A safari through newly-written Norwegian music for accordion. Six pieces from different generations of composers. Our tour guide is a remarkably active and virtuosic performer with a direct contact to the sources.
Garland, fractals and fantasy
In Håkon Berges Girlander (Garland) the musical phrases twist outwards in repeated circular movements. The circle is also present as a feature of the harmony. The in and out movement of the bellows instigates a form of cyclic pulse which delimits the phrases, reminiscent of the rhythm of breathing. A similar idea is present in Wolfgang Plagge’s Fractals. Plagge conducts a dialogue between pedal notes and light echo effects, which creates a composed resonance on the instrument. Antonio Bibalo’s Sonata quasi una fantasia is the longest piece on the record. A narrative with many layers and much to tell, unfolding with an elegance and dramaturgy that testifies to the composer’s experience of music theatre.
Piece, meditation and dazzling dance
Erlend Skomsvoll, known mostly as a jazz pianist and arranger, also plays the accordion himself. In his Piece for Accordion he allows the musical form to move forward organically, with frequent use of unexpected harmonic building blocks. In Meditatio by Terje Bjørklund, Farmen is joined by Elise Båtnes with her exquisite violin playing. As with Skomsvoll we find ourselves in jazz terrain. There is a lyrical, almost film music-like atmosphere about the music. Finally Sigmund Lillebjerka brings us back to a folky, frisky and playful idiom.
Øivind Farmen is very versatile on his instrument, performing in many genres. He has collaborated on new works with composers like Håkon Berge, Morten Gaathaug, Terje Bjørklund, Johan Kvandal, Fredrik Högberg and Erlend Skomsvoll. As a performing artist he has worked together with musicians including Elise Båtnes, Øystein Baadsvik and Ole Edvard Antonsen. As a part of the folk trio ‘Flukt’, Farmen was nominated for the Spellemannprisen (Norwegian Grammy) in 2009. In 2008 the Norwegian Cultural Council granted Farmen a two-year stipend for performance of contemporary music.