Saxophonist Trygve Seim and pianist and composer Andreas Utnem have played together for over 20 years. “Christmas Songs” is their second duo album, consisting of Improvisations around wellknown
Christmas songs. The songs come out as highly sincere and poetic, sometimes even mystical. Recorded in the church “Tøyenkirka”,the quality of the recording makes you feel that you’re in the church when you listen to the album, the sound of the room and the acoustics channelling true Christmas spirit. Andreas Utnem has worked as an organist at the church Tøyenkirka in Oslo since 1996. In the 90’s he invited Seim to play with him at a service, improvising around hymns and playing his own and Seim’s compositions.
Throughout the years, Trygve has continued to contribute at the services from time to time, as a result they released their first duo album in 2008, made up of improvised hymns and their own compositions.
Through years of playing together, the duo has developed a unique sound, putting the melody in the centre, and improvising around them in the most attentive and interactive way. Focusing on the melody has been the most important part of this project, wanting to explore the simplicity of the Christmas melodies and the Christmas spirit, finding that it can move and be deeply felt. The tunes come from all over the world and are often of old origin, this variety has been one of the key elements to why they were chosen for the project.
Trygve Seim is educated as a jazz musician with saxophone as main instrument, at the jazzconservatory in Trondheim. He studied saxophone with John Pål Inderberg, Bob Rockwell, Rune Nicolaysen and Tore Engstrøm, and composition with Terje Bjørklund, Bertil Palmar Johansen, Edward Vesala and Bjørn Kruse. Since 1992 he has worked full time as a musician, composer and arranger. Trygve Seim has released 22 albums on the prestigious German record label ECM Records, whereas 8 of them as a composer and band-leader or co-band-leader. Trygve Seim’s debut album “Different Rivers” won the german records critics prize in 2001 “Jahrespreis–Presi der Deuchten Schallplattenkritik”.
Born 1973, Andreas Utnem has received international attention through his work with the trio of Norwegian folk fiddler Gjermund Larsen.
Alongside work as A church musician and composer of music for theatre and TV dramas, both in Norway and Sweden , he has Contributed on around 50 albums. Earlier works with Trygve Seim include “Purcor–songs for Saxhophone and Piano” (ECM, 2010). In 2017 he released the solo album “Night Hymns” (KKV)