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Draumkvedet

Karl Seglem and Berit Opheim Versto

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Draumkvedet was transcribed by Jørgen Moe and M. B. Landstad in the mid-19th century. Since then it has held a special place in Norwegian and Nordic folk poetry and the kvedar (traditional vocal) tradition, and inspires us again and again to ask the really profound questions about life and death.
Draumkvedet is the most central and significant medieval ballad that has been passed down to us. This visionary poem is intriguing, challenging and provocative. Berit Opheim Versto has worked with this medieval ballad for many years, and her fantastic solo performance on the forthcoming album, to be released Jan. 6., 2009, was recorded at Voss Church.

Karl Seglem was so inspired by this performance that he just had to respond with his ram’s horn and electronics. He has arranged a version for a duo, vocals and ram’s horn, and has orchestrated it with ram’s horn and Hardanger fiddle samples. Berit Opheim Versto introduces something entirely new to the work – using improvisation, among other techniques – and her unique ability to communicate touches all those who are adventurous enough to listen to this ancient tale about Olav Åsteson. He falls asleep on Christmas Eve, and awakens on the thirteenth day of Christmas. He then tells about the dreams he had while asleep: astonishingly powerful, disturbing dreams, both beautiful and ugly – dreams that encompass the entire range of experiences that an insignificant human life can hold.

www.nordc.no

 


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