Transforming poetry and other writings into music is an important category in the catalogue of musician, composer and writer Ketil Bjørnstad. Most known among his works are the interpretations of Harry Martinsson, Knut Hamsun, John Donne and Edvard Munch.
Earlier this year he released the critically acclaimed album ”A Suite of Poems” with Anneli Drecker (Bel Canto, Røyksopp, a-ha) on ECM, where poems by Lars Saabye Christensen was the source of inspiration. The release got a lot of attention and received superlatives from the critics.
Kjersti Annesdatter Skomsvold
Kjersti Annesdatter Skomsvold debut was in 2009 with the novel ”Jo fortere jeg går, jo mindre er jeg”, released on Forlaget Oktober. For this novel she was awarded Tarjei Vesaas’ debutant price for 2009, and it got short listed for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary award in 2013. Later she has released a collection of poems and multiple novels. The books have been translated to more than 20 languages, and are published in USA, Great Britain, Russia, China, Germany and France (among other countries).
Jazz singer Eva Bjerga Haugen- a perfect match
Bjørnstad made music of a selection of the texts from Skomsvold’s collection of poems ”Litt trist matematikk” (Oktober 2013) and searched for many years after s suiting vocalist for the project. When he collaborated with Eva Bjerga Haugen, autumn 2016, he realized that Eva was perfect for performing a song syclus such as this. A few months later the album was recorded in Rainbow Studios by Jan Erik Kongshaug.
Eva Kristine Bjerga Haugen is a jazz vocalist, musician and song writer. She teaches jazz vocal and vocal ensemble at the Jazz program at the University of Stavanger. Her debut was as a classical pianist with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra (KORK) at the age of 15, but she gradually started focusing on french and jazz studies. She is a singer that effortlessly shifts between genres. She has contributed in a theatre production about Marlene Dietrich and Edith Piaf, collaborated with Espen Eriksen Trio, and is a part of the projects Amigo Tom, Cirrus and Song Circus – to mention a few.
Ketil Bjørnstad has been one of Norway’s most productive artists since his debut as a pianist only 16 year old, balancing parallel carriers as a writer, composer and musician. So far he has published over 60 albums and more than 40 books, and he has a big audience, both reading and listening, home in Norway as well as in Europe. He has written rock operas, ballet music and his music has been used in movies by Ken Loach and Jean- Luc Godard (among others).