Linden- what's in a name?
Already in 2017 I started preparing for the release of my first solo album by applying to different funds to gather enough money to record, produce and print my CD. In September I spent three days in studio, recording my favourite songs from Gjøvik and Vestoppland. I recorded 21 songs, 17 of them ended up on the album. The songs I've picked are all special to me in different ways. Some of the songs are very personal to me, like the songs taught to me by my parents. Other songs have melodies I find beautiful or they have funny lyrics. It was hard to choose which songs to include on this album, but I wanted the listener to be a part of my journey in discovering this music. That's why you will hear lullabies, ballades, psalms, dance tunes, short songs and long songs, all in one album.
Last Autumn I visited a park on a farmstead in Toten, called Stenberg. In the park there is a gazebo made out of linden trees. In the middle of the gazebo, there is a table and a couple of benches where you can sit and enjoy the view over lake Mjøsa and contemplate life. Picture taken by Kari Bakken.
The first traditional song I learned from my home town, that wasn't a children's song or lullaby, was "Langt nordanfor Trondhjem". "Langt nordanfor Trondhjem" is a ballade with a sort of happy ending, a rarity in Norwegian ballads. The song is about a person longing to be with his loved one, imagining that he is back home with her. This song has been my favourite ever since the first time I heard it, so it was natural to include this song on my debut album. The start of the song is; "Langt nordanfor Trondhjem der stander en lind, den lyser vel femtende mile omkring", which roughly translated means: Far north of Trondhjem there stands a linden tree, it shines about fifteen miles.
The linden tree also appears in two other songs on this album; "Straffangens erindring" and "O Gud, gje det blese", therefore I thought it would be fitting to name my album after this tree.
The CD "Linden" is released on 22 February, and can already be pre-ordered here: https://www.platekompaniet.no/cd/linden/
The entire album will be available on digital platforms gradually during March.
Hope you'll like it!
Recording my album
This past week this church has been my office:
For three days I have been in Sofienberg church in the middle of Oslo recording my first solo album. It has been three fun and exhausting days! For eventhough it is mostly fun singing songs I am really fond of as my daily job, it takes a lot of energy singing the same songs over and over again, trying to nail the perfect version. For about four hours a day I stood in the choir of the church singing songs to this man 😅:
The room had such beautiful acoustics and my sound engineer, Audun Strype, is just brilliant, so I have no doubt the sound will be good. With the guidance of my producer Øyonn Groven Myhren the recording process was a joy and I am looking forward to the now beginning work of choosing which songs and versions that will end up on the final product!
An idea coming to life
Ealier this year I had an idea to create a performance with only vocals and dance. It is always a bit intimidating to create something new, especially something that includes having to ask professional artists and venues if they would like to join. Fortunately all I got was positive responses and my idea is now coming to life!
This weekend I went to Stavanger to rehearse with Tuva Færden. Many know Tuva as a great musician and hardanger fiddle player, but she is also a very talented dancer! In this performance Tuva is going to dance while I am singing norwegian traditional songs. Creating a performance is a very exciting process; there is always changes and new ideas, but also a lot of fun! The production will be performed at Riksscenen in Oslo, Descember 7th, as a one of three short choreographies. I am looking foreward to spending time on this project this autumn and to further develop my idea!
Making an album
This September I am recording my first solo album! The album will consist of Norwegian traditional songs from my home area, Vestoppland, and it will all be sung a capella. I will try to update this blog during the process of creating the album and touring. Although it’s not my first language, I will try to write this blog in English so my English speeking friends can join in on my journey (apologies in advance for poor grammar).
Yesterday I visited Øyonn Groven Myhren, the producer of my album, at her late grandfather Eivind Grovens workplace in Ekeberg, where he kept his famous pure-tuned (just-intonation) organs. (www.orgelhuset.org/en/orgel.htm )
The house is situated very beautifully, not far from the view of Munchs famous painting «The Scream», and although it’s in Oslo it feels like the country side with all the greenery and berry bushes. Just when I walked in to the garden, I met this cute fellow:
Hope it's a sign of good luck !
Kirsti Bakken Kristiansen
Singer, Vocal Teacher, Speech Language Therapist.