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Premiere: Kjell Braaten honours the travelers and those left behind in uncertainty with second single “Kyst”

After announcing his new solo record and unveiling the first single off of it – which you can read about and watch here -, Kjell Braaten has now released a second single from Ferd, entitled “Kyst”. Translating to “coast” in the English language, “Kyst” was written has a way to honour the travelers and those left behind in uncertainty with an eccentric edge. Featuring instruments that range from the davul, the darbuka, the neverlur, the skalmeie and a jaw harp, as well as objects such as branches, sticks, bones and a deer jaw, “Kyst” is as spiritual and adventurous as a song can get. “Kyst” also features special guests Agðir, who complement the second part of this new single with vocals and tagelharpa, in a beautiful and wonderous way. You can watch the official video for “Kyst” below this article.

About the song itself, Kjell Braaten writes: “The Norwegian coastline is enormously long and used to be the most essential way to travel and shipping goods. It was incredibly important to the people living here. Many traveled far to explore, conquer, most for trade. Some came back with triumph, some with defeat. Some never returned. Here, you can hear the excitement of those getting ready for adventure. You can hear the longing of those left behind and the music in the halls of those longing. You can listen to the lurs calling the returning ships, and the cries to honor those that did not return. Also, you can hear some sounds brought back from far, far away.”

Kjell Braaten started his search for the origin of music in the mid-nineties. Around the turn of the millennium, his focus shifted in the direction of Norse music traditions and their roots. From this, the band Ehwaz came to life and later, Kjell participated in numerous projects that draw inspiration from the ancient music of the North. In the last twenty years, his primary focus has been Norse Music, both musically and through his lectures on old Norse music history. Kjell Braaten is also known for taking part in the acclaimed Norse music pioneers Wardruna as a percussionist, though his solo music is notably different.

Having spent much time in Scandinavian nature and ancient sites when working on these songs, Kjell Braaten contemplated and tried to connect with them on an esoteric level; to gain inspiration. As we know too little to properly recreate ancient Scandinavian music, Kjell made modern music with inspiration from the past. By combining ancient Scandinavian sounds with sounds from where their instruments originate, he attempts to reconstruct sounds that speak to the people living now. Ferd started out as a collection of pieces initially composed for short movies, documentaries and plays, performed on old Norse instruments. It soon evolved far beyond that, reworked with the help of talented fellow Nordic musicians and brought together to give life to Ferd, the songs unveil a great journey with a common focus, while still telling each their own stories. Kjell invited visual artists to illustrate each song of the album, which you can find in the extensive booklet together with their corresponding stories.

Ferd will be released on November 13th via By Norse Music. Pre-orders are now available via the label’s website.


Photo credit: Kees Stravers

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