Bringing people together

At the core of Nedland Kultur’s activities lies the ambition of uniting and bringing together people from different cultural areas, from different walks of life, from different countries, even from different continents. It is the firm belief of Nedland Kultur that there is always more that unite people of different cultural and/or geographical backgrounds than what divide them.


A major part of Malawi’s musical heritage from the 1940s up until the late 80s rests in the archives of MBC, Malawi Broadcasting Corporation. The music has for years been inaccessible, and is in danger of extinction. Nedland Kultur and MBC , with the support of the Norwegian Embassy in Malawi, have been collaborating in a project to rescue this national treasure of music.

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Taarab is the music of Zanzibar, one of the very few music styles in Africa with an orchestral tradition, with a line-up of several violins, cellos, double bass, oud, qanun, dumbak drums and more. Nedland Kultur wanted to fulfil the ambitions of Zanzibari musicians to merge European symphonic and Zanzibari taarab orchestral tradition in this project with the Symphony Orcehstra of NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation).  

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Budapest Ritmo Festival wanted to host a workshop where Hungarian Rom musicians would collaborate with Sami musicians. Being partners in a Norwegian – Hungarian project supported by the EEA/EU, they approached Nedland Kultur and asked them to be the Norwegian partner of the project. Nedland Kultur agreed to plan and organise a workshop, concerts and a conference session during the 2016 Budapest Ritmo Festival. A group of three Hungarian and two Norwegian musicians participated.

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Nedland Kultur was asked by the Romanian town Sibiu, which was European Cultural Capital in 2007, to come up with a proposal for a musical project involving Romanian and international artists as part of the cultural program for the “Capital of Culture” year. The project came to involve three artists, from Romania, Zanzibar and Norway, and it focused on one common characteristic of all three countries: a strong tradition for fiddle music

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Having established a collaboration project between fiddle players Anne Hytta from Norway and Mohamed Issa “Matona” Haji from Zanzibar (See “Sibiu European Cultural Capital” above), Nedland Kultur recruited two more musicians and established the N.E.W.S. Quartet.   Norwegian, Zanzibari and West African tunes blend together in a many faceted soundscape, and traditional melodies alternate with original compositions by the group members.

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It had been a long time ambition for Nedland Kultur to bring Mari Boine Band to Zanzibar.
Having done several earlier collaboration projects with Mari Boine and her musicians, producer Sigbjørn Nedland was eager to introduce them to Zanzibari music, and not least to introduce Zanzibar to Mari Boines arctic music, which, strangely, seemed to relate very well to the music of this island in the Indian Ocean. So well that two Zanzibari musicians joined her for the concert, and were then invited to play with her in Norway.

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Ever since his first visit to Tanzania in 1989, Sigbjørn Nedland had been trying to help musicians establish a studio in Dar Es Salaam, as there were no quality studios at all in the city. In 1997, with the help of the aid organisation Strømme Foundation and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), Nedland Kultur was able to establish Marimba Studio, the first digital multi track studio in Dar Es Salaam. At the time the only options were very basic four or eight track cassette studios that could not deliver good sound. With Marimba Studio the possibility was established for musicians in Dar to document their music in a proper way.

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Music Channel was a project uniting Israeli, Palestinian and Norwegian musicians in one group. In 1994, the secret “Oslo Channel” sparked the idea of establishing a musical collaboration between the same three nationalities that had been involved in the political negotiations in Oslo, Norway. 
History has proved that the agreement did not bring peace, but the musical project remains an example of how musicians from different sides of a conflict can be able to create music together that can bridge big political and emotional divides.

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