Lori Gordon

Bletherings From a Music Obsessed Mind

Liv Runesdatter – “Syng Hjerte”

liv runesdatter

Syng Hjerte, by Liv Runesdatter, is the culmination of several years of studying obscure songs from a small pietistic laymen’s movement that formed in the eastern region of Norway during the mid-1800’s.  Liv’s voice throughout this recording is breathtakingly gorgeous and hymn-like.  The music, however, is more avant-garde, even bordering on atonal at times. The instruments used are Hardanger fiddle, accordion, sax, double bass, melodica and baglama, but rarely more than one or two instruments at a time or per song. Most of the arrangements are sparse, which serve to punctuate the instrumentation even more.

Syng Hjerte opens with the delicate “Nu Hviler Mark og Enge,” which layers Liv’s voice over subtle pizzicato of the fiddle. From there, it ventures into more worldly and adventurous territory. “Hos Gud Er Idel Glede” calls to mind the music of the Rom, with it’s dark fiddling and tones, while “Skal Vi Ustridig Hist,” featuring the melodica, is extremely experimental. The album closes with the meditatively sublime a cappella piece “Nu Solen Går Ned.” The standout tracks are the title track “Syng Hjerte, Syng en Aftensyng,” featuring the exquisite fiddling of Tuva Bolstad, and “So, Ro Snubberusken Min,” where Liv is backed solely by the baglama.

Syng Hjerte is both reverently soothing and exotically jarring, but well worth a listen.

To hear several tracks from this recording and learn more about this project, visit Liv’s MySpace page.

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August 17, 2009 - Posted by | Album Reviews, Avant-Garde, Traditional | , , , ,

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