Kerstin Blodig
"Nordisk Sjel" - 2008 (CD 87160)
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"Trollsang" - 2005 (CD 87107)
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"Valivann - Rhythmic Ballads" - 2002 (CD 87088)
 

The new album by singer/guitarist Kerstin Blodig is a collection of favourite songs from favourite live projects and their formerly released CDs: Kerstin solo, Kelpie and Talking Water, as well as newly recorded favourites and tracks from a new studio project with Scottish songwriter/ producer Bob Melrose. - Opulently modern, minimalisticly folky, bizarre and beautiful, passionate and pure, melancholy and dreamy, soulful and sad, tongue-in-cheek and humorous - she takes us on a musical journey from Norway across the North Sea to Scotland and back home again to the land of the trolls, elf kings and wood nymphs, of breathtaking landscapes and mysterious myths.

Songs with magical power ...

"Trollsang" (also Galder or old Norse Galdr) is a song with magical power. The verb „gale“ in old Norse meant to sing in a high-pitched voice. According to the Vikings, if you did this, you had been exposed to troll songs. You can still find the word „gal“ - meaning crazy -in the Scandinavian languages today. The Norse god, Odin, is said to have had a collection of troll songs for all occasions – one to calm the raging waves, one to soothe hate, another one to inspire love and passion in a female heart.

The CD "Trollsang" is a collection of songs and tunes dealing not only with the subterranean people, but also about being spellbound – not only by trolls, but also by the fascination of old folk tales, ancient beliefs, and the very beauty of music itself – about magical moments when old meets new. Three instrumental pieces, four medieval ballads, two sung dance tunes, and three atmospheric songs – twelve exciting musical tales about grumpy mountain giants, malicious water sprites, mystical elves and seductive wood nymphs – display Kerstin Blodig`s talents as a composer, arranger and as a versatile musician.

"Trollsang" is not meant to be a purist traditional folk album. Kerstin Blodig's love of Norwegian traditional music and her passion for groovy modern guitar music (as with her "guitar heroines and heroes" Vicki Genfan, Don Ross and Michael Hedges) let her successfully combine these two different elements to create an exciting, innovative blend of old and new. Her expressive, sensual vocals mix with her virtuoso guitar playing or her groovy bodhràn technique.

The arrangements on the album are rather minimalistic. Most of the songs and tunes are live reproduceable in Kerstin Blodig's solo performances. On four ensemble pieces out of twelve tracks, Kerstin Blodig is accompanied by her marvellous colleagues such as Ian Melrose on whistles and electric guitar, Kristine Heebøll on fiddle, Urs Fuchs on percussion and Peter Jakk on bass.

 

Rhythmic Ballads from Both Sides of the North Sea

The sea with its mysterious depths, its vast breadth and its breathtaking power has always fascinated generations of people and provided the inspiration for countless tales and legends.

The North Sea is the geographical link between the two seafaring nations Norway and Scotland, which are also bound together by countless historical connections. Trading and invasions have not only brought forth similarities in speech and dialects, but have also led to strong cultural ties, particularly evident in the area of folk music.

One of the principal ideas behind the project Valivann is to feature the striking similarity between Celtic and Scandinavian ballads, particularly the thematic content of the lyrics. The two songs "Horpa" and "The Cruel Sister" are the prime examples of how the same theme has been developed in both Norwegian and Scottish cultures.

Valivann has combined a subjective choice of favourite lyrics with original and traditional melodies to create an exciting nordic ethno-cocktail: a crystal-clear voice floating over a lush carpet of hard-edged rhythms, samples and acoustic instruments.

The CD
The CD was recorded over a period of three years, during which time Kerstin gathered and wrote a lot of material and did some preliminary arrangements before experimenting with more extensive instrumentation and the technical possibilities of a modern recording studio. Many late-night sessions with Mick, crazy ideas, laughter, ups and downs and single-malt whiskies led to a lot of spontaneous recordings which were great fun and were often used in the final mix.