Review Vossajazz March 24: Sinikka Langeland Ensemble by John Kelman

Vossa Jazz XL: Voss, Norway, March 22-24, 2013

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Published: April 10, 2013

March 24: Sinikka Langeland Ensemblensemble

Vossa Jazz’s final day started early (11:30am) and ended early (10:30pm, leaving plenty of time to hit the overnight train to Oslo, the first leg of a long trip back home to Canada), but amongst a number of these fine shows, two must-sees stood out.

 

Sinikka Langeland has been on the Norwegian scene for many years, releasing a number of fine recordings in Norway, based on either folk or classical traditions; but it was with the release of the sublime Starflowers (ECM, 2007) that she finally showed up on the international radar. The singer and kantele player—a plucked member of the dulcimer/zither family—has been exploring the music of Norway dating back to mediaeval times through to Norwegian folk hymns and Bach chorales since Langt Innpå Skoga (Grappa, 1994),but it was with Runoja (Heilo/Grappa, 2002) that, with the recruitment of trumpeter Arve Henriksen, she began to form the group that would eventually coalesce with Starflowers and continue with The Land That Is Not (ECM, 2011), an ensemble also featuring saxophonist Trygve Seim, bassist Anders Jormin and drummer Markky Ounaskari.

Henriksen was not available for Langeland’s Sunday afternoon performance at Osasalen, another venue situated a short five-minute walk from the Park Hotel, but while it would be difficult to ever say the trumpeter’s presence wasn’t missed, the remaining quartet certainly sounded no less complete without him; the only thing the group missed, during its early afternoon show, was the inevitable interaction between Henriksen and Seim, but in a show that drew heavily from her two ECM group recordings, the saxophonist simply assumed a more central role. Still, as a player whose interest in improvisation is one that eschews meaningless demonstrations of virtuosity—and as one of Norway’s most important composers to emerge post-Balke on albums like Different Rivers (ECM, 2001) and Sangam (ECM, 2005)—Seim played with characteristic restraint, his tone on tenor and curved soprano as inimitable as ever, his curious ability to bend notes and play microtonally the result of significant time spent studying in the Middle East, and his strength in evoking melodies redolent of his country’s tradition as unmistakable as always.

Jormin—perhaps better known for past tenures with American saxophonist Charles Lloyd and Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stańko, and his ongoing partnership in pianist Bobo Stenson‘s trio—may have been at a disadvantage, with his bass lost in transit and performing on a borrowed instrument, but if he was working any harder to achieve his characteristic singing tone, nobody could have noticed. Ounasakari—who has certainly been getting around since he recorded >Kuára: Psalms and Folk Songs, also appearing in the Fugara (DNL, 2012) quartet, with pianistStevko Busch, trumpeter Markus Stockhausen and saxophonist Paul Van Kemenade and, earlier in the naughties, Brutto Gusto (Challenge, 2003), with Dutch trumpeter Eric Vloeimans—was his characteristically sensitive self; capable of delicately moving the pulse forward with the gentlest of cymbal work but equally able to imbue the music with more power and drive when required.

But as superb as the entire group was, it was hard pull attention away from Langeland. Her playing on the kantele was a revelation; her singing a perfect combination of vulnerability and effortless power. The kantele is a much broader instrument, when it comes to range, than it might appear in photos, and Langeland’s mastery of the instrument was even more impressive live than her recorded performances suggest. Combined with Jormin’s soaring tone, Ounaskari’s textural intuition and Seim’s unfailingly perfect choices, it made for an afternoon performance evocative of sweeping images of barren landscapes and almost painful beauty—one that will not soon be forgotten.

Sinikka på Vossajazz

Den profilerte folkemusikeren Sinikka Langeland bidro med tekster og musikk fra de dype østnorske skoger i den høyst vestnorske jazzfestvalen på Voss i helga.

Med toppmusikere som Trygve Seim,. Anders Jormin og Markku Ounaskari på lag serverte Langeland blant annet Hans Børlis tekster for et stort og engsasjert publikum. Sinikka Langeland spiller det spesielle instrumentet kantele og med godt akkompanement fra noen av nordens fremste jazzutøvere ble det en flott konsert på 40-årsjubilant Vossajazz sin siste dag.

Ole Foss: Glåmdalen 26.mars 2013

 

 

 

 

Radioportrett Islandsradioen

Norðurslóð

19. feb 2013 | 10:13

Norræn vísna- og þjóðlagatónlist.
Umsjón: Aðalsteinn Ásberg Sigurðsson.
(Aftur á laugardag)

 

Norska söngkonan, kantele-leikarinn og höfundurinn Sinikka Langeland er í brennidepli þáttarins, en hún hefur getrið sér gott orð á undanförnum tveimur áratugum, ekki aðeins á sviði vísna- og þjóðlagatónlistar, heldur einnig fyrir skapandi samstarf við tónlistarflytjendur á öðrum vettvangi.

http://www.ruv.is/sarpurinn/nordurslod/19022013-0

Tuva, Sinikka og Øystein diskuterte på Bylarm – ” Nyforelska i folkemusikken ”

Nyforelska i folkemusikken

Kvifor dyrkar ein folkemusikken til andre land, mens vi ikkje lyttar til vår eigen? Øystein Greni trur det er fordi vi vil flykte frå oss sjølv.

