Trine Opsahl
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Trine Opsahl

Frederiksberg, Capital Region, Denmark | INDIE

Frederiksberg, Capital Region, Denmark | INDIE
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Somewhere In a Hidden Memory is a very soothing and peaceful collection of fifteen Celtic harp solos by Trine Opsahl. Born in Norway, Opsahl moved to Denmark at the age of six. Her first instrument was the accordion, for which she won national and international prizes in her adolescence. She graduated from law school and became an attorney for the Danish Justice Department. A series of life-changing events occurred that caused Opsahl to explore and practice healing arts. This eventually led her to abandon her career as an attorney to follow her heart’s true desire. She acquired her first Celtic harp in 1996 and began composing music on it as soon as her fingers stroked the strings. She established herself as renowned harpist in Europe and released three CDs which were recently released in the US. Opsahl performs in concerts, plays at weddings, festivals, funerals, and local church services; she also enjoys teaching Celtic harp. The work she loves most is playing at the bedside of hospice patients to help facilitate peaceful transitions. Quoting her, “Music has a unique ability to bring silence and rest to a busy mind and to those who suffer from illness and distress.” Somewhere In a Hidden Memory is very calming and soothing either in the background or to actively listen to and get lost in.

The album begins with “To a Wild Rose” (an original composition, not the classic by Edward MacDowell), a very gentle but evocative melody played simply and from the heart. “A Star in Heaven is Born Tonight” is a favorite. Very peaceful and full of grace, the harp almost speaks, telling a magical tale of a star’s birth. “Sister Moon” has more of a folk feel - a short and very touching piece. “The Light Dances my Love” makes me think of sparks of light “dancing” on water, casting a hypnotic spell. “Ladybirds and Butterflies” paints a lovely portrait of some of nature’s gentlest and most endearing winged creatures. The motion of the piece is slow and graceful, making is easy to visualize butterflies flitting from one place to the next - another favorite. I also really like the tender and bittersweet “Love Waltz.” “Ripples in Water” picks up the tempo a bit with a rhythmic and sparkling piece that captures the essence of water’s gentle movement. The title track is both gorgeous and poignant, speaking truths from the soul - my favorite of the set. “Be my Vision and my Light” ends our lovely journey with something of a hymn or prayer.

Somewhere in a Hidden Memory is one of the best harp albums I’ve heard and is available from www.trineopsahl.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Check it out!
- Kathy Parsons, MainlyPiano.com


The great American mythologist Joseph Campbell once wrote: “We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” Such was the case for Norwegian-born harpist Trine Opsahl, who walked away from her career as a lawyer to devote her life to music. After graduating from law school and becoming an attorney for the Justice Department, as well as giving birth to two children, a series of unexpected circumstances led her to re-evaluate her situation and follow a different calling. As she explains: “When life brought many challenges to my doorstep, playing Celtic harp became an ever-expanding opportunity for my personal development. I intuitively knew that I had embarked on my true purpose in life.”



Born in Norway and moving to Denmark when she was six years old, music was always an important part of Trine’s life and as a youngster, she won a number of national and international awards for playing the accordion. However, the harp always held a fascination for her and in 1996 she acquired her first Celtic harp. She took to it naturally and began composing her own music on it. Since that time Trine has recorded three albums and performed in a variety of venues. However it is the healing power of music that inspires her most: “Creating and playing our own music is like a prayer. The music creates a sacred space that brings us closer to who we are and to each other.”

Trine was deeply influenced by the work of music thanatologist, Therese Schroeder Sheker. Music thanatology is: “a musical/ clinical modality that unites music and medicine in end of life care. Fundamental to music thanatology is an underlying recognition that the experience of dying is a sacred, spiritual process within which exists the possibility for a peaceful death. Central to the field itself is the healing potential of sound and the intention of deepest respect in music played prescriptively. The music thanatologist utilizes harp and voice in a vigil setting, to lovingly serve the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the dying and their loved ones with prescriptive music.” Although Trine performs at various concerts and events, as well as teaching Celtic harp, playing at the bedside of hospice patients is most near and dear to her heart. She was educated under the International Harp Therapy Program and officially became a Therapeutic Musician, who devotes part of her time to doing this work in two different Hospices in the Copenhagen area, in addition to hospitals and rest homes. She is also an advocate for healing music and harp therapy within the health care system of Denmark. As she explains: “The harp, with its soothing timbre and spiritual associations, has been revered as a healing instrument by many cultures for thousands of years.” Along with her music, she also incorporates holistic breathing practices.



