Kerstin Blodig: Valivann

The sea with its mysterious depths, its vast breadth and its breathtaking power has always fascinated generations of people and provided the inspiration for countless tales and legends.

The North Sea is the geographical link between the two seafaring nations Norway and Scotland, which are also bound together by countless historical connections. Trading and invasions have not only brought forth similarities in speech and dialects, but have also led to strong cultural ties, particularly evident in the area of folk music.

One of the principal ideas behind the project Valivann is to feature the striking similarity between Celtic and Scandinavian ballads, particularly the thematic content of the lyrics. The two songs Horpa and The Cruel Sister are the prime examples of how the same theme has been developed in both Norwegian and Scottish cultures.

Valivann combines a subjective choice of favourite lyrics with original and traditional melodies to create an exciting nordic ethno-cocktail: a crystal-clear voice floating over a lush carpet of hard-edged rhythms, samples and acoustic instruments.

The CD was recorded over a period of three years, during which time Kerstin gathered and wrote a lot of material and did some preliminary arrangements before experimenting with more extensive instrumentation and the technical possibilities of a modern recording studio. Many late-night sessions with Mick Franke, crazy ideas, laughter, ups and downs and singlemalt whiskies led to a lot of spontaneous recordings which were great fun and were often used in the final mix.

Kerstin’s partner on this project was Mick Franke, one of the founding members of the innovative seventies German folk group FIDEL MICHEL. He later became the guitarist, producer and co-writer of rock star HEINZ RUDOLF KUNZE. As well as producing artists on his own label (Slow Motion Records), he recorded with many well-known artists and was one of the pioneers of DVD techniques in Europe. His tragic death in April 2001 meant that he sadly could not be here to celebrate the release of this CD. Kerstin has dedicated this album to his memory.

„Blodig impressed us with one of the most expressive voices I’ve ever heard.“

Glåmdalen, Norway