Musicians from opposite shores of the North Sea – who have admired each other’s work from afar - are to come together in a Scottish studio next week to prepare for the latest Northern Arc session at Aberdeen’s Music Hall.
Legendary Gaelic singer Karen Matheson OBE and her band have invited Norway’s Erlend Viken Trio to Karen’s Glasgow studio for a jamming session ahead of their joint concert in Aberdeen on Friday, April 3. Karen’s band will include guitarist Sorren MacLean (currently on tour with Idlewild), multi-instrumentalist Matheu Watson, and award-winning producer and long term collaborator Donald Shaw.
With their shared interest in traditional folk music and Norwegian desert blues, they will explore together new approaches to the medium of Gaelic and traditional song with the influence of the Norwegian hardanger fiddle.
“I am so thrilled to be performing with the Erlend Viken trio as part of the Northern Arc sessions,” says Karen, who is also lead singer with the Celtic supergroup Capercaille. “I have always wanted to combine traditional and Gaelic song and the haunting and unique sound of the far north, with the hardanger fiddle as played by Erlend.
“Along with the special musical colours created by Juhani on guitar and Jonas on cello I’m excited about the potential sounds and musicianship they will create in the eternal quest to present traditional songs in a new light.
“Over the years I’ve had the good fortune to tour Scandinavia and experience beautiful music and so it will be a dream come true to work with Erlend and the trio in this one-off concert in Aberdeen.”
Fans of Aberdeen Performing Arts’ Northern Arc series, which pairs the best of Scotland’s home-grown talent with the best from across the Northern hemisphere in exclusive Music Hall concerts, particularly enjoy the shared experience of musicians from two different cultures performing together.
“Working with musicians from other genres of music has always inspired me,” admits Karen. “With the traditional Gaelic songs it has been an obvious choice to zone in on the rhythmic side and exciting collaborations with world music has followed.
“However, to be given the chance to explore the more melodic side and how it blends with the hardanger fiddle and moreover the chance to perform with this virtuosic trio is a gift and I am very excited.
Northern Arc programmer Susan Whyte adds: “In choosing the singers and musicians for the Northern Arc shows at the Music Hall, I wanted to offer audiences in Aberdeen the chance to see some of the very best of Scottish artists, all offering a different slant on Scottish contemporary folk and traditional music, performing with their counterparts from other countries within the Northern Arc.
“It is a reflection of the strong cultural links between Scotland and Norway that all the musicians chosen to share the bill by the Scots in this series are Norwegian musicians, and all of them bring something different to the stage.”
To kick off next week’s concert, there is to be a pre-show talk, with music, from Stonehaven’s David Officer at 6.45pm in the Music Hall café.
Also a professional wildlife and landscape photographer, he performs music under the name of Dæmons, and was commissioned to write a piece which he performed at the opening of a new museum in Oslo, in the presence of King Harald V and the country’s Minister.
Tickets for next week’s Northern Arc concert are available online at www.aberdeenperformingarts.com, by phone at 01224 641122 and at Aberdeen Box Office at the Music Hall and His Majesty's Theatre.