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Sinikka Langeland: Wind And Sun


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Sinikka Langeland: Wind And Sun
Pause. Trust your inner self to guide you. Prepare to avoid the constant bombardment of a multitude of society's mind and body piercing assults. If you're not sure where to start, Sinikka Langeland is willing to help guide you. A master of the kantele (a Nordic instrument with similarities to plucked string instruments such as a zither or dulcimer,) Langeland has released a dozen albums since the mid-1990s with Wind and Sun being the 2023 addition to her canon.

All the compositions on Wind and Sun are by Langeland while the poems—sung in Langeland's native Norwegian—are authored by Norwegian author Jon Fosse who was awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature in 2023. Although we'll file this under Langeland, in many ways it's a partnership project between her music and Fosse's 'New Norwegian' words from the rural northwest. For most listeners, the words initially deliver a mood vs. specific meaning but the lyrics are wisely included as part of the package which allows the listener to become fully engaged. We're invited to hear stories about oceans, angels, melting snow and more and, at the same time, we're reassured that they nobly coexist with darkness, isolation, the dead. Langeland delivers the messages with reverence, patience and understated elegance.

The kantele, as played by Langeland, is subtle, delicate and as light as stardust. She deftly uses the strings of her instrument to weave a sonic tapestry of ancient folk music, world music and touches of jazz. Her musical partners on this journey are trusted friends she's worked with in the past. Mathias Eick's haunting trumpet and Trygve Seim saxophones are intuitively symbiotic (joined by Mats Eilertsen on bass and Thomas Stronen on drums) and collectively, they drift into a more verdant, misty acoustic realm that not only conjures up the aura of long-gone elders but invites the spirits of the ancestors to join the quintet. If this is a mystifying sound from distant northern lands for most listeners, think back to the late 1980s when artists based in the rugged north of Ireland unveiled their own alluring folk-based songs. Singers such as Enya recorded songs with lyrics sung in her native Gaelic as well as Latin and English. But the comparisons between Enya and Langeland are fleeting since Langeland is more introspective, pensive and measured while Enya would often add chart friendly musical elements to her creations. If there's a downside to Wind and Sun, it's that you may find yourself patiently waiting for more musical variations or variety yet Langeland stays true to Fosse's observations and words and acts as a consistent reflection of his thoughts.

As with many ECM releases, the mood on Wind and Sun is pristinely atmospheric and sonically precise. Wrap the disc in a package that offers a trio of stark black and white landscape photos and the journey is complete.

Track Listing

Row My Ocean; Wind and Sun; It Walks And Talks; When The Heart Is A Moon; Hands That Held; A Child Who Exists; A Window Tells.


Album information

Title: Wind And Sun | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: ECM Records



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