2001 – 2002

This is a weird one! Nedland kultur was contacted by two writers having selected poems that would complement each other, and form the basis for a music album. Melodies had been written and demo recordings made. Could we finsih this one together? The answer was yes, the poems and the melodies are good, but the recordings and the arrangements must be totally different if Nedland Kultur is going to be involved. And so it was. New arrangements, new artists and a new sound that the originators had never expected. And guess what: everybody was happy!

Not only was the history and development of the project quite out of the ordinary. The cover is also probably the weirdest in the history of Nedland Kultur. But it illustrates much of the musical content: The unlikely combination of elements: nature and technology, old and new, nostalgic and innovative at the same time.

The two poets: Johan Christian Sandvand and Olav Mosdøl

The artists selected for the project were all from the part of Norway where you find the environment, nature and way of life described in the poems: The southernmost part. Johan Christian Sandvand being the poet of the costal area, and Olav Mosdøl describing the inland and the valleys. The cost having a tradition of folk singers in a certain style associated with the ocean, sailors and the proud naval traditions, The inland being a heartland of Norwegian traditional music. Some of the artists, notably Kirsten Bråten Berg and Sondre Bratland, are among the leading traditional singers in Norway, while Ivar Bøksle is one of the main performers of the costal folk tradition. Hilde Hefte is mostly known for her exquisit jazz performances, while Anne Marie Almedal comes from the more eclectic pop/rock traditions. Bentein Baardson is Norway’s maybe most profiled large scale theatre director – known among other things for the opening ceremony of the Olympics at Lillehammer, and the opening ceremony for the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. He is also an actor. All in all, it was an unusual combination of artists for an unusual album project.

From top right: Sondre Bratland, Hilde Hefte, Bentein Baardson

Below: Kirsten Bråten Berg, Anne Marie Almedal, Ivar Bøksle

Recording were made at NRK’s music studio in Kristiansand with sound engineers Kai Stokkeland and Sigtor Kjetså (left). And if the combination of artists were unusual, so was the type of band for such a production. Four musicians with a background from mainly rock, indie and eclectic pop music made a soundtrack of innovative, original and creative sounds and arrangements. They were adapting and interpreting the wishes and instrucions from producer Sigbjørn Nedland so well, that he considers this album one of his most successfull productions.

The band (left to right): Steinar Gregertsen, guitars, Vidar Ersfjord, keyboards, Ole Kristian “Kelly” Kvamme, bass, Tom Rudi Torjussen, percussion.

The tracks on the album range from sea-salted maritime folksongs with arrangements inspired by the soundtrack to “Twin Peaks” to industrial soundscapes with exquisit traditional singing styles, and broken keyboard effects to glass-clear female vocals. Not top 40 stuff, but immensely satisfying for producer and musicians alike, and appreciated also by slightly surprised singers, composers and writers.