Landscape painting in song form. On their new album Ketil Bjørnstad and Ole Paus take us along on a “journey inward” with 17 newly written songs. “FROLANDIA – 17 sanger” is a personal tribute to the landscape and the small inland communities that form much of Norway, and to the people who live their lives there. At the same time it represents a new high point in the collaboration between two good friends who have worked together for several decades, and who have always been able to bring out each other’s innovative and creative strengths.
Paus and Bjørnstad
Ole Paus had announced that he was retiring as a recording artist after his bestselling triple album “Avslutningen” in 2013, but nevertheless immediately agreed to join Bjørnstad when the latter asked him to go into the studio with the songs on “Frolandia”. Bjørnstad once said that he never writes a melody without having Ole Paus’s voice in mind. Nobody else can convey this material in the same way. The duo describe the project as both personal and important, and regard this recording as one of the finest they have ever made.
Paus and Bjørnstad first worked together in the recording studio in 1973, when Bjørnstad played piano and electric piano on Paus’s first album, “Blues for Pyttsan Jespersens Pårørende”. Two years later they recorded the double album “Lise Madsen, Moses og de andre” as a duo. Bjørnstad produced Ole Paus’s record “Zarepta” in 1977, and in 1978 Paus sang the role of Hans Jæger on Bjørnstad’s legendary triple album “Leve Patagonia”. Paus also appeared in two songs on Ketil Bjørnstad’s double album “Tidevann”, and in 1984 on “Mine Dager i Paris”, which was nominated for a Spellemannspris, the Norwegian Grammy. The 1982 album “Bjørnstad/Paus/Hamsun” has achieved cult status, and the football book “Reisen til Gallia”, from the Football World Cup in France in 1998, was one of that year’s bestsellers. The album “Kildens bredd”, where the duo presented Norwegian romances and national songs from the 1800s, was given the highest possible rating by the newspaper Dagbladet when it was released 13 years ago.
On “Frolandia – 17 sanger” the duo have gathered an extraordinarily strong band, with Annbjørg Lien on fiddle and keyed fiddle in the forefront. The album was recorded at Kongshavn Studio, Kristiansand, with technician Roald Råsberg, and later mixed by Jan Erik Kongshaug at Rainbow Studio in Oslo. It was produced by Ketil Bjørnstad.
Concert: Kongsberg Jazzfestival, 4 July 2015