A melodic journey into Terra Nova
All the “pigeonholing” and talk about genres in our day and age has led to confusion in one or another of the camps: is it jazz, is it classical, or what actually is it? Whether you need to define it as jazz or classical will depend on what the music communicates to you. With this clearly in mind, we —the classical singer and the jazz pianist — have ventured together into Terra Nova’s tonal world in an attempt to create our own “universe”. Jan Gunnar Hoff is a jazz pianist, but he composes in a style that overlaps with what can be defined as classical, with its fine melodies and melodious improvisations, and with its singable compositions.
The two of us — Hoff and Kielland — worked together on several smaller projects in 2014 and 2015. Gradually the idea emerged of performing as a duo and composing new songs. Texts of Hamsun and Blake were chosen, poems that touch us with their melancholy and directness. Jan Gunnar composed music inspired by the texts. In the spring of 2016 we toured together, premiering the new songs along with others Jan Gunnar has composed, such as Coming My Way and The Lamb. Other “older” compositions for jazz band and choir have been adapted to our project: Terra Nova, Fly North, and Meditatus. Jan Gunnar has also written texts to several of his own melodies. And we have added a few classics we are extra fond of: Nordaførr vårvise, Jerusalem, and Barndomsminne fra Nordland, which Jan Gunnar has arranged. Then we “took it all into the studio”, as they say, or, in this case, to Stamsund Church in the Lofoten Islands, with its splendid acoustics and a world-class grand piano. We wish to give you a genre-free musical experience, in which the music elevates the text, and in which the two of us, each in our own way, bring the essence, melancholy and beauty of the music into this indefinable universe of text and melody – Marianne Beate Kielland
Sullivan – American Record Guide, februar 2018: «These are wistful, open-hearted songs executed with the creativity of two gifted Norwegian musicians.»
Tor de Jazz: “Two strong, expressive and clear voices that obviously have met each other across genres and engage in wonderful, original and exciting excursions”.
Hamar Arbeiderblad: “A magical mix of classical and jazz”.
Avisa Nordland: “Strong melodies that can withstand repeated listening”.