Annbjørg Lien, with her feet solidly planted in Norwegian folk music, but a gaze that constantly turns outwards, has reached an audience far beyond the well-informed Norwegian and international folk music community. Three years after her successful world music album “Khoom Loy” was released, she is now presenting a long-awaited new album. And the wait was not in vain. “Drifting Like a Bird”, her ninth album, is a cohesive and inspired studio version of a commissioned work with the same name that Annbjørg composed for the North Sea Festival in Farsund in 2013.
North Sea songs
Here she presents a collection of powerful songs about life at sea and on land around the North Sea Basin. Annbjørg worked systematically: before writing the music she interviewed sailors and seamen to collect stories and impressions. It is easy to hear that the project has been inspiring for composer and lyricist Lien.
Musically the album has a wide range: from the gem of a folk-pop song “Sette segl” to dynamic instrumental pieces, to the epic “Peter & Angelos”.
Annbjørg – the singer
Annbjørg has sung on previous records, but as an exception rather than a rule. On “Drifting Like a Bird” she sings on a number of the songs. “I’ve always been very satisfied being an instrumentalist, but gradually I became curious about how I could use my voice,” she explained in a recent interview. “I’ve listened to American musicians who accompany themselves on the fiddle and sing at the same time. I think it’s a good experience to hear the instrument get so close to the voice.”
Earlier this year Annbjørg contributed to Ketil Bjørnstad and Ole Paus’s well-received record “Frolandia”, and toured in Canada both as a solo artist and with the group String Sisters.
“Drifting Like a Bird” was recorded at Kongshavn Studios outside of Kristiansand by Roald Råsberg, and was produced by Bjørn Ole Rasch.