Liv Runesdatter
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Liv Runesdatter

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"Runesdatter shows to belong at the top of Norwegian music."

FolkWold issue #40 The second album in this review is Syng hjerte by singer Liv Runesdatter. It’s her first solo album, but she is far from unknown in her home country. She has been part in many projects and her work has been awarded several times. She studied, and sings, chamber and early music and collaborated with national and international known artists in many genres. Runesdatter shows to belong at the top of Norwegian music. Although her music breaths the Norwegian air, it also has something modern and unique. Her voice is warm and has a natural peacefulness. She search for simplicity in her music. It reminds me of the ice cold traditional jazz of Jan Garbarek, without being a copy of his style. When Runesdatter sings one of the many psalms on this album, I feel the ancientness of these songs and when she is backed by the Hardingfele, she brings the dales of South-Norway to live. (Eelco Schilder: Reviewer, Author. (Based in Malden, Netherlands. Contributor to Dutch folk magazine New Folk Sounds) - FolkWorld - Eelco Schilder

"A heartfelt, personal music, with a rare creative fantasy"

What we hear is a heartfelt, personal music, with a rare creative fantasy: Liv Runesdatter, remember her name. A certain voice, encircled by a powerful ensemble of musicians. The sound on the cd is experienced as clear and near, and I immediately start to recognize small details: crackling, air without sound/delay through the saxophones, a hint of splintered bowstrokes.. It is blessed, it is cheerful and drifting/floting, and it is heavy and refreshing at the same time. It is imaginative art.

Liv Runesdatter and her musicians feel free to follow their different ideas and thoughts, but still I do not fint the music spreading out to much. We hear Norwegian traditional music, mainly from Rogaland and Vestfold. Some might think that kind of music is predictable, but in this music it is impossible to predict what will happen around the next corner. Liv Runesdatter performes the texts with her deep voice, and with a tiny, fast vibrato on the longest tones. She has a trained background, and you can hear it in the way she catches and shapes the tones.

The musical material is well worked through and well arranged, and at the same time with interresting improvisations. Also the cd challenges the traditional/etno music style, both through Runesdatters song technique, and through the catchy and untraditional musical solutions.

Kjetil Bjørgan, Norwegian Broadcast P2
- Norwegian Broadcast (NRK) P2

"Excellent done!"

"The songs are followed by untraditional arrangements, sometimes dreamy and sometimes rythmical defiant. Together with the cd "Syng hjerte" is a small booklet and a beautiful little text. You must admit they have done good job with the arrangements. Runesdatter sings beautiful, such are the texts and the melodies. Together with the accompaniment by floating and dreaming arrangements, you recognize them as something special. The ensemble between the accordion and the harding fiddle touch me. In the song "So, ro snubberusken min" Liv Runesdatter sings together with Vidar Skrede on baglama, it`s world music. So long "Solrenning Sæle" is my definitive favourite. Excellent done!

Per Jakob Skaanes, Norsk Viseforum - Norsk Viseforum (Norwegian Songwriters Magazine)

"Old, spiritual songs with a sound bringing a heavenly yearning through generations of lived lifes.."

Old, spiritual songs with a sound bringing a heavenly yearning through generations of lived lifes, is the gift Liv Runesdatter bring on this cd. She is an artist who creates something new out of an old material. Together with her musicians she creates a young, beautiful and elegant expression. Liv Runesdatter has made a pleasant recording that open new rooms to experience and discover the songs."

Carl Petter Opsahl, Spelemannsbladet - Spelemannsbladet (The Norwegian national magazine for traditional music)

"Don´t miss it!"

