Maria Mohn: “Over deg vil stjernen skinne” [Above you the star will shine]
Lighting Christmas candles against a dark background
Darkness will gather round your days
Discouragement chases your hopes away
Dare you believe Christmas will be the same
When attacks come out of the blue at night?
The above lyrics are an extract from “Over deg vil stjernen skinne”, a new Christmas song opening the new Christmas album by Maria Mohn.
Decades have passed since Christmas was celebrated in such uncertain times as this year. The title track on the album takes this concern in earnest when asking whether Christmas can be the same in such a gloomy time. “Over deg vil stjernen skinne” clings to the hope that the Christmas star will shine as bright as always. It concludes that we need this celebration even more now when a heavier dark engulfs us.
This song is one of a total of four newly written Christmas songs launched on this album. Maria has written the lyrics and melody for one, and the melody for two others. Erik Hillestad has written the lyrics for three of the new songs, including the title track. This new Christmas album also offers beautiful gems such as “Mitt hjerte alltid vanker” (My heart is always with Jesus), “I denne søte juletid” (At this joyful Christmastide) and “Holy night” (Ole Paus’ poetic version of Oh Holy Night) .
Maria Mohn has a clear and beautiful voice with great expressive power. She will be known to many as a contestant in Norsk Melodi Grand Prix [the Norwegian branch of the European Song Contest] last winter, and in her home town of Fredrikstad she has featured in the town’s music life for many years. Her new album offers great dynamic range, with playful and catchy songs and captivating meditative power. Recording the album in Fredrikstad Cathedral has given the music depth and clarity.
As arranger, pianist and organist, Maria Mohn has been joined by Dagfinn Klausen. On bass and vocals you hear Lars-Erik Dahle, and on drums, percussion and guitar Hermund Nygård. A string quartet is featured on six of the eleven tracks, with Nicoline Krohn-Moland, Ingrid Matilde Mæland, Idunn Lohne and Ellen-Martine Gismervik. On two tracks, Trygve Seim plays saxophone.
The music was recorded by Erik Hillestad, who is also the producer. The album is released by the company which has made Christmas music one of its trademarks: Kirkelig Kulturverksted (KKV).
Maria Mohn embarks on a Christmas tour on 11 December starting in Råde Church with material from the new album. She will be performing at Østre Fredrikstad Church and at churches in Eidsberg, Holleby and Såner, before rounding the tour off at Kulturkirken Jakob in Oslo on 20 December.
“Over deg vil stjernen skinne”, KKV 2022