A historical world premiere
Indigenous and contemporary music are woven together in an imposing new work by Einar Selvik and Ivar Bjørnson, familiar from Wardruna and Enslaved respectively. Norse and Norwegian poetry, accompanied by instruments from the Stone Age up to the present day, resonate in us just as they would have done with our forebears.
The Norse word hugsjá means to remember – literally ‘to see in the mind’. Focused on ideas, traditions and instruments from our Norse past, the work recounts Norwegian history while drawing lines to the present. Devoid of religious and political agendas and without romanticising the past, Hugsjá gives us space to reflect on ourselves and Norway as a nation.
The commissioned work is a result of a series of concerts under the name Nordvegen (the northern road), performed in four venues in the west of Norway. Bjørnson and Selvik have designed concerts inspired by local history for each of these places, and now combine the results into a major work in Grieghallen.
The prize-winning composers and musicians perform on guitar, keyboards and Hardanger fiddle alongside historical instruments such as the Kravik lyre and Goat’s horn in this development of Skuggsjá, which was created for the bicentenary of the Norwegian constitution in 2014. The project was a great success both nationally and internationally, with the album Ivar Bjørnson & Einar Selvik’s Skuggsjá (2016) reaching ninth place in the Billboard World Music charts.
Einar Selvik song, Kravik lyre, various historical instruments
Ivar Bjørnson guitars, effects, song
Iver Sandøy drums, percussion, song
Silje Solberg Hardanger fiddle, song
Håkon Vinje keyboard, song
Eilif Gundersen bronze lur
Sveinung Aaker Gundersen bronze lur
Nico Benz, Showlab lighting
Stein David Baastad sound
IVAR BJØRNSON (1977-) / EINAR SELVIK (1979-)
Supported by H. Westfal-Larsen og Hustru Anna Westfal-Larsens Allmennyttige Fond
Afterparty: Hugsjá, Wednesday 31 May in Tårnsalen in Lysverket after the Grieghallen concert.
Nordvegen concerts in Ullensvang 25 May, in Bekkjarvik 27 May, in Os 28 May and at Moster 05 June.