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Svendsen, Christian Meaas : Avin (Nakama Records)

Known more for his double bass work, Christian Meaas Svendsen releases a stunningly beautiful album of unusually orchestrated pop songs with an 8-piece band of Nordic improvisers and performers, a dramatic album of tension and release which, despite lyrics in Norwegian, draws all listeners in through inventive and innovative musical structures.

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product information:

Label: Nakama Records
Catalog ID: NKM010CD
Squidco Product Code: 24571

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2017
Country: Norway
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Athletic Sound, in Halden, Norway, in December, 2016, by Dag Erik Johansen.


Christian Meaas Svendsen-vocals, guitar

Vilde Alnaes-violin

Adrian Loseth Waade-viola

Kaja Fjellberg Pettersen-cello

Inga Aas-double bass

Henrik Munkeby Norstebo-trombone

Espen Reinertsen-saxophone

Agnes Hvizdalek-vocal

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Artist Biographies:

"Svendsen started his jazz career within Kongsberg Big Band, was a year at Toneheim folkehøgskole and later studied Performing jazz music at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo. In 2007 he was awarded Kongsberg Jazzfestival's talent scholarship. During the Kongsberg Jazzfestival in 2010, Svendsen referred to as The festival's busiest musician by Laagendalsposten[1] when he performed seven gigs in different constellations during the festival. In 2011 he received Kongsberg Municipality's Cultural Grant.[2] for sitt arbeid med byens tradisjonelle julejam.

Together with his own quintet Mopti he won the 2012 JazzIntro award.[3][4] After this he has performed among others with the brilliant Japanese pianist and band leader Ayumi Tanaka in the band Nakama with the release Before The Storm (2015) and the exiting Ayumi Tanaka Trio with the release Momento (2016)."-Wikipedia

-Wikipedia (

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"Adrian Løseth Waade is a violinist/composer known from groups such as Skadedyr, Trondheim Jazz-Orchestra and the Swedish/Norwegian quartet Bone Machine. Adrian is looking to develop the violin as a tool for both free and structured improvisation, and create frameworks in order to make the instrument sound in new, interesting ways. He incorporates both old and new, rhythmic and classical music in his work."

-Nakama Records (

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"Kaja Fjellberg Pettersen, from Oslo (Norway) is a cellist, teacher and arranger, with a degree and masters degree from the Institutt for Musikk NTNU. She already taught at the Oslo School of Music and also participated in the Social Project "Grota do Surucucu", in Niterói, teaching cello.

In 2012, Kaja founded the string orchestra "Oslo Strings", known for its versatility, and regularly performs at major cultural events in Norway and abroad. They have played with names like Marit Larsen and Karpe Diem, will be in Brazil for the International Festival of Cello."

-Camerata Laranjeiras (Translated by Google) (

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"Henrik Munkeby Nørstebø (born 29 July 1986 in Trondheim, Norway) is a Norwegian trombonist.

Nørstebø who was born and raised in Trondheim, is a trombonist mainly active on the free impro scenes of jazz, contemporary and improvised music. Since 2005 he has worked primarily with free-improvised music, and organizes and plays in bands like Nørstebø/Myhr/Järmyr, Teknokrat, As deafness increases, Ensemble Coordonnateur and PerdieusNørstebøWakolbinger. Nørstebø also plays solo concerts. The album SOLO was released on the Portuguese label "Creative Sources" in summer 2011. In addition, players Nørstebø with the Oslo-based new music ensemble "Axiom" and "Önczkekvist improvising orchestra" with members from Norway, Austria and Czech Republic. He collaborates with musicians like Nina de Heney, Daniel Lercher, Raymond Strid, Naoko Sakata, Tomas Jäderlund, Moritz Zopf, Bernd Klug, Danielle Dahl, Rosi Rehformen, Rasmus Borg. Nørstebø completed a bachelor of music performance (improvisation/jazz) at Högskolan för scen och musik in Gothenburg (2011)."

