Ketil Bjørnstad’s work continues to gather momentum on two fronts. Each of his ECM recordings has been widely-praised in the press, with the recent “Remembrance” album described by Germany’s Jazzpodium as “klang- und formschöne Jazz-Kammermusik", and by the UK’s Daily Express as “exquisite, intriguing and, in its quiet way, life-affirming.” As a novelist Bjørnstad is also making headlines. His book “To Music” won the “Prix des Lecteurs” award in France, shot into the best-seller lists in Germany, and was nominated for The Independent’s Foreign Fiction Prize in the UK. The prolific author, internationally translated, now rivals the prolific musician for attention and resonance. And where once Bjørnstad kept the disciplines separate, narratives are becoming interwoven and interrelated. In his liner notes for “Night Song” he references his novel “The River” (in Norwegian, “Elven”) and its central character Aksel Vinding, who shares his creator’s musical obsessions. As roles blur into each other, it becomes harder to say with certainty whether Bjørnstad is an author who plays music or a musician who also writes.
Svaente Henryson’s classical credentials include four years as bassist with the Oslo Philharmonic and two years as principal bassist with the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra.