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Nordic Sounds

Jazz the Norway

By Published: June 11, 2005
Bassist Eivind Opsvik has been in New York for the last seven years. Moving here because he thought it would be "nice to live somewhere else for a while, Opsvik really "dug the city since the first time he visited. Although Opsvik didn't envision staying for so many years, he now has "a lot of really interesting musical groups and projects going on and good friends. Furthermore, "the immensity and diversity of the music scene is a source of constant inspiration.

When asked what can a consumer of jazz expect from his music, the young composer asserts: "I make music that I get a kick out of myself just hoping that others will, too. I draw inspiration from different styles of music, trying to get a vibe going. I'm lucky to have my favorite musicians in my band; therefore, I can always trust that they will give my music the energy and freedom I dig, while trying to avoid predictable forms and structures, without sacrificing spontaneity. My music is a combination of two worlds, i.e. the European (Norwegian) and the New York jazz scene. European melody and space combined with the spirit and energy of New York.

According to him, "some claim that the Nordic sound...commonly equated with the ECM spacey and somewhat ethereal, as a portrait of mountains and fiords. This, however, is not always true as some of the Norwegian music lately has been taking more influences from the high-energy free music of the '60s and also from electronic music. While musicians in other countries might be, for instance, more technically brilliant, Norwegian musicians tend to have individualistic ideas, good aesthetics and an open mind.

He recommends keeping an eye on the following musicians: Arve Henriksen, Paal Nilssen-Love, Jon Balke, Jan Garbarek ('70s-'80s), Håkon Kornstad, Sidsel Endresen, Christian Wallumrød, Ståle Storløken, Jon Christensen, Audun Kleive, Karin Krog, Ingebrigt Flaten, Anders Hana and Håvard Wiik.

Visit Eivind Opsvik on the web.

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