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A truly magical Norwegian Manx Project

Mon, 09 Dec 2013

the whole band
the whole band

The second stage of the MHF/Culture Vannin project bringing together the musical traditions of Norway and the Isle of Man took place in November. With Ruth Keggin and Tomas Callister having travelled to Voss earlier in the year, it was the turn of Margit Myhr and Erlend Apneseth to travel to the Island to work together with Tom, Ruth and David Kigallon, and to develop new material ready for a recording session, workshops and a gig.

And work together they did! After an intensive schedule of rehearsals, three tracks were recorded at Gypo Buggane’s studio with Malcolm Stitt and Josh Rumble as producers - the first mix sounds amazing and the tracks will be available in the Spring within a book of tunes, songs and stories about the project. Margit and Erlend led Norwegian workshops at the House of Manannan in Peel, teaching songs and tunes, and the musicians came together for a thrilling concert at the Erin Arts Centre. The first half of the gig showcased each tradition in turn, and as Bonzo Slater writes for IOM Newspapers, "They all combine for the second half of the show, taking us on a musical tour de force of the product of their recent collaboration (recorded by Ballagroove's Gypo Buggane to be released early next year). Ruth and Margit's harmonies are breathtaking, with Margit's solo vocal able to seemingly suspend time itself. The boys manouevre around complex time signatures and changes more aerobatically than the Red Arrows...there's even the sound of Arabic strings in there from Public Image's "Flowers of Romance"!!! If you wondered where Sigur Ros found all those interesting riffs, look no further. Indeed, Manx favourites The Wretched Pearls cite Norwegian folk music as one of their key influences. Now that I've heard some I can clearly hear why...This wasn't something I'd listened to before but now I'm hooked. I'm excited and let me tell you, you should be too." (Bonzo Slater in Manx Independent, IOM Newspapers 21/11/13). S’yindyssagh shen dy jarroo!