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
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
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.
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 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.