Ocean, wind and a nesting bird was the frame when the traditional music conquered the jazzfestival. (..) When she performed a lullaby from Suldal or an old religious prayer from Vestfold, she sometimes let her voice sunk down to an almost unhearable wisper in front of the quiet, intensly listening audience. Outside the wind is hunting the grass beetween the hills. The waves roll white towards the land, and through the dark clouds shines beems of light. Inside Liv Runesdatter tells stories about the people that she has met or heard about while working on tracing the old melodies. It was a blessed and soothing experience. Sometimes the song stood on it`s own, sometimes it was hunted by waving, playing or yearning sounds going back and forth. Those that missed it have a new chance tomorrom. Don`t miss it!" Geir Flatøe, Stavanger. - Stavanger Aftenblad - Geir Flatøe

"A dreamy soundscape, a glance into another world, where people had time to dwell upon life, God and the eternity"

They create a dreamy soundscape, a glance into another world, where people had time to dwell upon life, God and the eternity. Sometimes she disturbs the harmony by adding small, sometimes strange and surprising sound elements, and manages to captures our attention again and again. Like this she puts her own personal finger print into the music, as in the good, old fiddler tradition. Best tracks: "Nu hviler mark og enge", "Jeg har en venn", "Solrenning Sæle", "Op all den ting"

Geir Flatøe, Stavanger Aftenblad - Stavanger Aftenblad (Newspaper Western Norway)

"Bei der die klare und warme stimme strahlt die Aufnahme eine konzentrierte Stimmung und fast meditative Ruhe aus"

Noch weiter nördlich hat sich die norwegishce Sängerin Liv Runesdatter für ihre erste Solo-CD ausfürlich mit den Volksliedem Ostnorwegens beschäftig. Bei zahllosen Tassen Kaffee sammelte sie in langen Gesprächen mit Sängerinnen und Sängem in Altenheimen pietistische Psalmen und Hymnen des 19. Jahrhunderts fand zusätzliche Lieder in Archiven und fügte daraus das Programm "Syng Hjerte - Sing, My heart" zusammen. Mit ihrer kargen Intrumentierung, bei der die klare und warme Stimme oft nur von einem Akkoreon, einer Hardangerfiedel oder einem saxofon begleitet wird, strahlt die Aufnahme eine konzentrierte Stimmung und fast meditative Ruhe aus.

Jazzthetik-Magazine, Deutchland, Guido Diesing - Jazzthetik-Magazine, Deutchland

"Beautifull, fearless vocal and varied, fresh accompagnement.."

Playful near and warm. A distinctive, elegant experience. Beautiful, fearless vocal and varied, fresh accompagnement made "Song to heaven" a wonderful concert. - Østlandsposten 2006 (newspaper of eastern Norway)

"Warm as the sun of spring, sharp as the night of April!"

Warm as the sun of spring, sharp as the night of April! Yesterday night Liv Runesdatter and her ensemble delivered a syntese of old and new sounds. The program was distinctive put together. The ensemble created a meditativ, pieceful hour in the sunset. - Stavanger Aftenblad 2005 (newspaper of western Norway)


Magnificent contemporary dance: DancePro presented a glittering and exotic performance in front of a big audience at Tou Scene yesterday night. From soft and sensual to powerful, hard beating and staccato: the variety of the performance contained a colour palette of different and new, contemporary movements. Most of the music was composed for the choreographies and suited the dance very vell. Wonderful electronica and cool samples flow out from the speakers, while accordion, trumpet and drums were performed next to the stage. Liv Runesdatter impressed with a wonderful clear voice in the tradition of folkore. The variation og the movements, the use of video intallations and the facinating soundscape made an intimate and alive atmosphere, and a distinctive performance. The audience seemed to love what they saw. Excited hands met each other in an entusiastic applause, with grow while the performance and ended as a standing tribute. What a fantastic audience, said musical leader Liv Runesdatter, after the second evening with full house. - Stavanger Aftenblad (Newspaper Western Norway)


Syng hjerte - Sing heart (Grappa/Heilo 2008)
* CD available in online cd stores..



Her trademark is a personal, creative sound, rich with contrasts, textures and expressions. Her songs are embellished with life stories and tales, coloured by material from her own musical universe, inspired from hoarse voices on creaky old recordings, nature, rooms, shapes, smells, sounds and people. The Norwegian roots are evident, though impulses from other places and traditions can be traced.
 Her warm, playful, flexible voice has fascinated reviewers and audiences. She´s worked with dancers, film makers, musicians, researchers and visual artists from 25 countries, and performed her music in Europe, USA and Canada. Syng Hjerte has received outstanding reviews in international newspapers, magazines and radio shows.