Nivelkinn - Norwegian folk poetry made over

Norwegian singers Øyonn Groven Myhren and Odd Nordstoga released the album"Nivelkinn" earlier this year. Nivelkinn is actually an epic poem written by Aslaug Vaa, one of Norway’s finest traditional folk storywriters. Myhren and Nordstoga wrote music to the poem on request by the Telemark-festival and the performance was a great success.


Nivelkinn is taken from Vaa’s book of poetry “Nord i Leite”. It’s about a passionate love triangle, which takes place in rural nineteen century Norway. Myhren and Nordstoga wrote soft ballads and faster pieces of traditional music inspired by the poem and made an innovating, yet traditional performance. The unusual instrumentation that included wooden harps, washboards and lyre, combined with Myhren and Nordstogas beautiful voices made for a breathtaking showcase.

The first performance at the Telemark festival (cultural event focusing on traditional Norwegian folk music) in 2001 blew both critics and audiences away. And even though Nivelkinn was never meant to be released on CD, the pressure from the people who had seen the show got so intense, that the pair of singers felt compelled to put it out. Consequently they released Nivelkinn in the beginning of august this year, and the release party was a grand event where even the princess of Norway attended.

Myhren and Nordstoga are both well-known traditional folk singers in Norway, and they are very dedicated in keeping the old Norwegian songs and lays alive. So when the Telemark-festival asked them to make music to Nivelkinn and perform they jumped at the chance.

- Aslaug Vaa is one of my favourite poets and I was glad to do it, said Myhren in an interview earlier this year.

They never predicted the success though, and both of them were really surprised it sat so well with both audiences and critics. Nivelkinn has only been performed twice, but luckily the singers are planning a tour next year.

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