After 12 years of vocal extreme sports, Nordic Voices have developed into a unique ensemble with a capability that is unrivalled. On this recording they premiere six of the finest works that have been written for them in later years.
“If an audience member had asked the singers of Nordic Voices to tie their vocal cords in knots or chant in perfect accord while drinking glasses of water, they might have done it”, Washington post reported after a concert in February 2008. Nordic Voices enjoy it the most when the challenges are the greatest. They find a childish joy in developing a musical surplus inside all the complexity. Nordic Voices focus on performing music that communicates with the listener, and they have experienced that audiences are a lot less conservative than one might think. The ensemble is very successful in their performances of new music, whether the concert takes place during the Bergen Festival or off a deserted crossroads somewhere in the American Midwest.
Music that demands a certain amount of madness
All the six singers of Nordic Voices are classically trained, but in the later years they have also studied overtone singing, kveding (traditional Norwegian folk song), and micro tonality. These techniques are of course nothing new within the sphere of contemporary music, but the guttural sounds and throat singing by Nordic Voices displays a unique universe which have developed between the singers. They can go from sounding like an engine choking to an angelic choir – the sound of two voices a quarter note apart can be both dramatic and beautiful. After a concert in Canada, february 2008, critic John Kelman wrote: “Dissonances aside, this was glorious music that could make a believer out of an atheist”.
Nordic Voices was founded in 1996 and have established themselves among the most influential Scandinavian vocal ensembles. They have toured all over the world, in recent years particularly in the USA and Europe to great critical acclaim. This year they present this new recording with a solo concert at the prestigious Bergen International Festival.