on the heels of his critically-lauded – and distortion-saturated –
collaboration with rock players in Lumen Drones comes the next fine
album from Norway’s Hardanger fiddle master. His new band makes a
quieter but richly creative musical proposal. All the musicians are
well-known in diverse contexts. Mats Eilertsen’s elegant bass has been
heard on ECM recordings with Tord Gustavsen, Trygve Seim, Wolfert
Brederode and Jacob Young. Håkon Stene is a Norwegian contemporary
classical percussionist of distinction. Harmonium player Sigbjørn
Apeland collaborated with Økland previously on Lysøen – Hommage à Ole Bul. And new music saxophonist Rolf-Erik Nylstrøm has played extensively with Frode Haltli in the trio ‘Poing’. On Kjølvatn
most of the music is from Økland’s pen but each band member contributes
his unique perspective to the arrangements. As Nils says: “Over the
years I have moved between a wide range of genres from classical violin
to Balkan folk, rock, jazz, free improvisation and Norwegian folk music.
I've always composed my own material inspired by all these expressions.
In early baroque music – another musical style I let myself be inspired
by – it was common to have sketches as the basis for making new music.
In this band we work with methods influenced by this.” Kjølvatn
was recorded at the Østre Toten stone church outside Lena, in Norway’s
Oppland county. The church has long been noted for its excellent
acoustics, also factored into the music-making here. ECM