2000 – 2001

This is another literary music project from Nedland Kultur. Vilhelm Krag (1871 – 1933) is seen as the poet that defined the southernmost part of Norway in his poems. His descriptions of people and nature and mores of the coastal areas around the town of Kristiansand formed people’s perception of this part of the country. Although many of his poems had been set to music decades ago, Ivar Bøksle found so many gems in Krag’s work, that a whole new bouquet of beautiful melodies brought a new catalogue of poems to a new generation of listeners. Nedland Kultur took the challenge of transforming poems and melodies into a quality album.

Ivar Bøksle was the one who, together with his brother Eivind, gave the old songs that famous Norwegian composer Johan Halvorsen had composed music to decades earliere a new lease of life. Records released by the Bøksle brothers in the 1970s gave new popularity to the old songs. On the album “Sange fra min ø”, there is one of the old songs with melody by Johan Halvorsen, but all the other compositions are by Ivar Bøksle. There are eight Krag/Bøksle songs, plus two more songs with melodies composed by Ivar Bøksle, to poems by another Southern Norwegian poet: Gabriel Scott (1874 – 1958).

From left: Vilhelm Krag, Johan Halvorsen, Gabriel Scott.

Several of the songs on the album are recorded with Kristiansand Chamber Orchestra, led by the violinist Svetlana Orlova (right). Orchestra arrangements were written by Sigvald Tveit. But there are also musicians from other styles of music on the album. Guitarist Tom Lund helped take a couple of songs in a latin samba/bossa nova direction, and the accordeon playing of singer and composer Ivar Bøksle is also an important feature of the album. All in all, the poems of Vilhelm Krag and Gabriel Scott got a new life through the spirited performances in the recording studio.

From left: Tom Lund, guitar, arrangements, Sigvald Tveit, orchestra arrangements, Ivar Bøksle: compositions, arrangements, vocals, guitar, accordeon.

Vilhelm Krag was an important writer in his time, as was illustrated by the fact that world famous painter Edvard Munch portrayed him (as seen to the left). Krag is still considered a major Norwegian writer, and one of the foremost cultural personalities of the Southern part of Norway, which has given us many of our major Norwegian artist profiles. The cover painting of the album is by one of the region’s major painters of Krag’s generation, Amaldus Nielsen from Mandal. Just as Vilhelm Krag, he here shows his close connection to the costal landscape, the sea, and the importance of all this to the people of the area.