Album of the Day: Erlend Apneseth Trio with Frode Haltli – “Salika, Molika”


Folk music should feel like it’s got roots.  It should exude a presence that radiates history, as if the notes that comprise it have been absorbed into the bones of musicians from long ago and, over time, into those of listeners who have nurtured its lineage by humming its melody under the breath over the centuries.  A folk music tune should be caked with the dust of time.

But there’s no requirement on the source of the soil or, even, the time it traverses.

The new album from the Erlend Apneseth Trio is a case in point.  The sampled voices and spoken word echo the stories and narratives of the past, but the live sampling and electronics and improvisation provide an elusive time stamp, as if this is folk music whose roots won’t manifest until sometime far off in the future… and in a land not yet discovered.

Apneseth has a proven track record of utilizing his hardanger fiddle as a doorway to recapture the life of old tunes, but never before has he quite so freely moved along the timeline.  Some of this alluring clash between past and future is the resulting convergence of guest Frode Haltli’s accordion and the electronic textures from baritone guitarist Stephan Meidell.  There’s an awestruck beauty to the way these disparate elements fall into one another’s embrace.  It’s a union further cemented by the percussion of Øyvind Hegg-Lunde, and a rhythmic voice that could express the same resonance and equanimity in any era and never seem out of place.  This, too, can be said about the spoken word sampling interspersed throughout, and how these voices are rooted to their time and place, but the specifics need not ever be itemized or accounted for, because the roots of folk music run deep, and as such, are connected to everything.  And that means the music, this music, Erlend Apneseth Trio’s Salika, Molika, is timeless.

Your album personnel:  Erlend Apneseth (hardanger fiddle), Stephan Meidell (baritone acoustic guitar, zither, live sampling and electronics), Øyvind Hegg-Lunde (drums, percussion) and Frode Haltli (accordion).

Released on Hubro Music.

Music from Aal, Buskerud, Norway.

Available at:  Amazon | Direct from Hubro

And be sure to check out Apneseth’s 2016 recording, Det Andre Rommet.  It received a warm reception here on Bird is the Worm.

To learn more about the album, check out the official EPK…