Erlend Viken Trio | Fete Slåtta Review
by Illiam Sebitz
Erlend Viken Trio presents music inspired by traditional Norwegian music, motivated by improvisational music, desert blues, and rock. The trio has played concerts all over Europe with an eclectic instrumentation of Hardanger fiddle, electric guitar, and double bass. The musicians combine their backgrounds from different genres with their playfulness and need to explore to allow the traditional tunes to travel to places they have never been before. The Erlend Viken Trio is Erlend Viken: Hardanger fiddle, fiddle, octave fiddle, vocals; Marius Graff: electric guitar, and Sondre Meisfjord: double bass. The trio is releasing their latest album titled Fete Slåtta. The album is produced by Olav Torget, who also joins the trio on three tracks on the konting.
“Suldal” opens with dexterity from Meisfjord’s double bass improvisation. The groove develops with Graff’s percussive guitar pattern and Viken’s flowing fiddling. Though the feel is Norwegian folk-centered, there are also jazz and African music elements. The accents push the music forward, giving it energy and bounce. Viken’s fiddle tone is traditional in timbre and phrasing and the trio’s solos are musical and enjoyable, as both Viken and Graff are melodic improvisers.
“Nerlo” is augmented with Toget’s konting playing. The groove is a mix of African and Norwegian. The melody especially has Norwegian music phrasing and accents. Meisfjord’s syncopated bassline grounds the song’s form and harmonic movements as the fiddle, guitar, and konting provide a tapestry of rhythms and sounds for our enjoyment.
Erlend Viken Trio is creating music that invites generational, genre, and ethnic gaps to close in celebrating creative music. The instrumentation is modern, the arrangements are modern, and the improvisations are contemporary, but the music is based on ancient traditional music that stands the test of time. So open your ears to the possibilities of the Erlend Viken Trio with Fete Slåtta.
Release Date: September 30, 2022
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