Erlend Viken has composed a striking and personal work celebrating the Norwegian winter, performed together with a group of well know Norwegian musicians from varied genres. Norwegian Grammy’s Award winner Frida Ånnevik has contributed with two texts, performed by Ellen Andrea Wang and Marius Graff. Erlend is one of Norway’s most merited folk musicians and is known from his successful trio Erlend Viken Trio, where he has shown his urge to take the folk music out of the box and a strong interest for exploration. “Sastrugi” underlines the drive to take the exploration further. He describes the winter´s different phases, from the calm to strongly rhythmical, where the folk music’s distinctive features are mixed with the fellow musician’s background in jazz and pop.
“Sastrugi” was composed as a commissioned work for the Røros Folk Festival and Festspillene i Nord-Norge, and is a programmatic work that looks at winter from the first sprinkling of snow to the last puddle of slush. This piece is most definitely a tribute to winter, but is also an expression of concern as to what lies ahead.
The choice of the title “Sastrugi” is based upon thoughts of the sweeping mountain plateaux, the sense of eternity, peace, balance. A white universe, where everything looks the same from a distance but, when you get closer, you see the dramatic formations, the individual grains of snow and the interaction of the snow with the wind and weather, people and animals, and the unpredictable nature of the mountains.
Erlend has brought some of his favourite musicians to the table. Ellen Andrea Wang (Gurls, Ellen Andrea Wang Trio, Manu Katché, Sting) on vocals also contributes with the song “Fjord” on the album. The outstanding Finnish musician Maija Kauhanen travels around the world with her one woman-orchestra, she contributes with the song “Is”. Also in the band are Marius Graff (Telegram, Marit Larsen, Lillebjørn Nilsen) and Erland Dahlen (Madrugada, Odd Nordstoga, Hanne Hukkelberg, Nils Petter Molvær). Producer is singer and Hardanger fiddle player Tuva Syvertsen ( Valkyrien Allstars).
The fiddle player Erlend Viken (born 1984 in Oppdal) composes music for dance and theatre and has collaborated with among others Frikar Dance Company. He has played on a number of record releases and collaborated with artists such as OnklP & De Fjerne Slektningene, Erlend Ropstad, Mathias Eick Quintet and Ingebjørg Bratland. He’s been nominated two times for “Spellemann (the Norwegian Grammy’s Award) with Earlybird Stringband, and with his duo Viken/Brimi he won `Folkelarmprisen´ in 2009. The summer of 2012 Erlend won Intro-Folk given by Rikskonsertene. His main project in the last five years has been Erlend Viken Trio. Erlend was already an established and award winning-musician when he debuted with the critically acclaimed album “Frie tøyler” in 2014. Adresseavisen described it as the most exciting folk music album of the year, and said “it is music that hits you whether you’re a fan of folk music, rock or blues”. NRK P2 reported that “Erlend Viken Trio have found an original expression that distinguishes itself from most folk music expressions” and “Dagbladet” wrote “like a lot of good music, it is almost impossible to define the genre”.