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For The Tree’s Sake

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Iva Mrvoš (mezzo soprano) perform songs by the Swedish author Karin Boye and the Norwegian composer Ole Karsten Sundlisæter. The texts are from Karin Boye’s collection of poems ”For The Tree’s Sake”. The poems have been translated into English by David McDuff. “For The Tree’s Sake” is a crossover project where the opera voice is accompanied by a combination of acoustic and electric instruments. The musical landscape consists of strong melodies that range from lyrical and tender to a more dramatic expression.

The texts by Karin Boye (1900-1941) is about quite simple things – how to live and how life should be lived. It is about the pain of imperfection when perfection is desired. “Yes, of course it hurts”, she says in one of her most often quoted poems. It does hurt as no person alive can ever be the one he or she really wants to be. But it was just in this pain of imperfection that her poems came into life. Many of them are love poems in which her aspirations are so much stronger than what she attains with her words. In a similar way other poems are about openness, justice and clarity. Boye’s early poems were influenced by Buddhism, later by Schopenhauer, and finally by Nietzsche. In For The Tree’s Sake (För trädets skull, 1935) she changed from the strict classical style to a modernistic, expressionistic style. Her symbolic and tragic poetry, which was traditional in form, dealt with existential themes, the dualism of life, the outer and inner self, the split personality. Boye committed suicide in Alingsås on April 24, 1941.

Iva Mrvoš (1982) comes from Serbia. Having finished undergraduate studies in classical singing, at the Faculty of Music in Belgrade, she moved to Norway to study for a masters degree at the University of Stavanger. She met Ole Karsten Sundlisæter in 2009 and since then they have been performing together. The same artistic taste and sensibility shared by both these artists, has led to joint work on the project “For The Tree’s Sake”. Iva has gained many awards in recognition of her artistic excellence, among which certainly the most prestigious one is the Norwegian Shell Prize awarded in the year 2011.

Ole Karsten Sundlisæter (1976) graduated as a Cantor at the Trøndelag Conservatory in Trondheim, Norway (NTNU) gaining the highest honours in solo organ playing. Sundlisæter is also a qualified teacher and has studied conduction and composition. Study continued in Paris (at the Conservatoire National de Région in Saint-Maur-des-Fossés) where he was awarded the highest awards in harmony, instrumentation and organ performance. Since 2011 he is a full-time freelance composer, concert organist and conductor. Sundlisæter is a member of the Norwegian Society of Composers. For more information about his works, please visit: www.sundlisaeter.no.

Contributors: Iva Mrvoš (mezzo soprano), Karin Venaas (flute), Una Maja Vagner (violin), Reidar Garthus (soprano saxophon), Ilmari Hopkins (cello), Ivan Zavgorodniy (contrabass), Vidar Schanche (electric guitar), Torje Fanebust Ås (electric bass), Bastien Ricquebourg (marimba), Ståle Birkeland (percussion), Ådne Sæverud (bass voice), Ole Karsten Sundlisæter (bass voice), Nils Erik Steinsbø (speaking voice /bass voice), Astrid Kallenbach-Gustavson (soprano voice) & Ole Karsten Sundlisæter (piano/harmonium/organ).

Produced by Ole Karsten Sundlisæter
Recorded by Sebastian Waldejer & Ole Karsten Sundlisæter
Edited by Ole Karsten Sundlisæter
Mixed by Ashley Stubbert
Mastered by Ed Brooks at RFI Mastering
Recorded in “Studio 110”, in ”St.Petri” Church and in “Frue” (Lady) Church in Stavanger/Norway 2013/2014

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