Well before he even has to think about hitting his thirties, Erlend Apneseth is already an extremely highly regarded musician. The music for his third album, Nattsongar, was composed as a commissioned work for the Førde International Folk Music Festival in 2016, and together with his exceptionally skilled band, Apneseth combines musical elements from the four corners of the globe. “In this project I wanted to emphasise elements I feel all kinds of folk music share, from the gentle and intangible to the rhythmic and playful,” Apneseth says.
Erland Apneseth has won awards as a fiddler in the elite Category A in national competitions, and has a strong background in traditional music. At the same time he is a musician who is constantly looking for new challenges and new ways of expressing himself. His previous album won the Norwegian Folk Music Award, was nominated for a Spellemannspris (Norwegian Grammy) in the open category, and garnered glowing reviews from BBC Music Magazine and Mojo, among others. That an album by a folk musician was mentioned when the best classical and jazz releases of the year were being named is a clear indication that he is a musician who transcends boundaries and genres.
The Førde International Folk Music Festival
The music on Nattsongar was commission by the Førde Festival in 2016, and was given its world premiere there. But the influence of the festival in the project goes far beyond the commission itself. Apneseth has a close relationship with the festival. In the cover notes he writes: “It was a great pleasure for me to write music for the Førde Festival in particular, as it has provided me with musical inspiration from all over the world since I was a child. In many ways this event must bear some of the responsibility for my having become a musician.” The work Nattsongar is Apneseth’s attempt to distil his own experiences and encounters from the Festival, and is “a sort of tribute to an event that accentuates what various traditions and cultures have in common rather than cultivating their differences.”
The material on the album ranges from meditative, fiddle-like tunes to what could best be described as folk-funk and folk-blues, as well as to long excursions into a more jazz-inspired and open musical landscape. Apneseth’s Hardanger fiddle serves as the obvious common denominator throughout. The exceptionally capable band playing on the record must also be mentioned: Stein Urheim, Hans Hulbækmo, Erik Rydvall and Ole Morten Vågan. Together the musicians have created the album’s sonic expression, which according to the bandleader himself emerged “through the encounter of the music and the band”.
The album was recorded at Engfelt Forsgren Studio with the highly experienced Christian Engfelt at the helm, except for the title cut, “Nattsongar”, which was recorded live at its world premiere at the Førde Festival in 2016.
The title “Nattsongar” (“Night Songs”) can be interpreted in many different ways. Obviously, it can be associated with the almost lullaby-like title track, but also with the melancholic, twilight-like atmosphere of several of the album’s other tracks. And, as Apneseth asks, “Isn’t it the case that music somehow belongs more to the night than to the day?”
released April 7, 2017
Erlend Apneseth: Hardanger fiddle
Stein Urheim: electric and acoustic guitars, bouzouki, samples and electronics
Hans Hulbækmo: drums, percussion and saw
Erik Rydvall: keyed fiddle
Ole Morten Vågan: double bass
All music composed by Erlend Apneseth
All arrangements by the ensemble
Produced by Erlend Apneseth & Andreas R Meland
Recorded at Engfelt Forsgren Studio by Christian Engfelt, January 5-7th 2017.
The track «Nattsongar» was recorded live at Førdefestivalen,
July 9th, 2016 by Tor Magne Hallibakken.
Mixed at Livingroom Studios by Georg Tanderø, February 2017.
Mastered by Helge Sten at Audio Virus Lab, March 2nd, 2017.
Erlend Apneseth is one of Norway’s most renowned Hardanger fiddle players. Traditionally rooted, in recent years Apneseth
has made the contemporary / improvised music scene his home and his debut recording Blikkspor (Grappa Musikkforlag, 2013), produced by Arve Henriksen, received critical praise from folk, jazz and contemporary music magazines alike....more