Fiddler Gjermund Larsen (b. 1981) was already an experienced and highly sought-after musician by the time he was awarded the New Artist Prize and a recording contract by the record company Grappa in 2007. This gave him the opportunity to make his first record with the other two members of his trio, Andreas Utnem (piano/harmonium) and Sondre Meisfjord (double bass). Together they have created a truly distinctive style combining elements of chamber jazz, bluegrass, baroque music and contemporary music. The trio"s debut album, Ankomst, earned a Spellemannspris (Norwegian Grammy award). Gjermund was nominated in the category of best popular composer for the follow-up album, Aurum, and the album itself was also nominated as best folk music album.
"I think of this new record as a continuation of the two previous ones, " Gjermund says. "The project and our mode of expression have remained the same throughout. I suppose it"s a sort of trilogy." The trio have now been playing together for seven years, and the new record bears an impressive sense of teamwork and a wealth of nuances.
"I had played with Sondre and Andreas independently of each other, and had been dreaming of forming a trio with them for a long time, " says Gjermund. The trio performed together for the first time at a house concert. "Not long afterwards the Telemark Festival called me and asked if I would compose the commissioned work for the following year, 2006, and that I was free to choose the musicians I wanted." Sondre and Andreas agreed to participate, and the resulting commissioned work, "Brytningstid", formed the basis of the trio"s first album, Ankomst (2008).
Gjermund Larsen writes all the trio"s music, and his sense of melody and form are very much evident on this new album. "I like to start writing in the morning, after the children have been taken to nursery. But the best inspiration usually comes in the evening, when the house is quiet and peaceful." Gjermund is inspired by music he listens to, musicians he plays with, his family, and atmospheres and moods. "The tune "Brureslått" was a gift to my bride-to-be when we got married last summer. Half of the tune was composed on the wedding day itself, while I was experiencing a sort of romantic intoxication."
The trio have a steadily growing audience outside of Norway, too, and will be playing more concerts abroad in the coming years. "We present concerts in all sorts of places, from small rooms with seating for 20 people to big concert halls with room for a large audience. Our music suits both intimate and large venues, and this is perhaps one of the things we appreciate most about the trio. It makes our music feel alive, and as musicians we often discover new facets in our music, even after having played it for several years."