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Albums by Kari Bremnes

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Kari Bremnes

I was born in Svolvær in Lofoten on a December Sunday in 1956. The West fjord ran straight into the Atlantic, the mountains rose straight out of the ocean, there were summers filled with light and there was the mythical dark season. It was there I got intrigued by dynamics. And by large open spaces. We saw the big coastal ships arrive and depart twice a day, one northbound and one southbound; Svolvær is located on an island, you know - Austvågøy, right in an eternal arrival and departure. Perhaps this is why I've made so many songs about travelling.

Thanks to a big brother whose friend ordered records from England, it didn't take long before I started listening to Joni Mitchell, Frank Zappa, Donovan, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan. Simon and Garfunkel, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Fairport Convention. Virtually all the time. I didn't think of becoming a professional musician, people in Svolvær were engaged on different forms of physical labour.

But as a nineteen-year-old I was ready for a different life and took the Skutvik ferry across the West fjord, the bus across Hamarøy, the train from Fauske to Trondheim, and finally the train to Oslo - I've always been drawn to cities. We're talking about the year 1977. Here I took lessons with an actor and worked in a psychiatric hospital while wondering what do to next. Gradually I started studying and obtained a B.A. consisting of Nordic language and literature, history and theatre studies.

I was a poor student. My focus was on music. The songs were queueing in my head. While they waited to exit I made a recording together with Ola, after epoch-making meetings with Erik Bye and Otto Nielsen at NRK (the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation). At the same time I worked as a journalist, first at Nationen, then in the culture department of Aftenposten.

The year 1986 turned out to be a turning-point for me. I had asked the composer Petter Henriksen if he could set music to some of Tove Ditlefsen's finest poems. It turned out to be som unbelievably powerful songs. I first made a radio programme about Ditlefsen and used the songs in that programme. Then I asked for a meeting with Erik Hillestad, director of the record company Kirkelig Kulturverksted, in order to publish them as a record. No, thank you, said Erik. More than once. Eventually he said yes. We went to a studio that autumn, with Iver and Audun Kleive. My Wild Heart. My first solo album. I still remember the dizzy feeling.

The rest is discography, great experiences with fantastic musicians, meeting with the audience. Tours. Across Norway, across Japan (a surrealistic experience lasting five weeks), Germany, France, Austria.

The rest is the road forward

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