On their second album, the young but experienced duo of Gunnar Halle (trumpet) and Espen Eriksen (piano) use psalms as a point of departure for lovely, challenging and searching improvisations. Their mode of expression ranges from dark and introspective to more rhythmically playful and exalted. The project presents both well-known and less familiar psalms in new and stimulating ways, and at the same time demonstrates the strength and durability that characterise this material.
The duo had already presented a number of church concerts with this material before going into the studio. “In the beginning we were afraid that it might appear offensive and disrespectful to give familiar and beloved festival hymns completely new packaging. But actually we have had only positive feedback from audiences of all ages, and people are delighted to hear the old hymns and folk songs, some of which are quite ancient, in an entirely new way.”
The album was recorded at the legendary Rainbow Studio in Oslo in the course of two short and intense sessions.
Gunnar Halle: trumpet
Born in Bærum, Norway, in 1973. Studied in Copenhagen, where he established himself as one of Scandinavia’s most popular young trumpet players, and has earned his living as a musician since 2001. He has collaborated mainly with Danish, Swedish and Finnish musicians, has toured throughout the world and has played on over 60 records. Halle plays with Pierre Dørge’s Jungle Orchestra (DK), FatDog, duo with Pamelia Kurstin (US), Fattigfolket (N/SE), Josefine Lindstrand (S) and Lisbeth Diers (DK). His first solo album will be released on the German label Ozella Music in early 2015.
Espen Eriksen: piano
Born in Haugesund, Norway, in 1974. He is best known as the leader of the Espen Eriksen Trio, a group which has up to now released three albums with the record company Rune Grammofon to glowing reviews in Norway and abroad, and has been compared to Esbjørn Svensson and Tord Gustavsen. Eriksen contributed as a pianist, songwriter and arranger for Christina Bjordal’s international solo debut for Universal Music, and has played with the pop band Briskeby, as well as with Bendik Hofseth, Audun Erlien, Eivind Aarset and Thomas Strønen.. A new trio album is currently in the planning stage.