Musical storytelling with strong social engagement.
With his new major project, The New North, folk singer Pål Moddi Knutsen wants to break away from old clichés about Northern Norway and build a new, more contemporary image of how people live, work and view themselves in our northernmost region.
Northern Norway has changed rapidly in recent decades. Secluded farming and fishing communities have been transformed by high-tech industry and an insatiable aquaculture industry. Still, it is as though the perception of the region has congealed into an image of small fishing boats, fisherman’s cabins and reindeer.
Moddi wants to paint a picture of a new Northern Norway on its way into a new age.
“I have taken inspiration from the smelters, the salmon slaughterhouses, the aerospace environment, the power industry and all the other places that do not fit into the classic image of Northern Norway. I want to showcase a vibrant and dynamic region, full of new ideas and initiatives. The goal is difficult enough: To establish a new poetry around the region and the cliché of Northern Norway.”
Together with a quartet anchored in the world of jazz, a soundscape is painted where every single sound from the instruments is captured and becomes music – from the creaking of the piano stool to the highest overtones in the double bass.
For Moddi, The New North is the onset of a bigger project where the goal is to establish a Norwegian-speaking, strong and influential folk-pop that is relevant to our own time.
“I myself have been an avid communicator of Northern Norwegian history, identity and tradition. Now I want to take a long step out of the comfort zone. Out of the small fishing boat, and into a new era.”
Photo: Jørgen Nordby
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