-Wikipedia (

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"Espen Reinertsen (born 1979) based in Oslo, is educated at NTNU's Jazzconservatory in Trondhem and Norwegian Music Academy in Oslo. He plays with trumpetplayer Eivind Lønning in the duo Streifenjunko, and is also currently a member of Christian Wallumrød Ensemble, and Koboku Senju together with Eivind Lønning and tubaist Martin Taxt, with the japanese improvisers Tetuzi Akiyama and Toshimaru Nakamura. Reinertsen has at several occasions collaborated with musicians as Sidsel Endresen, Michel Doneda, Keith Rowe and videoartist Kjell Bjørgengen."

-SusannaSonata (

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"Agnes Hvizdalek is an improvising musician originating from Vienna's experimental music scene and is based in Oslo and Vienna. From an early age, she has dedicated her life to new music and her fascination with the human voice. She celebrates this in her abstract vocal music, for which she has received international acclaim. Always exploring new horizons, Hvizdalek has engaged in numerous cross-disciplinary collaborations merging voice and visual and performance art, dance, theatre, film, writing."

-Agnes Hvizdalek Website (

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track listing:

1. Da Du Og Jeg Var VI 5:00

2. Kretslop 5:37

3. Avin 7:36

4. I Berlin 5:37

5. Katarsis 1:00

6. 11 Dager 7:39

7. Torr Og Sliten Jord 4:53

sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Avin is the solo project of musician Christian Meaas Svendsen. The album consists of Norwegian lyrics in a traditional singer/songwriter-style wrapped in a somewhat challenging and unconventional format. The music is arranged for an 8-piece band consisting of some of Norway's finest musicians.

Avin is a Kurdish maiden name meaning love. Avin is also the name of Svendsen's girlfriend. The central theme on the album is their unfinished love, and the texts and the music describe Svendsen's feelings and reflections in the turbulent phases of the relationship. Loss, anger and despair are repeating themes, but amidst it all there is hope and a strange kind of underlying positivism. The music is inspired from early American contemporary music, modern nordic improvised music and different types folk songs. The result is a more meek version of the modern contemporary music, a slightly more strict version of improvised

music and jazz, and a somewhat detached way of presenting conventional singer/songwriter material. It is creative music with some healthy resistance presented in an earnest, convincing and personal way.

Svendsen has also made a music video together with filmmaker André Løyning. The video is done like a one-take; a 20 minute continuous shot which has resulted in a video which is just as much a short movie and an art movie as it is a music video. It is challenging our consumption of visual impressions and short attention span, indirectly arguing that the music video as an art form must not be devoured by commercial powers and tabloid formats.

Christian Meaas Svendsen is normally playing bass, leading his own projects or functioning as a sideman in countless other creative projects. But on this recording he is singing his own lyrics and playing the guitar himself."-Nakama Records

"There's a heavy emotional weight that acts as a counterbalance to the lovely melodic persona of Avin. The key component that secures both qualities is how Christian Meaas Svendsen slips between evocative, poignant expressions with a fluid grace that's almost stunning for its subtle transformations. The album is effectively split between two suites. The gentle lullaby of "Da du og var vi" transitions into the tense "Kretsløp" without a pause between, and the comforting tone becomes more ominous. And then this, too, shifts into the wistful titletrack "Avin." Here, the harmonics reflect an uneasy state of existence... a far cry from the thick, heartmelting harmonies of the suite's opening. Svendsen's vocals are delivered with an even hand and a light touch, and nothing about those qualities hides the impassioned feelings of the words themselves.

"I Berlin" is a solitary piece that separates the two sections. The ensemble's chamber music nature shines strongest here, and the seamless way in which the string section switches between a disarming and a choppy melodicism is emblematic of the album's approach and its structure.

"Katarsis" begins the second section with silence, interrupted by spoken word that leads into the melancholy "11 Dager," a song that features Svendsen's acoustic guitar, a duet with another vocalist, and then a thin ray of sunlight at song's end in the form of warm harmony from a children's choir. Those harmonics lead right into the album finale "Tørr og sliten jord." It's a song that brings the album full circle with the emotional tones and personable tunefulness of the album's opening track, but with a mood that shades more to a state of contemplation.

The album's title and the artist's liner notes indicate this album is about love and his current relationship and all of the turbulence, uncertainty and joy that comes with it. That assertion rings true from every note of this gorgeous album."-Dave Summers, Bird is the Worm

Also available on vinyl LP.
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Compositional Forms
Rock and Related
Avant Folk, Etc.
Song Based Music
Octet Recordings
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms

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