. She released her first solo recording So ro liten tull in 1999 on her own label, Løvlid; the recording was subsequently released in book form by Lyche Musikkforlag. Unni participated on Listen the Art of Arne Nordheim, Aurora 2002, and has contributed to a series of other recordings for Honndalstausene, Frie former 2000, NRK, Radio France, and Karl Seglem, among others.

Unni Løvlid

In addition to her career as a solo performer Unni is a member of the trios Rusk (with Frode Haltli and Vegar Vårdal), and FJØGL (with Liv Merete Kroken and Sigrid Moldestad). Unni is not afraid to do something in which she believes, and is continually involved in new productions and events.

She is known for her collaboration on contemporary music projects as well as in folk music; in 2003 she performed in the premiere of Maja Ratkje’s opera No Title Performance and Sparkling Water during the Ultima Festival. At an event hosted by Ballade at Mono in 2004 Unni performed in a noise duo together with horn player and Fe-mail member Hild Sofie Tafjord.

One of her exam concerts at the Music Academy was a performance of Arnold Schonberg’s 1912 masterpiece Pierrot Lunaire together with the Academy’s contemporary music ensemble. Unni has collaborated on several occasions with innovative percussionist Terje Isungset, and she performed the part of Ophelia in Hamlet

In 2008 Unni Løvlid returned with Rite (Grappa GRCD4223), a new album, three years after her previous solo release Vita (2005) recorded in the Emanuel Vigeland mausoleum. It took her four years to complete Rite, for which Løvlid wrote all the words and music herself.

The music on Rite lies somewhere between electronica, contemporary and world music. Participating on the recording are: Unni Løvlid, Hild Sofie Tafjord, Frode Haltli, Lene Grenager, Hakon Kornstad, Ragnhild Furebotten, Ingar Hunskaar, Helge Sten, Helge Nordbakken and the Norwegian National Opera Children’s Choir.


* Rusk (Heilo HCD7179, 2002)
* Rusk 2 (Grappa, 2006)
* So ro liten tull (Lovlyd, 1999)
* Vita (Grappa Musikkforlag, 2005)
* Rite (Grappa GRCD4223, 2008)
* Seven Winds, with Becaye Aw & Rolf-Erik Nystrøm (Heilo, 2009)
* Lux (Heilo, 2013)


Artist Profiles: Unni Boksasp

Unni Boksasp

Unni Boksasp is a traditional folk singer from Nordmøre in the northwest coast of Norway. She now lives in Telemark, in the southern part of the country.

She is an artist with a broad musical horizon, working free-lance both as a solo singer and in different ensembles. The traditional folk songs of Nordmøre constitute her core repertoire, with Manghild Almhjell as her main source. In addition she has, through her mentor Hanne Kjersti Yndestad, learned and worked in-depth with the singing traditions of Telemark.

During the last years she has been working a lot both on arranging traditional music for different ensembles and composing new music based on her own tradition. The bands Æppel pæppel and Brann i Blått (Blue fire), the Swedish/ Norwegian duo Boksasp and Jones duo, and the fairytale ensemble Hopp Helling are all projects where she has been working with both arranged music and theatrical performances. She has also worked with newly written music by well known Norwegian composers such as Henning Sommerro and Henrik Ødegaard.

Unni Boksasp

In the spring of 2005 she graduated from three years of studying at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, Sweden. Prior to this she is a bachelor in folk arts from at the Telemark University College.

In May 2004 she was granted a rare two year government guaranteed income for artists by the Arts Council Norway. Since 2006 she works part time as a teacher of traditional singing at the very institution where she started out with folk singing many years ago, The Telemark University College.


* Songs from Havdal – Songar frå Havdal (Talik, 2007)
* Keramello (2010)
* Kvite fuglar (2013)
* Fem små ord (2015)


Artist Profiles: Trygve Seim

Trygve Seim – Photo by Antonio Armentano www.antarm.org

Inspired early in his creative life by Jan Garbarek and by Edward Vesala, Trygve Seim has worked in many modern jazz contexts, and continues to tour with Manu Katché’s group.

In his own music, however, distance from conventional definitions of jazz becomes ever more marked. Investigation of Asian, Middle Eastern and East European music – and especially the sounds of the Armenian duduk, the Japanese shakuhachi, and the Indian bansuri flute – have had their effect on Seim’s music and brought about a redefining of the nature of dynamics. Subtle shadings and textures are part of his diversity, and microtonal phrasing characteristic of his melodic approach.

In additional to his discography as a leader and as a member of The Source, Trygve Seim appears on ECM recordings by Iro Haarla (Northbound), Sinikka Langeland (Starflowers), Christian Wallumrød (Sofienberg Variations), and Manu Katché (Playground). Other recent activities have included extended stays in Cairo, where Seim studied Arabian modes and played concerts with pianist Fathy Salama.

Trygve Seim – Photo by Antonio Armentano www.antarm.org

Seim frequently collaborates with accordionist Frode Haltli, with whom he shares an interest in the expressive potential of acoustic music across all stylistic boundaries, from world folk traditions to contemporary composition. The accordionist joined Seim’s large ensemble for live performances after the release of Different Rivers in 2000, and participated in the recording of later that year, as well as Sangam (recorded 2002-2004). He continues to tour regularly with Seim’s large ensemble. Trygve and Frode have been playing in duo since 2001. Yeraz is the first documentation of their work in this format.

Seim’s ECM debut Different Rivers won the annual prize of the German Record Critics (Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik in 2001).


* Airamero, with Christian Wallumrød, Johannes Eick, Per Oddvar Johansen (ODIN Records NJ 40492, 1994)
* http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00008FHPC?ie=UTF8&tag=musidelmund-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B00008FHPC | Olemanns kornett, with The Source (Curling Legs CLCD 63, 1994)
* The Source: of Christmas, with The Source (Curling Legs CLCD 63, 1996)
* Decoy, with Havard Lund, Njål Ølnes and Audun Kleive (Turn Left Productions TURNCD497, 1998)
* The MotorSource Massacre, with Motorpsycho and The Source (Stickman Records 3RD EAR 0200, 2000)
* Different Rivers (ECM Records ECM 1744, 2001)
* Live In The North, with 1300 Oslo (Curling Legs CLCD 63, 2001)
* The Source and Different Cikadas, with Øyvind Brække and Per Oddvar Johansen (ECM Records , ECM 1764, 2002)
* Sangam (ECM Records ECM 1797, 2004)
* The Source, with The Source (ECM Records ECM 1966, 2006)
* The Source: of Christmas – “Live” (GRAPPA Records GRCD 4215, 2007)
* Yeraz, with Frode Haltli (ECM Records ECM 2044, 2008)
* Purcor (ECM Records ECM 2186, 2010)
* Rumi Songs (ECM Records ECM 2449, 2016)

Web site www.trygveseim.no