 

NPK-NTB– Gitte Johannessen
laurdag 16. februar 2013 20.06

Nyforelska i folkemusikken Øystein Greni i Bigbang har funne tilbake til norsk folkemusikk. Foto: Berit Roald / NTB scanpix / NPK

Det sa han då Folkelarm samla Greni og to av dei nye, musikalske vennene hans – folkemusikarane Tuva Livsdatter Syvertsen og Sinikka Langeland, til paneldebatt under byLarm, med tittelen: «Kvifor hatar vi vår eigen folkemusikk?».

– Musikk blir ofte brukt som ei flukt, ein vil vekk – også frå det landet ein er frå. Eg prøvde å vere så amerikansk som eg klarte, med eit visst hell, men ikkje heilt, sa Greni, som kjente seg igjen i framstillinga musikkbransjeveteranen Joe Boyd gav i boka «White Bicycles»:

Amerikanske Boyd flytta til London på 60-talet og blei fascinert av korleis britane trykte amerikansk folkemusikk – som blues – til sitt bryst, mens dei hata sin eigen.

– Det stemte bra med meg, sa Greni, som no har funne vegen heim igjen, iallfall på plate: På det komande Bigbang-albumet «The Oslo Bowl» har han med seg Sinikka Langeland og

Valkyrien Allstars-medlem Erik Sollid, mens Tuva fungerte som rådgivar og inspirator.

 

– Løfte fram
Etter sjølv å ha funne sansen for folkemusikk, trur Greni at folk treng å høyre musikken og få han presentert – for at det skal nå fram.

– Populærmusikken kan løfte fram dei gamle tonane på ein ny måte, som får fleire til å høyre, sa Sinikka Langeland, som også trur at folkemusikkmiljøet sjølv kan ha blitt litt puritansk:

– Valkyrien tek tilbake det folkemusikken kan ha vore, det rå og eigenarta – dåtidas rock’ n’ roll, der det blei sagt at dei måtte binde halm rundt beina på spelemennene fordi dei trampa så hardt at ein knapt kunne høyre noko anna. Og kanskje må også rockemusikarane vere frekke og hente ut det som er ein del av den musikalske arven til oss alle, uavhengig av kva folkemusikarane synest?

For Langeland trur det ligg mye god musikalsk inspirasjon i folkemusikken, som har overlevd gjennom mange generasjonar, i hundrevis av år.

Greni sjølv medgir at blant dei beste Bigbang-låtane er det kanskje songane med dei mest hardingfeleaktige gitarklangane som står seg best, som «Wild Bird», «To the Mountains» og «Isabel».

 

Til Spektrum
Tuva meiner det manglar ein link mellom folkemusikken og resten av Musikk-Noreg.

– Folkemusikksjangeren er veldig åleine, opplever eg. Rett og slett fordi folk ikkje har peiling. Døllheitsfaktoren jobbar både med og mot oss. På den eine sida er folk overraska over at

Valkyrien klarer å gjere «den gamle, kjipe folkemusikken» så bra og opprocka. Men eg opplever også som avgrensande at det er folkemusikk, sa ho på seminaret.

– Det skal vi endre på! sa ein entusiastisk Øystein Greni, som samlar fansen i Oslo Spektrum i april for å feire «The Oslo Bowl» (©NPK).

Why do we hate our own folkmusic?

 

FOLKELARM / BY:LARM: Why do we hate our own folkmusic?
Torsdag 14.2 kl. 10.30 Safety Pin - Clarion Hotel Royal Christiania, Oslo
Øystein Greni and his band Bigbang is inspired by norwegian folkmusic on his last album and has involved among others kanteleplayer Sinikka Langeland.
On the festival By: Larm you can meet fiddelplayer Tuva Syvertsen interviewing Sinikka Langeland and Øystein Greni about the project and about  using traditional music in popular music.

Studiowork with new music

 


HIMMELHESTEN
Sinikka Langeland kantele Lars Anders Tomter viola
Markku Ounaskari drums

The trio has been in Rainbow Studio with producer Manfred Eicher and now I look foward to mix the the new music. We also had Trygve Seim as a guest. It sounded very good and special with viola and saxophone together.

NB. NB.

Next concert is in Oslo April 10. Riksscenen 20.00.

