Nine years after Erlend Apneseth, one of Norway’s foremost and youngest Hardanger fiddle players and folk musicians released his debut solo album Blikkspor (Heilo, 2013), he returns with another beautiful, acoustic solo album, Nova, his ninth album. This time the 32 years old Apneseth captured the unique acoustics of his instrument in Emmanuel Vigeland’s Mausoleum (Tomba Emmanuelle) in August 2020 and April 2021, where he enjoyed the highly reverberating acoustics of this space and the Hardanger fiddle’s ability to fill a whole room with a sound all by itself.
Nova presents a mature version of Apneseth, as an experienced and bold improviser who is well-versed in an array of alternative bowing and pizzicato technics on the Hardanger fiddle. Apneseth still incessantly keeps exploring and expanding the sonic horizons of his instrument and Nova reflects on his many sonic innovations and is his most personal statement of him so far.
Nova lasts only 28 minutes but it feels like Apnesth summoned all his guiding spirits into Emmanuel Vigeland’s Mausoleum and created a much larger, obviously resonant sonic entity, where the Mausoleum space has played its own decisive «cosmic character», as Apneseth calls it. The ten pieces suggest mysterious and elusive, untimely qualities of folk music, beyond place, geographical or cultural borders, and echoing Apneseth’s curious musical mind. Apneseth adds that the term Nova is used for a mountain peak or the corners that bind together the wooden house he lives in.
No doubt, Nova is one of his creative peaks, a work that binds his experiences, techniques and inspirations into an impressive work of art.
Erlend Apneseth (Hardanger fiddle)