Trine’s latest CD, Somewhere In A Hidden Memory, is steeped in her Nordic roots, while combining the transcendental qualities of new age music as well. The album contains 15 tracks, with a number of them being in the one to two minute-range in the first half of the CD. They created a feel almost like an interlude or motif within a composition, and I enjoyed the arrangement of the shorter and longer pieces. As I listened to the opening tune, “ To A Wild Rose,” literally within a few seconds I began to feel a sense of peace and relaxation as my whole mind and body became attuned to the vibrations of the harp strings. Trine speaks from experience when she says: “Music has a unique ability to bring silence and rest to a busy mind and to those who suffer from illness and distress.” And I agree that the harp in particular, is one of the foremost musical vehicles for healing energy, especially when the intention of the musician is focused. According to Trine: “While playing the Celtic harp, I travel through a place of immense beauty and silence.”

On the appropriately named “A Star In Heaven Is Born Tonight,” the plucked notes twinkle like celestial lights in the darkness and evoke an image of looking up at the vastness of the night sky. For me, a song entitled “Crossroads” elicited a sense of trying to decide which path to follow. This was perhaps inspired by Trine’s own times of challenge and change that led her to pursue her passion in life. Trine’s music has been licensed for commercials in Europe, and while listening to “Brother Sun” I sensed a cinematic quality, and thought that it would make an excellent soundtrack. Another example is “Love Waltz” with its romantic grandeur that sweeps you along in its dance, and shows what an emotionally evocative instrument the harp can be. Of course it is Trine’s dedication and experience as a musician and composer that is the wind in the sails of the instrument. One of my favorite songs was the title track, which created a wistful dream-like ambience that evoked rich visual imagery listening with eyes closed.



Trine has - Music and Media, Michael Diamond


Trine Opsahl is a harpist of rare talent and with an equal talent as a composer. Her new album, Somewhere In A Hidden Memory, is a collection of fifteen self-composed tracks, the music drawn from the Nordic tradition rather than the usual Irish Celtic tradition. The Nordic harp tradition may lack the Irish folk dance style and be more, let's say Classical in structure. Less 'jiggery pokery' and more atmospheric, reflecting the Scandinavian landscape and the solitude of the region. Ms Opsahl creates magical soundscapes from her fingers, short vignettes of her own mythical [and musical] worlds set across the Nordic hinterlands. The Celtic harp [as opposed to the concert harp used in symphony orchestras] is one of those beautiful sounding instruments that can never be made to sound harsh or unmelodic. It has a drama and magic all of its own, which when added to the talented musician becomes as truly inspiring instrument. That is the case here - Ms Opsahl has a style that eschews the flash showmanship of some harpists, and at times it seems as if the notes are just flowing from her fingers. The track titles are: To Wild Rose, A Star In Heaven Is Born Tonight, Sister Moon, Morning Mist And The Breathing Of Evening, Crossroads, The Light Dances My Love, Brother Sun, Ladybirds And Butterflies, My Way Up High, Love Waltz, True Thomas, Ripples In Water, Somewhere In A Hidden Memory, The Space Between The Fish And The Moon, Be My Vision And Light. Somewhere In A Hidden Memory is classified as New Age or Healing, but I think Contemporary Folk is equally valid. This is a superb album that will reward the listener with many wonders on repeated listening.
Available from Amazon MP3, CD Baby, iTunes and other retailers for download or as a CD. For more information about this artist, album and availability visit: www.trineopsahl.com
- Borderland


There is something magical and inherently soothing about harp music, especially when it's played by Trine Opsahl. Her newest release (her third) is titled Somewhere in a Hidden Memory and it contains fifteen compositions for solo Celtic harp penned and performed by Opsahl, all of which are lovely beyond description. Some tracks are serene and introspective, while others have a gently laughing effervescence, but all the music is warm and engaging and Opsahl's mastery of the harp is evidenced throughout. Her playing is emotionally nuanced, technically flawless, and distills to the essence of the Celtic harp's unique musical beauty. -- Bill Binkelman, Zone Music Reporter - Bill Binkelman, Zone Music Reporter


