“This year’s most exciting folk music record!”, was how a collective press described the debut album Frie Tøyler in 2014. Adresseavisen wrote: “This is music that hits you, regardless if you´re a fan of traditional music, rock or blues”. Their debut album was based on a desire to make traditional music more accessible to a bigger audience, with hard-hitting, newly composed tunes in a playful approach.
Without turning away from their expression or the goal, “Fete slåtta” pays homage to Norwegian traditional music. Erlend has learned the tunes from his teachers, colleagues and archive recordings. The traditional tunes are integrated into the trio´s expression, channeling and exploring traditional form, tonality and rhythmical elements. Collectively this creates their unique sound, where the trio continues their exploration of the meeting between the structured melodies and the musical free space. Producer Olav Torget has been a part of arranging and forming the music and also contributes with the African instrument n´goni on three of the tracks.
“One of the things I like best with traditional music is that it´s so heavily connected with social happenings and dance. In folk music culture it´s a tradition to meet up to play, sing and dance, without planning any of the music in advance. It´s a way to hang out. Some of my strongest musical memories are the meeting between professionals and amateurs, people from different genres and with instrumentation that rarely – or is never heard – on a concert stage.” – Erlend Viken
Even though, or maybe because of, Erlend´s need to explore, he is still a typical folk music nerd. He has studied the archives, traditional techniques, different traditional areas and tonalities, and not least had coffee and cookies while learning Hardanger fiddle tunes from masters such as Håkon Høgemo (Western Norway), and Tore Bolstad (Valdres). The fiddle tunes he has learned from his father.
Erlend Viken Trio has previously released the albums Frie Tøyler (2014) and Nykomlingen (2017). The debut album Frie Tøyler received the Folkelarm Award in 2014. The band members consist of sought-after musicians that has made an impression in different musical genres.
Erlend Viken has played with musicians such as Odd Nordstoga, Bigbang, Susanne Sundfør, Ingebjørg Bratland, Erlend Ropstad, Mathias Eick Quintet, OnklP & De fjerne slektningene, and Majorstuen. With Earlybird Stringband he has been nominated for two Norwegian Grammy Awards. He has won the “elite group” for regular fiddle at the National Games for Traditional Music and Dance in Norway (2016), and composed several commissioned works, the latest being “Djupet“ for Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival in 2020.
Marius Graff is a sought-after guitarist and multi-instrumentalist. He´s a vocalist, guitarist and composer in the chamber pop ensemble “TeleGram“, and has worked with some of Norway´s biggest artists, such as Marit Larsen and Lillebjørn Nilsen.
Sondre Meisfjord has been a part of Come Shine, Gjermund Larsen Trio, Hekla Stålstrenga, Urban Tunells Klezmerband, and Trondheim Jazz Orchestra (with Pat Metheny).
He has worked and recorded with artists such as Kari Bremnes, Odd Nordstoga, Aasmund Nordstoga, Anders Røine, Bruvoll/Halvorsen, Sissel Kyrkjebø, Kreg Viesselman.