Nordic en­sem­ble brings world sound

The Herald (South Africa) - - LEISURE - Her­ald Re­porter info@twotone­mu­sic.co.za

AN IN­TER­NA­TIONAL act from the Faroe Is­lands is in Port El­iz­a­beth this week, de­light­ing au­di­ences with its jazzy world mu­sic.

The Nordic en­sem­ble, called Yg­gdrasil, will play at the North Meets South Jazz Con­cert at the Nelson Man­dela Uni­ver­sity Con­ser­va­toire in Bird Street to­mor­row at 7pm.

The newly formed Madiba Bay Jazz Orches­tra, con­ducted by Gareth Wil­liams, will open for Yg­gdrasil, which is based in the Faroe Is­lands half­way be­tween Nor­way and Ice­land.

Formed in 1981 by com­poser and pi­anist Kris­tian Blak, who also com­poses most of the ma­te­rial for the group, they have trav­elled the world spread­ing their style of mu­sic.

A can­celled fes­ti­val in Gra­ham­stown is Port El­iz­a­beth’s gain as the group de­cided to go ahead with their trip to South Africa and see what op­por­tu­ni­ties to share their mu­sic might ma­te­ri­alise.

Mu­si­cians who have been part of the en­sem­ble, ei­ther long-term or in a par­tic­u­lar pro­ject, have var­ied mu­si­cal back­grounds, mainly in jazz, but also in eth­nic, folk, rock and clas­si­cal mu­sic.

Over the years many mu­si­cians and artists have con­trib­uted to Yg­gdrasil’s projects, which in­clude vis­ual art, poetry, bal­let, opera and con­cer­tos in grot­toes.

Part of the Yg­gdrasil con­cept is that the per­son­al­ity of each in­di­vid­ual mem­ber of the en­sem­ble be heard or seen and this makes its sound unique.

Most Yg­gdrasil com­po­si­tions are cre­ated in col­lab­o­ra­tion with other forms of art or, in some cases, with na­ture, which is apt as in Norse mythol­ogy, Yg­gdrasil is the World Tree. The branches of the mighty ash reach up above the heav­ens, and its three roots de­scend deep into the un­der­world.

In the very top of Yg­gdrasil sits the wise ea­gle, keep­ing watch. The three Norns wa­ter and nur­ture the tree each day, while the great ser­pent Niðhøgg, to­gether with a host of lesser snakes, gnaws at its root. Thus the tree is in a state of cos­mic equi­lib­rium, con­stantly threat­ened and de­voured as it grows.

Yg­gdrasil has re­leased more than 20 al­bums and toured through­out the world from Ice­land to Aus­tralia, Bo­livia to Canada and through­out Europe.

Tick­ets are R100, on sale at the door. In­quiries:

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