Erlend Viken enjoyed great success with his trio album “Frie Tøyler” in 2014. Now, three years later, a year after winning first prize in the elite Category A in the National Contest for Traditional Music, Viken is returning with a new album and a new trio. The instrumentation is the same as before – fiddle, guitar and cello – but the music takes us to constantly new places. The wide-ranging experience these three musicians have from a number of different genres is clearly evident. On three of the tracks the group is augmented by drummer and percussionist Øyvind Skarbø (1982, Håkon Kornstad Tenor Battle). “Nykomlingen” emerges as yet another original album that is bursting with enthusiasm, interaction and musical inquisitiveness.
Original mode of expression
Fiddler and composer Erlend Viken was already an established and prize-winning musician when he released his debut album, the critically acclaimed “Frie Tøyler”, in 2014. The Norwegian newspaper Adresseavisen called the album “the most exciting folk music album this year”, and wrote that “this is music that will touch you whether you are a folk, rock or blues fan”. According to the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation’s radio station P2, “The Erlend Viken trio has created an original mode of expression that stands out from the crowd”, and the newspaper Dagbladet wrote that the album “like a lot of good music is virtually impossible to define as belonging to a specific genre”.
Erlend wants all the musicians to have free rein in their approach to the music. “It’s important for me to have a certain amount of openness in the music, with space for variations and impulsive ideas, and I think we have managed to move out into more uncharted waters on this album. The tunes are more or less based on melodies on this album, too, but on several of them we have worked in a more fragmentary and improvisational way than before,” says Viken. All three members of the trio propose material, and all of them contribute ideas for the arrangements. Part of the material on “Nykomlingen” is traditional music, hand-picked from sources in Norway, Sweden and North America. The music Alf Cranner composed for Henrik Ibsen’s poem “Borte”, which first appeared on Cranner’s classic album “Rosemalt Sound”, is presented here in a different version, as is Magnus Stinnerbom’s composition “Fossegangar”, which was composed for the play “Fossegrimen” at Det Norske Teatret. Leo Svensson Sander has contributed his own tune, “Vakaren”, and Erlend Viken presents five freshly written tunes. “When I look for something and can’t find it in the existing material, I get the urge to create it myself. I’m inspired and influenced by personal relationships, social themes and the great outdoors. I’m very fond of the various types of dance tunes and the formal structures of traditional music, and am often inspired by specific dance forms. At the same time I try to liberate myself from the rules and standards that exist in nearly all musical genres, while I also want to avoid making new rules for what I myself can create.” Viken is an outstanding musical storyteller with a unique ability to write gripping and catchy tunes. “Nykomling” was recorded in Ocean Sound Recordings on the island of Giske, off the west coast of Norway, with technician Roar Nilsen and producer Sjur Viken. The recording was mixed by Roar Nilsen at Nabolaget and mastered by Georg Tanderø at Livingroom Studios.
About Erlend Viken
Fiddler Erlend Viken (b. in Oppdal, 1984) has won awards for his recordings together with Aslak Brimi. In 2012 Viken won the prestigious INTRO-folk prize, after which he formed his own trio. He was a member of the now defunct bluegrass band Earlybird Stringband. Viken composes music for dance and theatre productions, and has collaborated with Frikar Dance Company among others. He has played on a long list of recordings and has collaborated with artists such as Onkl P og de fjerne slektningene, Erlend Ropstad and the Mathias Eick Quintet. Album release concert tour 9 March: Café Hängmattan, Gothenburg 10 March: Små Vesen Bryggeri, Aurdal 11 March: Vognildsbua, Oppdal 12 March: Ivaregga, Tolga 15 March: Ibsenhuset, Skien 16 March: Riksscenen, Oslo 17 March: Dokkhuset, Trondheim 18 March: Café Stift, Lillehammer 28 March: Prelaten, Tromsø 29 March: Stallet, Stockholm 30 March: Folkmusikens hus, Rättvik 31 March: St.Croix-huset, Fredrikstad 21 April: Hardanger Folk Museum, Utne 22 April: TBA Haugesund 23 April: Logen Bar, Bergen 25 April: Tre Brør, Voss