Discography

The Journey and the Dream, Album
Leaving my Silent Empty House, Album with Josefine Opsahl
Somewhere in a Hidden Memory

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Bio

TRINE OPSAHL ABOUT THE ARTIST

"Sound and music is a gateway to our true selves and resonates deep in our souls. In the purest tone is the sound of eternity." Trine Opsahl

Trine Opsahls transcendent sound draws on Nordic musical traditions, yet has an effortless spiritual inspiration. She acquired her first Celtic harp in 1996 and began composing music from the first moment her fingers gently stroked the strings. Opsahl has established herself over the years as a renowned New Age Celtic harp player and composer in Europe with three inspiring albums, which were newly released in the United States. When life brought many challenges to my doorstep, playing Celtic harp became an ever-expanding opportunity for my personal development. I intuitively knew that I had embarked on my true purpose in life, she says. As a professional composer, performer and harp therapist, Trine lives to abundantly share and express her music within her community and with the world.

Trine was born in 1965 in Norway and moved to Denmark at the age of six. In early childhood, her musical talents emerged when she began to play the accordion. Music became her passion throughout her adolescence and she won a number of national and international prizes playing the accordion. Upon graduating from law school, becoming an attorney for the Justice department and welcoming two beautiful children, Trine faced a series of life changing events. This led her to explore and practice healing arts such as meditation, breath work and personal development. She was deeply inspired by reading the works of music thanatologist, Therese Schroeder-Sheker who worked as such at St Patrick's Hospital in Missoula, Montana. Schroeder-Shekers combined practice of playing music as and end of life vigil and bringing peace and glimpses of eternity to people struck a chord for Trine.

As a result, Opsahl abandoned her career as an attorney and made a conscious decision to follow her hearts true desire. This destined turning point in her life united full circle, when she relived a childhood dream of playing the harp. Upon acquiring her first Celtic harp Trine began effortlessly composing her own music. She conveys, Creating and playing our own music is like a prayer. The music creates a sacred space that brings us closer to who we are and to each other.

Opsahl performs in concerts, plays at weddings, festivals, funerals and local church services and also enjoys teaching Celtic harp. Her most beloved work is spent playing at the bedside of hospice patients to facilitate peaceful transitions. Therefore, she wholeheartedly dedicates part time work to two different Hospices in the Copenhagen area. Trine believes, Music has a unique ability to bring silence and rest to a busy mind and to those who suffer from illness and distress. She studied to become a Therapeutic Musician practicing under the IHTP (The International Harp Therapy Program). The IHTP is approved by the National Standards Board for Therapeutic Musicians. Opsahl explains that, The harp, with its soothing timbre and spiritual associations, has been revered as a healing instrument by many cultures for thousands of years. When therapeutic harp music is played, recipients may receive beneficial effects such as increased relaxation, improvement in sleep, decreased pain and anxiety, stabilization of vital signs, and improvement in mood. An end-of-life music vigil can also help a patient to achieve a peaceful transition.

Trine actively promotes the idea of harp therapy in palliative care and music therapy within Denmarks health care system, while playing to patients in hospitals, hospices and rest homes. She works consciously with the art of breathing while creating her sound, which reflects the organic and peaceful intonation of her music. The celestial sound of her Celtic harp bestows a sense of calm and serenity upon the body, mind and spirit of the listener. While playing the Celtic harp, I travel through a place of immense beauty and silence. My music is an invitation to experience a blissful journey through eternity, she says.

All three of Opsahls albums are available as CDs as well as digital downloads in the United States and Europe: The Journey and the Dream" which was released in Europe in 2005 and "Leaving my Silent Empty House" (2008), featuring a collaboration with her beloved daughter, cello player Josefine Opsahl. "Leaving my Silent Empty House" was also released as a special edition for HRH Prince Henrik in 2010, celebrating his 75th anniversary. Her latest album Somewhere in a Hidden Memory was recorded in 2012 at Nasima Music in Copenhagen and produced by Samir Cuhtait. Trines music has been featured in European television commercials and is excellent for synchronization with visual images. The unique fusion of Healing New Age and Celtic music truly embodies blissful melodies of joy, peace and harmony.