Liberation

The winds of liberty are blowing through much of the Middle East these days. In Egypt, Tunisia and Libya they have swept in the justified hope of a future with more democracy and human rights. In Iran, a quiet and relentless draft whispering freedom is lightly blowing through every house, even if it may appear that the Persian spring is still far off. In Palestine, the fight for freedom appears to be endless.

But in all these processes and with similar winds of change blowing in Africa, Latin America, in our part of the world and in our lives, art plays a key role, as a mobilizing and motivating force, as interpreter of reality, and comforter and expresser of hope.

When KKV was founded in 1974, liberation was probably not the word making itself heard when we expressed our intentions. What we were most focused on was to show some models for how one can belong to the church with one’s entire being, as emotional and physical beings, with hormones exploding, and as spiritual beings. And here, the answer to the need to express this is indeed some form of liberation.

We are also true children of a cultural revolution that came to expression through rock and other types of “progressive” aesthetics, and of a political “awakening” that triggered the entire post-war generation from 1968 and onwards, with demands for global justice, political awareness of environmental issues, women’s liberation, sexual liberation and deep scepticism of traditional authorities.

All of these coloured most of the art created in the 1970s and first half of the 1980s, and many of KKV’s projects, perhaps even the essence of what we are, are dominated by these. Whether we are speaking of the political undertones in many of the songs that were published, of departures from musical conventions or a new aesthetic orientation, it is all about liberation.

In recent years this term has become a clearer part of our awareness in the albums we release and the performances that are given, and not least through our many international projects, we have been able to interpret our activities as an instrument for liberation.

Typical KKV projects:



My song and my cherished ones

"Min song og hjarteskatt" (My song and my cherished ones) with Beate S. Lech, who liberates old hymn melodies from a male-dominated text world, asking female writers to produce entirely new poetry for the old folk songs. In 2011, all the 37 years of KKV history can be heard in the background of this project.


Cathedral for lost dreams

"Katedral for tapte drømmer" (Cathedral for lost dreams) with Solfrid Molland and Taraf de Haidouks, Pascal de Loutchek and several representatives of the Romany people in Romania and France in harmony with Norwegian jazz musicians. A tribute to the strong voice of a marginalized people and their impact on European music.


Jacob’s struggle

"Jakobskampen" (Jacob’s struggle) – Tenth anniversary performance for Kulturkirken Jakob (Jakob Church of Culture) where the struggle for liberation is illuminated in relation to tradition and fundamental texts from the Christian as well as Muslim side. Featuring Sigvart Dagsland, Ulfah Collective (a Muslim women's choir from Birmingham) and Hans-Erik Dyvik Husby (a.k.a. Hank von Helvete).


Imagine Africa

A presentation of powerful East African artists and producers who choose to remain in their countries while many of their colleagues move to the greener musical pastures of Europe. A contribution to a new picture of Africa, detached from the descriptions of sad desolation and stigmatization. 2009


I am Eve

A female political musical and poetic statement from Iran with Mahsa and Marjan Vahdat. Contemporary poetry where the theme is the strength of women and the necessity of listening to their voices. Recorded and prohibited in a country where women are not permitted to sing for others than female listeners. 2008


Mirrors of my soul

An international presentation of the greatest artist in Palestine, Rim Banna. Texts about Palestine liberation struggles and the conditions for love in an occupied country. With a band consisting of Norwegian musicians. Thanks to an international distribution in Europe, the USA and the Middle East, the album gave Rim Banna a platform for her art in the Arabic world. 2005


Mortensrud church

A church curated by Berit Hunnestad in cooperation with artists and architects and the congregation, where Mortensrud congregation wished to have a church with a "bench in the back" and where bridal couples would like to get married. A liberation from the conventions for church architecture of the last 40 years with functionalism, finances and liturgical circle walks. Consecrated in 2002


Make me a channel of your peace

A celebration of the centenary anniversary of the Nobel Peace Prize with female voices from all over the world and quotes from the speeches given by prize winners, arranged by Knut Reiersrud. 2001


Tearing loose

"Løsrivelse" (Tearing loose) – Kari Bremnes' and Ketil Bjørnstad's great Munch project where Edvard Munch's poems for his pictures (often written as a beginning of the painting process) are set to melodies and performed. A powerful epos where the fundamental tone dealing with religious and bodily liberation permeates the entire project. 1993.


Hymns on the way home

"Salmer på veien hjem" (Hymns on the way home) – singing hymns from "below" – featuring Ole Paus, Kari Bremnes and Mari Boine. A departure from the hegemony of conventional interpretation of hymns. Three eminent artists materialize hymns as existential liberation texts.1991


Free my flutes

"Slipp mine fløyter fri" (Free my flutes) – a journey of discovery with SKRUK among musicians and singers from Ecuador where their potential for liberation in relation to nature and creative power is accentuated. 1990.


My wild heart

"Mitt ville hjerte" (My wild heart). Kari Bremnes' debut album with texts by Tove Ditlevsen. A liberation when it comes both to the tonal language and expression of an album of folk songs, and through the powerful texts that delve deep into the vulnerability of love, the longing for freedom and the life force. From 1987


Not I but the wind

"Ikke jeg, men vinden" (Not I but the wind) – a Whitsun performance in Trefoldighetskirken (Trinity Church) in 1985, where we celebrated the birthday of the church with a long table in the nave of the church, flowers in the baptismal fount, birch trees, balloons, Göran Fristorp and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra.


Dance with us, God

"Dans med oss, Gud, et nattlig kalas med Vårherre" (Dance with us, God, a night celebration with Our Lord), texts by Erik Hillestad about our image of God, the hostility of the body and incarnation in a herostratically famous musical with Ove Thue, Sigvart Dagsland, Susanne Fuhr and Gudny Aspaas, from 1982.


Arnt Haugen's revised

Traditional dance arrangements of revivalist songs with Arnt Haugen's quartet on "Arnt Haugens reviderte" (Arnt Haugen's revised) in 1982 (the project got Aftenposten (a major Norwegian daily newspaper) to write an irate editorial).


Evergreens from Canaan

Jazz versions of chapel songs with Arne Domnerus' quartets on "Evergreens fra Kanaan" (Evergreens from Canaan) in 1981.


Church textiles

Church textiles in the handicraft style in a large number of churches during the first ten years.


Delilah's Barbershop

Mischievous revue songs about Biblical characters with the Norwegian Chamber Choir on the album "Dalilas barbershop" (Delilah's Barbershop) in 1979.


Ashes to ashes, minor to major

Jazz music for el-piano, bass and drums with religious folk songs for SKRUK and Vårsøg in the project "Av moll er du komen til dur skal du bli" (Ashes to ashes, minor to major) in 1978.


Earthing

"Jording" (Earthing) of the songs and hymns by Petter Dass with Erik Bye and Birgitte Grimstad in 1978.


When the bells toll

Jazz arrangements of religious folk songs by Egil Kapstad on "Når klokkune gjeve dur" (When the bells toll) with Hanne Kjersti and Agnes Buen and Sondre Bratland in 1976.


Inn for landing

Bjørn Eidsvåg's debut album "Inn for landing" (Cleared for landing) from 1976, where he ridicules concepts such as "Christian lifestyle" and the Church's kneeling before the conservative right.


Ellingsrudåsen church

Knitted chasubles and ceramics as "altar silver" for Ellingsrudåsen church in 1974.