Dec. 18, 2018 – On a January night about five years ago, I was listening to a program on Hearts of Space called “Winter Solstice”. I was familiar with Hearts of Space and its slogan, “Slow Music For Fast Times”, but I didn’t turn on the radio to hear this particular show. It happened to be on the air. However, the haunting and beautiful music featured on “Winter Solstice” hooked me.
The song, “Cobalt” by Norwegian artist Øystein Sevåg played. A review of his album Bridge from Valley Entertainment said: “Cobalt,” an open improvisation between Oystein on synthesizer and Maria on violin, achieves a level of exalted emotion reserved for classical favorites like Vaughan-Williams “A Lark Ascending.” Sevag likens the color cobalt to the quest of the spirit for the deepest and most sublime experiences. This piece delivers put it on your short list of desert island tracks.”
I was particularly interested in Sevåg’s work because I had started writing a fantasy set in Norway. I researched him, found his music on iTunes and “Cobalt” became the first song on my Nordic Playlist. Generally, I prefer writing in silence so the fact I even started a writing playlist is ironic. However, the list has grown. It contains not only more pieces from Sevåg, but also from fifteen other Nordic artists. I hope to travel to Norway someday, especially during the season of Polar Night. Until then, if I want to go to Norway, then all I have to do is slip on my headphones and I’m there.