Nordic Music Prize to Benedicte Maurseth during Bylarm – Dagsavisen

Nordic Music Prize to Benedicte Maurseth during Bylarm – Dagsavisen

It was the Norwegian folk musician Benedicte Maurseth who drew the winning lottery ticket when the annual Nordic Music Prize was awarded on Thursday afternoon, in connection with the opening of the industry and public festival Bylarm in Oslo. Maurseth, who was previously one of 12 nominated artists from all over the Nordics, was able to bring home honour, fame, a statuette and 10,000 euros. Among the other nominees, Jenny Hval and Bendik Giske were Norwegian contenders, while Sweden’s Maja Francis and Denmark’s Astrid Sonne were among the more well-known from the Nordic countries in general.

– Just have to gape

The purpose of the prize, which was awarded for the first time in 2010, is to shine a spotlight on what the Nordic region has to offer in terms of new music. In addition, the purpose of the award is to restore the album’s artistic value. Benedicte Maurseth receives the award for the album “Hárr”, released on the company Hubro earlier this year. “Hárr” was originally a commissioned work for Hardanger Musikkfest in 2019, and was recorded together with, among others, bassist Mats Eilertsen and percussionist Håkon Stene. Maurseth himself characterizes the music as a “musical journey”.

– Weaving together traditional Norwegian music with forward-looking, futuristic excesses may seem like an impossible task, but Benedicte Maurseth makes it work like a mountain. You just have to gape at the musical landscapes that characterize the whole of “Hárr”, says Erik Egenes, responsible for press and international program at Bylarmfestivalen, on behalf of the jury.

The sound of tame reindeer

She originally comes from Maurset in Eidfjord, and has used the Hardangervidda all her life, just like her ancestors who, among others, have been tame reindeer herders on the fjord. On the album’s compositions, she mixes harding fiddle with electronics and so-called field recordings of naturalistic sounds, of reindeer, birds and insects and shepherds during the work. Underneath it all lies an anchoring in Arne Næss’ environmental philosophical theses called ecosophy. The title is taken from the Norse name for the mountain Hårteigen, and most of the album tracks have Norse names linked to the plains and nature, and in the musicians’ games rhythms from, among other things, the song of the bird Heilo are carried on. When she released the album, she said the following about the vision for the work:

“Creative work and walking for hours in the mountains are very similar to me. Both parts require and evoke a presence, and a deep listening that makes the senses open and clear. It’s something you can do alone, or share with others, in silence or in conversation.”

Jon Fosse, ECM and Loki

Benedicte Maurseth (born 1983) plays several strings in addition to his main instrument which is the harding fiddle. She learned to play under the folk musician Knut Hamre, and is both a composer, vocalist, writer and stage artist with several works behind her released both on Norwegian labels and renowned ECM in Germany, who among others was behind the release “Over Tones” together with Åsne Valland Nordli . She has also worked with Nils Økland and Berit Opheim vare to name two of her own generation of folk musicians. On her own, she gained a lot of attention when one of her songs was used as a theme song in the Marvel series Loki. She has also worked a lot with text and theater productions, not least with Jon Fosse and relatively recently also with the music for the Nationaltheatret’s play “Morgon og kveld”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

A note to our visitors

This website has updated its privacy policy in compliance with changes to European Union data protection law, for all members globally. We’ve also updated our Privacy Policy to give you more information about your rights and responsibilities with respect to your privacy and personal information. Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our updated privacy policy.