Recording: Ulf W.O. Holand, Rainbow Studio and LydLab, 1994; assistent recording engineer: Stian Holm Pedersen
Mixing: Ulf W.O. Holand, LydLab, January 1995
Chorus arrangement: Silje Nergaard
String arrangement "Pappas vals": Kenneth Sivertsen
Sponsored by: the Norwegian Kassettavgiftsfond
The Silje Nergaard Band:
Jens Bugge Wesseltoft - keyboards
Nils Einar Vinjor - guitar
Bjorn Kjellemyr - acoustic bass, electric bass
Per Lindvall - drums, percussion
Tore Brunborg - saxophone
Eivind Aarseth - guitar
Ivar Anton Waagaard - piano
Silje - expressive singing, covered with acoustic taste
This should be what we should call a natural gift. I'm talking about Silje's voice. In 1990, her debut album "Tell Me Where You're Going", which got into the news due to Pat Metheny's participation, eventually attracted many fans because of her unique voice tone, I guess. Now Silje moved the base of her activities to her home country Norway, and released "Brevet". It's a good album, which attracts audiences with the expressive singing, backed by non-artificial sounds.
"The life in London was energetic and exciting. It was good in the sense that I could have various experiences in the music industry, but one day I noticed that I'm tired. I started to feel like going back to the forest."
This time, Silje sings in her mother tongue, for the first time after making three albums in English. We can also pay attention to her participation in sound creation of the whole album as a co-producer.
"By singing in Norwegian, I could empathize without going through filters, and it was good. As a co-producer, I wanted to present my voice and the world illustrated by the lyrics, in the best way. As a result, it ended up with acoustic sounds. I chose expert musicians who had already ended the period they tried to show with their performances how good they were. I think their performances were good, though simple."
Surely, I feel that the less the number of sounds in the performances is, the more each of the sounds supports the singing. Also, the careful selections of sounds, exampled by the usage of acoustic bass for most of the songs, worked well. Moreover, we should note that the songs themselves, decorated by such sounds, are attractive.
"I sing melodies while playing the keyboards, or the guitar sometimes, and I record them, and then I keep myself away from songwriting for a while. About two weeks later, when I'm relaxed, I listen to them. That's the way I evaluate the melodies and move towards completion of songwriting. I ask others to write lyrics because, if I do for myself, quality wouldn't be satisfactory. But I keep close contacts with writers and fully inform them what kind of songs I want them to be."
By the way, the photos of sculptures made by her are used for the cover and booklet of this album. I don't have to mention that the qualities of the sculptures are good, as she is the person who let others to write lyrics because her own lyrics wouldn't meet her expectation.
"I started painting when I was a child. And I started sculptures about two years ago."
I heard that, in Norway, Silje is getting well-known in the field of arts. She says she wants to hold an exhibition in Japan, just as she did in her home country. Now we know that she has another natural gift, in addition to her voice.
Interviewed and written by Akira Asaba (or Asaha?)
Photos by Masahiro Yoshida
New album "Brevet" (Japanese title "Tegami", which means "letter") [sold in Japan by Omagatoki (OMG), catalog number OMCX-1]