Join us in a sound landscape with a height and depth you have hardly ever heard before, with lyrics which cast you down into the abyss of mysteries and a musical expression that defies all genre definitions. The focus is on Solveig Slettahjell and the Vertavo Quartet, and under and above and around them you will hear the guitarist Eivind Aarset, the percussionist Helge Norbakken and keyboardist Kjetil Bjerkestrand, each in their own orbit as if the five women were their own planet in the universe.

The poems have been written by Gunvor Hofmo, Jon Fosse, Arnold Eidslott and Arnfinn Haram. Øivind Varkøy has written the melodies, and Kjetil Bjerkestrand has written the string arrangements, casting a fantastic combination of ideas and freedom out to the other musicians, including himself.

The project’s title, “Poetisk tale” [Poetic Speech], refers to the nine spiritual gifts the Apostle Paul writes about in the first letter to the Corinthians, all of which are for edification, admonition and consolation. Among them we find wisdom, knowledge, speaking in tongues and prophetic speech. In this project, the composer Øivind Varkøy claims that Paul must have forgotten to put in a tenth spiritual gift, as poetry – or poetic speech – belongs in the same category as the others.

Øivind Varkøy’s selection of poetry for this album is from the most existential production of the four mentioned poets. We hear Hofmo’s poem “Gud gjemmer” [God hides] and “Jeg kjenner ingen ord mer” [“I know no words any more], Jon Fosse’s “Dette eine” [This one thing] and “Noko anna” [Something else], Arnold Eidslott’s “David i hulen” [David in the cave] and Arnfinn Haram’s “Eit større land” [A larger land].

The producer is Erik Hillestad. Martin Abrahamsen is the sound technician and KKV is the publisher.

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