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Hvalfugl

Get swept off your feet as Hvalfugl invites you into their alluring universe where tales from the ancient music tradition of Scandinavia are united with the sound of the modern nordic tone. In the intersection between the lightly flowing and the great and heavy, we find the folk trio Hvalfugl - a band that have created a sound that is entirely their own, through beautiful melodies inspired by both the Danish and the Swedish folk music tradition. In this universe the sun can shine from a clear sky, and the rain can fall from a dark and grey November cloud. Hvalfugl’s original compositions are both beautiful and melancholic, and from the first note they create an intimate atmosphere in the space they inhabit with their music. Hvalfugls primary source of inspiration is the Danish and Swedish folk music traditions, in which the melodies were written with the purpose of being easy to play and sing along to

ARTICLE: NORDIC SOUNDS

Jazz the Norway

Read "Jazz the Norway" reviewed by Javier AQ Ortiz

2005 marks the centennial of Norwegian independence from Sweden. Though you might not know it, Norwegians can, have been, and will be jazzing things up for quite a long time. Some are even among us in NYC!

The field of jazz studies is indebted to jazz historians Bjørn Stendahl and Johs Bergh whose published ...

ARTICLE: NORDIC SOUNDS

Trumpeter Jarkko Hakala

Read "Trumpeter Jarkko Hakala" reviewed by Matthew Wuethrich

Jarkko Hakala speaks like he plays trumpet. Concise, sometimes witty phrases spring forth fully formed from thoughtful silence. The phrases’depth then further impregnates the inevitable pauses with more meaning. These long pauses in conversation show Hakala to be very much from Finland, a country where silence is welcomed, and one does not speak unless one has ...

ARTICLE: NORDIC SOUNDS

Finland's Fringe Music on Forgotten Formats: A Survey of Independent Releases

Read "Finland's Fringe Music on Forgotten Formats:  A Survey of Independent Releases" reviewed by Matthew Wuethrich

In its march to the digital future the sound recording industry has left for dead a variety of formats. The mainstream recording industry long ago abandoned the 7” vinyl single, the 45 rpm, and the cassette. But when the mainstream abandons one technology as obsolete, the underground waits to claim it as a possibility. As the ...

ARTICLE: NORDIC SOUNDS

Two New TUM Releases: John Tchicai & Triot/Aaltonen, Cyrille & Workman

Read "Two New TUM Releases: John Tchicai & Triot/Aaltonen, Cyrille & Workman" reviewed by Matthew Wuethrich

’Glacial’, ‘pastoral’, Lightless days’, ‘snow swept’: writers often feel compelled to resort to sub-arctic language when describing records coming from the Nordic countries. Of course, this compulsion is not unfounded. Jan Garbarek, Edward Vesala, and many others have all used folk song and spacious, melancholy moods as a basis for improvisation. But brawny free jazz and ...

ARTICLE: NORDIC SOUNDS

Live: Yves Robert Trio & Andre Sumelius' Lift

Read "Live: Yves Robert Trio & Andre Sumelius' Lift" reviewed by Matthew Wuethrich

For the past eight years producer Charles Gil has been doing his part for better European co-operation. A Frenchman living in Finland, he uses the financial support of the French Ministry of Culture and the Finnish organization ESEK to bring Finnish and French improvisers to tour both countries. His first tour was in 1996, and the ...

ARTICLE: NORDIC SOUNDS

The Big Band Music of Onttonen, Ikonen and Mikkonen

Read "The Big Band Music of Onttonen, Ikonen and Mikkonen" reviewed by Matthew Wuethrich

--> The big band’s role in jazz has shifted throughout the years, riding the changes of the music itself. Used to be big bands were the place where young players cut their performance teeth, honed their chops and gained the confidence to develop their own voice. When jazz started to lean towards small groups, the large ...

ARTICLE: NORDIC SOUNDS

Nordic Sounds: Jazz (and Beyond) in the Nordic Countries

Read "Nordic Sounds:  Jazz (and Beyond) in the Nordic Countries" reviewed by Matthew Wuethrich

America’s popular culture - be it movies, popular music or jazz - has exerted on 20th century European culture a profound influence. In music critic Simon Frith’s book, Sound Effects , German film director Wim Wenders says, ”The Americans colonized our sub-conscious.” But ironically it was not in America, but in Europe that jazz, labeled by ...

ARTICLE: NORDIC SOUNDS

Haarla, Krokfors & Paivinen: Intimate Intensity

Read "Haarla, Krokfors & Paivinen:  Intimate Intensity" reviewed by Matthew Wuethrich

The Finnish composer and drummer Edward Vesala once said, “If you want to make music, do it with 100% conviction or don't bother at all." As a musical setting, duets are a dangerous space: they can clearly show if a musician does not have 100% conviction, for they leave improvisers naked, both technically and emotionally. Such ...

ARTICLE: NORDIC SOUNDS

Delirium in Concert: Dialoguing with the Ages

Read "Delirium in Concert:  Dialoguing with the Ages" reviewed by Matthew Wuethrich

Jazz Bar
February 19, 2004
Jyväskylä, Finland

Musicians constantly dialogue with two entities: themselves and tradition. Music is rarely ever totally new, but builds on what has come before, adding extensions and responses. As the world of recorded sound grows exponentially, so grows the dialogue’s number of participants. The Finnish-Danish quartet Delirium ...