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På skive



Whenever the Norwegian musicians collective-label Nakama releases a new album you are bound to be surprised. This time it is the turn of the collective leader and double bass player Christian Meaas Svendsen to reveal an unknown side in his artistic personality, a vulnerable, sometimes even a feminine one. Apparently the resourceful Svendsen is also a thoughtful, romatic singer-songwriter, a kind of modern Nick Drake who is well-versed with contemporary and free-improvised music.

«Avin», is a Kurdish maiden name meaning love and also is the name of Svendsen’s partner. The album reflects on Svendsen and Avin turbulent relationship, touching sore issues as loss, anger and despair but also highlights feelings of hope and a strong faith in relationship. Svendsen sings here (in Norwegian) and plays the acoustic guitar and he is accompanied by some of the promising young improvisers from the Oslo vibrant scene, among them the violin and bass duo Vilde&Inga, trombonist Henrik Munkeby Nørstebø, sax player Espen Reinertsen and vocal artist Agnes Hvizdalek.
Svendsen is not a natural singer and is not gifted with an impressive voice. But he knows how to deliver a haunting and intense drama and wrap it with a gentle, poetic orchestration, yet arrangements that contain his painful emotions in reserved wrapping. The six songs and one instrumental («i Berlin») tell about the experiences that drew Svendsen and his love apart and reflect about his emotional turmoil. Svendsen acknowledges that there is no real comfort besides knowing that Avin was his «for a little while» or his willing to surrender fully to such love. Accordingly the brief «Katarsis» suggests mostly silent emptiness.

Moving and beautiful despite the inevitable pains.

Eyal Hareuveni

Christian Meaas Svendsen (v, g), Vilde Alnæs (vio), Adrian Løseth Waade (viola), Kaja Fjellberg Pettersen (c), Inga Aas (b), Henrik Munkeby Nørstebø (tb), Espen Reinertsen (s), Agnes Hvizdalek (v)

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