Trio concert in painter Irma Salo Jægers studio in Oslo.

images

Sinikka Langeland
Lars Anders Tomter
Markku Ounaskari

We celebrated the new year with some intensive days working with the music for our first trio recording. Irma Salo Jægers atelier Lilleborg has a wonderful acoustic and the last evening we hold a houseconcert for friends, painters, writers, musicians and other music-lovers.  Irma said she was happy that her paintings could hear some music, and we were indeed happy to play surrounded by her powerful art. Thank you Irma and to all of you who came to the atelier sharing a glass of wine with us and listening.

Spiller på Big Bang sin nye utgivelse!

Utdrag fra P3.no:

Bigbang slipper 1. mars platen The Oslo Bowl som er spilt inn i Øystein Grenis studio i Los Angeles. Og første låt ut fra albumet har også en amerikansk klang i tittelen “Like Americans Do”. Sangen beskriver i følge bandet en frossen og tvilende nordmanns undring og misunnelse overfor amerikaneres pågangsmot og tro på seg selv. Samtidig som samme nordmann også vet at selve grunnmuren i USA og “the american dream” er i ferd med å sprekke.

På “Like Americans Do” gjester Sinikka Langelandpå kantele (strengeinstrument mye brukt i finsk folkemusikk) og Erik Sollid fra Valkyrien Allstars på hardingfele, og Bigbang ymter frempå at nordiske folketoner vil blusse opp på det kommende albumet.

 

«The Sky Bore the Earth, and the Earth Bore a Tree» – Interview

“Myths are important. But they hold no power if nobody believes in them,”
says Sinikka Langeland.

Text: Ida Habbestad

“I took part in an exercise once. I was one of a group that went to the forest with an ecologist. The ecologist asked us to think about how we could earn money from the forest if we were entrepreneurs. Then we were to think about nature as our point of departure. It was very clear that our attitudes towards the forest changed according to our point of view,” says Sinikka Langeland.

We are driving from Kongsvinger towards the centre of Finnskogen, a forested area in Norway where Finnish immigrants settled in the 1500s and 1600s. We talk about the forest, but also about the metropolis of Los Angeles, where Sinikka has just been working with the band Big Bang and the group’s front figure Øystein Greni. “I found a skateboard kantele that I just had to bring home with me,” she explains enthusiastically, before mentioning in passing that she lived in the USA for a half-year when she was younger, working as a folksinger and guitarist in the Norwegian village at Disney World.

Continue reading

Sibeliusprisen!

SIBELIUS SOCIETY
NORWAY

SIBELIUS PRIZE 2012 TO SINIKKA LANGELAND

The Sibelius Society of Norway has awarded the Sibelius Prize 2012 to singer, musician
and composer Sinikka Langeland. She will receive the prize at a concert given by the
Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra at the Oslo Concert Hall on 1 November 2012.

Sinikka Langeland (b. 1961) is closely connected with the Skogfinn culture in Norway.
She has drawn attention to this culture by singing folk songs, such as rune songs and the
traditional kveding, as well as by playing the kantele, the Finnish national instrument. As
a composer, she has explored the world of traditional folk music and has juxtaposed it
with her self-composed melodies and lyrics. Sinikka Langeland is one of Norway’s most
distinctive folk musicians, and has an exceptionally broad range of contacts, including
many in the jazz and classical music communities. She is an extremely versatile artist,
whose work and commitment have played a major role in fostering knowledge of and
respect for the culture and traditions of the Skogfinn community in Norway.

The Sibelius Prize is an honorary award for outstanding efforts towards promoting
contact between the Finnish and Norwegian music communities or for promoting
understanding for and knowledge of Finnish music in Norway or Norwegian music in
Finland. The prize consists of NOK 100 000. This year the prize is being awarded for the
tenth time.

Previous recipients of the prize have been violinists Arve Tellefsen and Henning
Kraggerud, conductors Eivind Aadland and Jukka-Pekka Saraste, pianists Håvard Gimse
and Leif Ove Andsnes, mezzo-soprano Randi Stene, cellist Truls Mørk and professor Idar
Karevold.

Hans Børli presenteres i Tsjekkia

Hans Børli presenteres i Tsjekkia

 

Lyrikeren Hans Børli (1918-89) fra Eidskog er nylig kommet ut i bokform i Tsjekkia med tittelen Cesta Lesy (Veien i skogen). Poeten Petr Uhlir har oversatt 43 av Børlis dikt, i samarbeid med Dr. Phil. Miluse Jurickova ved universitetet i Brno. Bokprosjektet er støttet av det tsjekkiske kulturdepartement og den norske ambassade. Det har videre vært et samarbeid med Aschehoug forlag og Hans Børli-selskapet i Norge. Illustrasjonene i boka er ved maleren Borek Vytlacil,  i friske og lyse farger.

Presentasjonen av boka finner sted i begynnelsen av oktober og vil bli fulgt opp i 2013 med konsert av bl.a. Sinikka Langeland fra Grue Finnskog. Med sin sang og kantele har hun tidligere gjort Børli kjent bl.a. i USA og Japan.

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