I met Kjell through Paula O’Brien. Though his music is eclectic and gears towards ambient and electronica, his profile posts will reveal to you his enthusiasm for Celtic music. I planned to set up a little Q and A a long time ago but his wedding took place( my big congratulations to him for finding the ONE) and it’s only this month that he was able to do things on the side including this interview.
How do you celebrate Christmas in Norway? Are there common Celtic hints other than the predominant Viking influences?
No Celtic influences are common in Norway. Apart from the pan-european christian Christmas, we have a long tradition of Yule, and the name of the holiday here is Jul (not Christmas).
Most yule music is Christian, though, lots of common ground with the rest of Europe. A few yule songs focus on the folklore surrounding the “nisse” (more a house elf than the modern Santa).
Tell us about your type of music(Christmas) and artists you’d recommend to listeners?
For Norwegian Christmas music sung in Norwegian, I would recommend Sissel Kyrkjebø….
Although she sings in many languages, these two videos are in Irish Gaelic.
Who is your biggest influence that got you into music?
My personal biggest influences to create music are Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode and Pet Shop Boys.
Artists that occupy your collection now?
During Christmas I listen to a lot of Celtic inspired music such as Enya, Moya Brennan, Celtic Woman.
What are the things about these artists (Enya, Moya Brennan and Celtic Woman) that you think inspires the season?
I think Enya, Moya and Loreena (who I also love), combine ancient Celtic vibes with modern elements very well, and each in their own special way. Enya with her warm electronic soundscapes, Loreena with her combination of different world music elements, and Moya with her more minimalist approach.
All three have made very special and fantastic Christmas albums, which I play a lot during the season.
I heard your interesting work with Loreena McKennitt song She Moved Through The Fair. Can you explain this?
My mash up mix of Loreena singing and Mike Oldfield playing She Moved Through the Fair was a fun idea I had when I realised they had their respective versions on CD 🙂
A mix of Loreena McKennitt’s a capella version from her 1985 album Elemental and Mike Oldfield’s instrumental version from his 1996 album Voyager.
Are there Celtic sessions in Norway that you know?
I have no knowledge of specific Celtic music being made here in Norway.
What are the sites that you can recommend listeners regarding your works?
Check out Formative
What is your take in the current music business?
Music business is commercial and awful 🙂 True art and true music is not found in the “least common denominator” of the top 10 charts. The underground and independent music scene is where people with passion for music are.
Why do you think people get into music?
People should get into music to feel alive.
Updates for the coming months?
No concrete plans for the coming months. I’m going on paternity leave in the new year for 10 weeks to stay home with my son. Will upgrade my main music software and get into what is new there while home 🙂
More collaboration with Paula O’Brien are also in the works.
That sounds like a wonderful plan! What’s your message to our readers?
“Where words fail, music speaks.”
H. C. Andersen