“To sit down and make a willow flute is something of the most beautiful I know of in this world. It has become a ritual every spring, when nature is waking up with a new life, the colors come to life, the sap rises in the trees, the birds are chirping, and the world becomes a better place to be. When the willow trees are just ripe, I head to the forest to make flutes in the old-fashioned way, just like it has been done for many years, here in Norway and other places. To make a good flute is pure happiness. From time to time in moments like this, when the forest presents itself green and full of life, I think to myself that everyone should do this, there are plenty of willows to take from, and it’s all free.” – Hans Fredrik Jacobsen
To create just the right atmosphere, the recordings are made at Krokskogen (eastern Norway), during a couple beautiful, calm sunshine days in the month shift between May and June in 2021, with Audun Strype soundproofing the whole affair. The music you hear consists of some traditional willow flute pieces, alongside Jacobsens very own compositions and adaptations of traditional material. There is also a lot of improvisation, both rhythmical and free rhythmical, with phrases we are not used to hearing from willow flutes. Some of the songs are new compositions, some of them made in the moment. But either way, the songs are recorded with a fresh willow flute, accompanied by birds, insects and the soul of the forest!
“The silence during recording made the birds and insects come through together with the flutes. It was wonderful to play alongside them! Although they were not active all the time, I got a clear and warm feeling that they responded to my music, which in turn was inspiring and touching. And I responded as good as could when they sang to me! One of Norway’s foremost bird experts, Helge Kvam, listened trough the record to try to identify the birds present. He found 21 different species. They were all a part of making the experience at Krokskogen strong and unforgettable.” – Hans Fredrik Jacobsen
Hans Fredrik Jacobsen is a Norwegian folk musician, artist and composer, most known for his work with his wife Tone Hulbækmo, and with groups such as Kalenda Maya, Secret Garden (Eurovision 1995) and Hulbækmo & Jacobsen family orchestra. Svadilja is Jacobsens 5th solo record. The first four consists of JóL (Via music, 1998), Vind (Heilo, 2004), Trå dansen (Heilo, 2013) and the record Øre (Heilo, 2019), which also got nominated to the Norwegian Grammy Awards (Spellemannprisen). He also released Langt nord i skogen (KKV, 1987 – Spellemannprisen in 1988) with Tone Hulbækmo & Jacobsen family orchestra, and 3 albums with the middle age group Kalenda Maya: Renaissance and medieval music (Simax 1985 – Spellemannprisen in 1985), Norse ballads (KKV, 1989) and Pilegrimsreiser (KKV 1997). He also makes a appearance as a guest musician and soloist on some 100 records with arists such as Sissel Kyrkjebø, Sondre Bratland, Elisabeth Andreassen, Henning Sommero, Secret Garden og Annbjørg Lien to mention a few. He has akso worked with Erik Bye, Haldis Moren Vesaas, Ove Røsbak and Ola Jonsmoen as poets.