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Gömda Land (Hidden lands)

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“Gömda land” (Hidden lands) by the Swedish author Karin Boye and the Norwegian composer Ole Karsten Sundlisæter, is recorded by Wibeke Wetaas (soprano), Jasmina Živić (flute), Kristian Evjen (piano), Marius Munthe-Kaas (percussion), Chamber choir and Ole Karsten Sundlisæter (conductor). Recorded in Frue church in Stavanger/Norway September 2013.

Karin Boye was born on 26 October 1900, in the Swedish city of Göteborg, but she grew up in Stockholm where her family moved 1909. Even as a young girl and student, she began to write and participate in cultural debates, at first from religious stand point, then rebelling against conservative cultural policy. For a period, she was drawn to Buddhism, but then reaffirmed her Christian faith. At the same time, she struggled to come to terms with her own sexuality. She read Vilhelm Ekelund and Viktor Rydberg, sharing their fascination with the aesthetic ideals of the ancient Greeks, a world where loving the same sex was not a sin. “I don’t know if I’m a Christian, but I do know that I belong to God”, she wrote in an letter to her friend in 1920.

In spite of her depression, Boye was highly esteemed as a teacher, and contributed many periodicals. Boye’s early poems were influenced by Buddhism, later by Schopenhauer, and finally by Nietzsche. Her first collection of verse, Moln (1922), was filled with idealism and a sense of new-found identity. It was followed by Gömda land (1924) and Härdarna (1927), her youthful works responding to the thirst for life and celebrating the powers of renewal. “You do not become happy because you have reached a certain point”, Boye once wrote in her diary. “Steady development, movement, brings happiness.” Boye committed suicide in Alingsås on April 24, 1941.

The composer 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.sheetmusic.no and www.sundlisaeter.no.

The soprano Wibeke Wetaas graduated at the Grieg Academy, University of Bergen, NTNU and University of Stavanger, Department of Music, where she received her Master Examination in 2011. As a lyric soprano, she has a wide repertoire ranging from early Renaissance to contemporary classical music and opera. Wibeke Wetaas has in addition to Gömda Land also recorded Sundlisæter’s cycle for soprano and piano based on Karin Boye’s poems Tillägnan (Dedication). For more information about Wibeke Wetaas, please visit: www.wibekewetaas.com

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