Slagr is the Norse expression for the words tune or melody. The word is derived from the verb slá (hit) with the connotation hit to create tones (pluck), and has originally been used about tunes played on plucked instruments. Slagr is also the name of a Norwegian trio who plays seemingly archaic music but at the same time quite radical one, detached from time, place and the concrete materiality of life. «Linde» is the seventh album of the trio (including one with the trio playing on pianist Andreas Ulvo’s «Softspeaker», Atterklang, 2012) – Hardanger fiddler Anne Hytta, cellist Katrine Schiøtt and percussionist Amund Sjølie Sveen, and was recorded by sax player Espen Reinertsen at Eiksmarka Kirke in Oslo in September 2021.
The music on this album was written by Schiøtt in the middle of her maternity leave and relates to the experiences of a new mother: postpartum – lack of sleep, emotional vulnerability, an extreme focus on something outside oneself; providing nourishment and love to the newborn. And a minor state of emergency where small moments inspire musical fragments and contemplation on the beginning of life, eternity and transience.
Slagr’s music was always about perfecting the ancient craft of inducing serenity and the art of listening, both externally and internally, now becoming much-needed qualities for any parent. «Linde» deepens these crafts and art and suggests beautiful and meditative, out-of-time and untimely music of this collective. The minimalist, caressing and gently resonant music provide a contrast to the information overload of nowadays and an alternative to the current social trends.
The melodic music of Slagr simply invites the listener to a safe sonic haven. It opens a door for the listener to draw his own associations and reflections, without forcing a specific mood. The dark yet soothing vibrations of the Hytta’s Hardanger fiddle and Schiøtt’s cello are mirrored by Sjølie Sveen’s transparent glasses and light vibraphone and have a strong and accumulative emotional effect. Individually and together, the eight meditative and poetic spells of «Linde» serve as the best, time-tested medicine for the worrying, sleepless parent, and for anyone who experiences the horrors of our current troubled times.
Anne Hytta (Hardanger vio), Katrine Schiøtt (c), Amund Sjølie Sveen (vib, tuned glasses)