«Bumblebee» captures a rare, intimate live setting where an artist bears his soul before an attentive and supportive audience. Norwegian singer-songwriter-vocal artist Eldbjørg Raknes planned her live concert at Verkstedhallen, Trondheim on May 2019 as journey through her songs and tunes, enhanced by soundscapes and sampled «outdoor sounds», some were contributed by Tor Breivik, her trusted recording engineer, and surround light design by Ingrid Skanke Høsøien. The audience was seated close, in full circle, around Raknes and Breivik. «Bumblebee» is released as only-digital album on Raknes’ own MYrecordings label.
Raknes plays the electric Wurlitzer piano and adds subtle electronic and percussive sounds. Her simple, minimalist and hypnotic themes solidify the close, intimate setting and are further intensified by Raknes’ highly personal delivery – calm but vulnerable, disillusioned, free-associative and spiced with nature sounds, demanding full attention and compassionate mindfulness and stressing her captivating charisma. The emotional dramas unfold patiently and expressed in a reserved manner as Raknes recites-reports-reminisces through the 55-minutes suite of Bumblebee, weaving poetic images with touching stories about stormy relationships.
Raknes ends this performance with a beautiful, sober cover of Joni Mitchell’s «A Case of You» (from «Blue», A & M, 1971), allegedly about Mitchell breakup with Graham Nash (or about Leonard Cohen). This is Raknes’ second cover of «Blue» songs after recording before «River» (first as a single, 2009, and later on «You Make Me Feel», her standards duet with pianist Oscar Grönberg 2014, both released on MYrecordings).
Eldbjørg Raknes (v, Wurlitzer p, perc, live sampling, samples, elec), Tor Breivik (live sound, samples)