A prized Norwegian-Azerbaijani collaboration between a group of highly recognized musicians lead by the Norwegian singer and composer Liv Runesdatter and kamanecheh player Elshan Mansurov. Rare Norwegian folksongs meet the traditional classical music of Azerbaijan, the Mugam.

Liv Runesdatter – vocals, Ehtiram Huseinov – vocals, Elshan Mansurov – kamanecheh, Alfred Janson  – accordion, Tuva Thomassen Bolstad – hardanger fiddle, Elekber Elekberov – tar

The Mugam tradition and traditional Norwegian folk songs are similar in that they both are vehicles for the perpetuation of the soul of a people. The two traditions have much in common. In terms of musical structure, they are different, but they are brothers in their expressiveness and in their dramatic qualities. Sari Gelin is a famous mugham and the title can be translated as «blond bride». The azeri-armenian story behind the song belongs to a tradition of tragic romance, and can be assembled with the european drama Romeo and Juliet. Mugam is an ancient living tradition and it is with a great sense of fascination and humility, as well as heartfelt respect for its poetry and performers that I embark upon this project.

Mugham orig. Azerbaijan is a tradition of vocal music practiced in Azerbaijan, with variations of different names found over a wide area of the Middle and Far East. Drawing on popular stories and local melodies, it is a highly expressive and narratively complex form of music. Because it is both improvisational and adherent to a highly nuanced set of rules, mugham is difficult to master and notate. Mugham songs are often based on ancient Azerbaijani poetry with recurrent themes of love and mysticism, and performances can last for hours.