Erlend Apneseth is one of Norway’s foremost Hardanger fiddle players and folk musicians. After being widely recognized with the award-winning and critically acclaimed Erlend Apneseth Trio, he now returns with an acoustic soloalbum. This is the first time since his debut album “Blikkspor” (2013) that he has put the soloistic performance in focus, and this time the unique acoustics in Emmanuel Vigeland’s Mausoleum sets the scene for his improvisations and compositions.
“The Hardanger fiddle is traditionally a soloistic instrument. For me, one of the most fascinating things about the instrument is its ability to fill a whole room with sound all by itself. Even though I’ve been working in an electro-acoustic universe the last years, I’ve never left the acoustic approach to the Hardanger fiddle, and I now felt the time had come to do something all alone again.”
Even though Apneseth is rooted in traditional music, he has immersed himself in improvisation and alternative sonic-and pizzicato-technics on the Hardanger fiddle, which makes him stand out with his very own musical expression. After incessantly exploring his instrument for many years, this album can be seen as a personal catalogue of the Hardanger fiddle’s sonic possibilities:
“I see this now as the most personal album I’ve done so far. Most of the titles therefore reflects my own life”.
The album title “Nova” underlines Apneseth’s colourful approach to music:
“It’s a title that covers the different aspects of the album. The sound of the room gives it all an almost cosmic character, a feeling of being levitated or in another sphere. To me it is first and foremost a symbol of the human being. In China they called them guest stars: small newly arisen lights on the night sky, visible for a short time, then receding into its original form. Also, where I come from “nova” is the term for a mountain peak, or the corners that bind together the wooden house I live in.”
Erlend Apneseth has released eight albums, received numerous awards, among them “Grappas Debutantpris” and “Gammleng-prisen”, and no less than five nominations for the Norwegian Grammy’s. In 2019 he received the Norwegian Grammy’s award in the Open Cathegory for his album “Salika, Molika”, with Erlend Apneseth Trio and Frode Haltli. The album also received the NOPA-award and was nominated for the Nordic Music Prize. Apneseth has written commissioned works for Kongsberg Jazzfestival, Førdefestivalen and Ultima, and toured extensively in Europe the past years. Since 2021 he has collaborated with the composer Ørjan Matre on new works for Hardanger Fiddle and The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra.
His latest solo project “Fragmentarium”(2020) received Folkelarmprisen and was praised by critics. Arild R. Andersen (Aftenposten” described it like this: “It’s the traditional music demonstrating its ever lasting relevance, cloaked in the present time’s tasteful approach. Erlend Apneseth makes folk music important again”.