No instrument is better at creating the Christmas spirit than the human voice.On the new Christmas album “Lengt etter lys” [Longing for light] the ensemble PUST (Breathe) demonstrates this convincingly.

PUST is unique in Nordic vocal music. A large fan base enjoys their records, and the concerts they are giving these days before Christmas get listeners to sit back, loosen up and let go of their stress. The ensemble has written its own new songs and offers refreshing interpretations of others’ compositions, inspired by jazz, ballads and folk music.

Now before Christmas 2020 they are releasing their sixth album; “Lengt etter Lys” [Longing for light], a Christmas record following their widely acclaimed release from 2011, “Julero” [Christmas peace].

The new album, release date 13 November, offers several new Christmas songs written by the members of PUST, in addition to such classics as “Julekveldsvisa” (Ready for Christmas Eve), “Nu vandrer fra hver en verdens krok” (Pilgrims to Bethlehem), “Ei rosa har utsprunge” (A Spotless Rose Is Growing), “I denne søte juletid” (At This Joyful Christmastide) and “I den kalde vinter” (In the Bleak Midwinter). In the years since their previous Christmas record a new song has been added to their repertoire each year, and most of these are now included on the album, counting 15 tracks.

PUST is: Camilla Susann Haug (soprano), Anne Hilde Grøv (soprano), Elisabeth Anvik (alto), Jostein Hasselgård (tenor), Håvard Gravdal (baritone) and Mads Iversen (bass).

As with “Julero”, “Lengt etter lys” has been  produced by Erik Hillestad and recorded in Kulturkirken Jakob by Martin Abrahamsen.

Since its start in 2003, PUST has released five albums, all critically acclaimed, and earning nominations to the Spellemann award and CARA Awards (the acapella genre’s Grammy), and a number of very good reviews by and praise from Norwegian reviewers.

The six singers combine the personal expressions of each performer with a rare homogeneity as an ensemble. They unite voice play, fresh vocal arrangements and appealing entertainment in their live performances, where many songs and all the arrangements have been written by members of the group. The vocal ensemble is well known for its appealing  Christmas repertoire, with Julero as one of the bestselling albums in Norway in 2011, chosen by the major Norwegian daily Aftenposten as one of the Christmas albums you absolutely should have on your shelf together with Elvis, Sinatra, Fitzgerald and Wesseltoft.

PUST’s calendar is bursting with national and international concerts and events, around 50 a year, but of course reduced this Corona year 2020. But PUST is still holding ten concerts, including one in Kulturkirken Jakob in Oslo on 13 December.

Some quotes from reviews of the previous Christmas album: Meditative, poetic and timelessly calming.

(VG – Tor Martin Bøe, review of Julero – 5 of 6)

This is a Christmas record for eternity). (Aftenposten – Harald Fossheim, review of Julero – 5 of 6)

PUST is

CAMILLA SUSANN HAUG (soprano): Camilla Susann is a graduate of the vocal study and music pedagogy programme at the Norwegian Academy of Music, and works as a freelance singer, singing teacher and composer. As a performing artist she has worked mostly with the jazz and ballad genres, and has composed new music to lyrics by several famous Norwegian poets. In addition to PUST, Camilla often tours with other bands and ensembles.

ANNE HILDE GRØV (soprano): Anne Hilde has a degree in musicology and is a trained and practising teacher. She has a broad vocal background as a performer and instructor with choirs, small ensembles and bands, and in genres such as folk music, classical music and jazz. Anne Hilde teaches in a lower secondary school in addition to her work with PUST.

ELISABETH ANVIK (alto): Elisabeth has an education in music pedagogy, with a Master’s degree in musicology from the University of Oslo. Earlier, she was a cellist and has worked as a choir conductor. She has a versatile background as a singer, mainly in the jazz genre. In addition to PUST, Elisabeth works as a music teacher at OsloMet (Oslo Metropolitan University)

JOSTEIN HASSELGÅRD (tenor): Jostein is a graduate of the singing programme at the Norwegian Academy of Music with in-depth studies in jazz. He has worked very much in bands, as a solo artist and in choirs, and many will know him as Norway’s representative in the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2003. Jostein works primarily as a full-time musician, supplemented with part-time employment as a music teacher at OsloMet (Oslo Metropolitan University).

HÅVARD GRAVDAL (baritone): Håvard has a formal music education and a Master’s degree from the University of Oslo. He is a fulltime freelancer as singer and instructor, a permanent member of The Norwegian Soloists’ Choir, and has broad experience in Renaissance and Baroque music and folk music. Håvard is also the manager of PUST, and this is his primary job as a freelancer.

MADS IVERSEN (bass): Mads has no formal music training, but is a former drummer with long experience as a singer with Nidaros Domkor (Nidaros Cathedral Choir)] and Oslo Kammerkor (Oslo Chamber Choir). He has been engaged in many music projects, including revues, choirs and marching bands. In addition to PUST as his main occupation Mads also works in sales.

EDLE HANTO will be the audio designer for the Christmas tour 2020.HELGE FLØTTEN is the booking agent for PUST in connection with the Christmas tour.Read more at www.pust.org and listen on www.soundcloud.com/pust6voices

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