Released October 2018 on sylvansound.net, iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, etc…
While I try to offer much of the art on this website for free, Norge På Langs (“Norway Lengthwise”) is a commercial release. However, you can enjoy the free single Hei Fara (my version of the ancient and bloody traditional tale Kraakevisa) right here:
The story behind the album
In 2008 my brother Anders and his friend Knut embarked on an extreme expedition from the North Cape of Norway to the southernmost point in Lindesnes, attempting to ski and walk 2500km in four months through mountains and valleys, inhumane freezing temperatures in the north and spring floods in the south, while making the journey all the more arduous by staying exclusively on the rugged Norwegian side of the border with Sweden.
So when asked to edit their footage into a documentary film and to record a soundtrack to it, I equally chose to make an album of exclusively Norwegian and mostly traditional music, thus taking viewers and listeners on a rare journey through an epic Norwegian musical landscape that reflects the unique Norwegian spirit and nature. My decision to create the music first and later edit the film to the music makes the project even more interesting, leaving us with a fully stand-alone album rather than just a soundtrack.
However, with my eclectic background and influences and with participating musicians from India, Canada and Mexico, Norge På Langs (“Norway Lengthwise”) is an untraditional take on traditional music. In addition to the three original tracks written by myself and a modern pop song cover, the album’s one indigenous Sami and nine Norwegian traditional folk songs join a fancy-dress viking beer hall fusion party in outfits of flamenco, hard rock, blues, pop, tribal, bluegrass… thus offering Norwegian listeners a refreshing take on old classics while allowing the rest of the world an easy and exciting point of entry into a largely overlooked world music tradition.
My Norwegian mouth harp, hand-made by Bjørgulv Straume from Valle, hung around my neck every step of the way on my 8-year journey around the world and now takes centre stage on this album.
The album was recorded, mixed and mastered at the Sylvan Sound Temple in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico, using old adobe farmhouses and wooden forest shacks as temporary residence, with a minimal amount of studio equipment, and instruments that have definitely seen better days. The production values on this album have nevertheless taken a dramatic step upwards from my last offering Once Upon A Midsummer Night’s Dream and shows the potential of the Sylvan Sound Temple as we continue to build and improve. Though renting the professional monitors in the studio Foco Rojo in Oaxaca City for 4 hours to set final bass levels certainly helped…
I am extremely grateful to all the guest musicians, but my closest musical partner-in-crime Anisha Aiyappa deserves a very special mention. Norway Lengthwise would have been a completely different product without her participation, which can be heard on almost every track. I had the privilege of using and abusing her as anything from a session musician slave to a free creative spirit. Many of her contributions are improvised on the spot. It’s quite incredible how she makes a viola sound like anything from a cello to a fiddle. It wouldn’t be wholly unjustified if the artist name on this album were Anisha & Martin.
The WebTV-series Norge På Langs – Lindesnes Eller Døden will be released on this website as soon as the subtitles are complete.
All tracks written or arranged by Martin Voll.
Martin Voll – Vocals, lead and rhythm guitars, mouth harps, bass, percussion, harmonica, piano, programming.
Anisha Aiyappa – Viola, drums, percussion, didgeridoo, lead guitar, vocals.
Yves Peron – Flute
Osvaldo Padron Perez – Lead guitar
Adria Amor – Castanuelas
Recorded and mastered at Sylvan Sound Temple by Martin Voll.
Mixed at Sylvan Sound Temple by Martin Voll and at Foco Rojo by Martin Voll with Gilberto Vargas Maria as assistant engineer.
Album Art – Martin Voll and Adria Amor
Special thanks to Adria, Sylvan, Kaya, Anders, Knut, Marit and Egil.
GET THE ALBUM FROM SYLVANSOUND.NET!