Fourteen years ago Liv Runesdatter stumbled across a small collection of old recordings. Hidden on them lay forgotten melodies from a small pietistic laymen’s movement that emerged in eastern Norway in the 1860s, and it marked the start of a passionate affair and study. Since then she has worked on her project Syng hjerte (Sing Heart) and delved even deeper into this rare music tradition. She has studied the songs and the stories behind them. Hours and hours have been spent in archives, pot after pot of coffee brewed in retirement homes, moving conversations and a surrogate grandmother…The Norwegian folk tunes are inseparable from Norwegian roots, tradition and thought. They can be compared to the tradition of Negro Spirituals, a fortifying draught in times of adversity and, in prosperity, an inspiration.
She seeks to let the past and the present melt together. The songs are embellished with life stories and tales, coloured by material from her own musical universe, and inspired from hoarse voices on creaky old recordings, nature, squeaking audiotape players, rooms, shapes, smells, sounds and people. The Norwegian traditional roots are evident, though impulses from other places and traditions can be traced.
Her solo cd “Syng Hjerte” (Grappa/Galileo) was released in 2008/ 2009 and received outstanding reviews in international newspapers, magazines and radio shows:
The Dutch magazine Folkforum selected Syng Hjerte on their list of «Best international recordings 2009» and writes «What a voice!».
«An important music project,challenging the Norwegian traditional music ﬁeld, both through Runesdatter´s voice performance andthe catchy and untraditional musical choices.» «What we hear is a heartfelt, personal music, with a rarecreative fantasy: Liv Runesdatter, remember her name. A certain voice, encircled by a powerfulensemble of musicians. The sound on the cd is experienced as clear and near, and I immediately recognize small details: crackling, air without sound/delay through the saxophones, a hint of splinteredbowstrokes.. It is blessed, it is cheerful and drifting, and it is heavy and refreshing at the same time. Itis imaginative art!» Kjetil Bjørgan, The Norwegian Broadcast.
«Runesdatter shows to belong to the elite of Norwegianmusic. Although her music breaths the Norwegian air, it also has something modern and unique. Hervoice is warm and has a natural peacefulness. It reminds of the ice cold traditional jazz of JanGarbarek, without being a copy of his style. When Runesdatter sings one of the many psalms on thisalbum, I feel the ancientness of these songs and when she is backed by the Hardingfele, she bringsthe dales of South-Norway to live.» FolkWorld, international music magazine.
«Herrlich mystisch, verdreht, abenteuerlich,verhalten. Runesdatters Stimme ist klar wie ein norwegischer Gebirgsﬂuss. So ein Projekt verdient Aufmerksamkeit. Soultrain, Germany.
«Liv’s voice throughout this recording is breathtakingly gorgeous and hymn-like.Syng Hjerte is both reverently soothing and exotically jarring, and well worth a listen.» Lori Gordon, UK.