The Erlend Apneseth Trio’s first album, Det Andre Rommet, earned glowing praise in Norway and abroad, and received both a Norwegian Folk Music Award in the open category and a nomination for Spellemannsprisen (the Norwegian Grammy). The BBC Music Magazine gave it the highest possible rating, and wrote: “The diversity of moods, styles, settings – and the track sequence – make for an enthralling listen.” MOJO praised the trio’s “close, intuitive compositions groaning, roiling and clattering with a raw exploratory life, creating a wild new strain of Norwegian folk tunes that move, appropriately, from sun-dappled utopianism to the bleakest noir netherworld.” Now the trio is returning with a masterly, poetic and surprising album where the musicians sound more cohesive than ever.
The trio’s collaboration began with Hardanger fiddler Erlend Apneseth’s debut album Blikkspor, produced by Arve Henriksen, which featured fiddle tunes, original compositions and improvisations side by side. On the last track of that album he was joined by drummer Øyvind Hegg-Lunde and guitarist Stephan Meidell – two players with an entirely different musical background to Apneseth’s.
Their collaboration was a success, but when the trio’s first album, Det Andre Rommet, was recorded, their alliance was still very new. “We weren’t a band that had played very much live. We went into the studio to see what would happen, and we were open to all possibilities. In such an experimental phase it’s difficult to really know what’s in store, but when we were finished in the studio we felt, in any case, that we had made an album that was different in both form and sound. So it was very gratifying to see that it reached such a broad audience,” says Erlend.
Since its debut the trio has presented a number of concerts, and this time the process was more focussed although as musicians they have continued to experiment and explore. “Before we started to record we got together to go through some sketches and melodic material we had gathered, which we improvised on in the days preceding the sessions. We recorded everything we did, and tried to listen for what worked well and what didn’t, in order to consolidate our material before we went into the studio.”
Åra was recorded at Duper Studio in Bergen with technician Iver Sandøy, and was later mixed by Jørgen Træen at Lydgrotten in Bergen. The soundscape is very different from the one on their previous album.
Åra presents a band that has merged even more effectively as a trio, and that sounds even more integrated, democratic and adventurous than on the debut album.
On the track “Lysne”, Bergen poet Erlend Nødtvedt contributes an inspired recitation of his own text. “We sat and mixed a tune that we felt lacked an independent story, and then it occurred to us to call Erlend. He came two hours later, without having heard the song and with a baby in his arms, and went straight into the studio. One take, and the track was finished,” says Apneseth. “There are direct or indirect references to Erlend’s texts on all of my releases up to now,” he continues. “We have often collaborated live, and I think he’s fantastic at reading aloud, not least in the way he relates to the music.”
The album was mastered by Helge Sten at Audio Virus Lab.
About the musicians:
Erlend Apneseth from Jølster is one of Norway’s foremost young fiddlers. He is a performer who stands with both feet firmly planted in the Norwegian folk music tradition, but who at the same time improvises and searches for new modes of expression – all the while with the sounds of the Hardanger fiddle and folk music as his point of departure. Earlier this year he released the critically acclaimed album Nattsongar, which was originally a commissioned work for the Førde International Folk Music Festival.
Drummer Øyvind Hegg-Lunde divides his time between a variety of different projects, including Building Instrument, Electric Eye and Susanne Abbuehl. Meidell and Hegg-Lunde worked together as an improvisational duo, Strings & Timpani, before Erlend invited them to join his project.
Already this year guitarist Stephan Meidell has released his solo album, Metrics (HUBRO), his third album with the trio Cakewalk, Isihara (HUBRO) , and the album Too Lazy to Panic with the trio Velkro (Clean Feed).
Erlend Apneseth Trio – Åra
HUBROLP3584 (LP – CD included)
1. Utferd (05:08)
2. Tundra (04:06)
3. Øyster (03:24)
4. Stryk (04:34)
5. Undergrunn (04:39)
6. Bølgebrytar (02:33)
7. Saga (03:33)
8. Lysne (03:36)
9. Sakura (04:30)
10. Klokkespel (01:49)
Erlend Apneseth: Hardanger fiddle
Stephan Meidell: baritone acoustic guitar, live sampling & electronics
Øyvind Hegg-Lunde: drums and percussion
All music made by Apneseth/Meidell/Hegg-Lunde
HUBRO PR here