Sinikka Langeland: Wind and Sun

Rating: ★★★

Record and Artist Details


Thomas Strønen
Trygve Seim (ts ss)
Mathias Eick (t)
Mats Eilertsen (b)
Sinikka Langeland (v, kantele, Jew’s harp)




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Rec. June 2022

For her seventh album on the ECM label, the Norwegian instrumentalist and singer Sinikka Langeland teams up with Jon Fosse.

Fosse, an acclaimed Norwegian dramatist, writes poetry that’s gnomic yet repetitive and, translated on paper, its charms are reticent. (Take the end of the title track: “The ocean’s waves tell it /say it/tell it /and it cannot be told/and it cannot be understood” is a little bit “see it, say it, sorted” for my liking.) As it turns out though, Fosse’s work proves a good starting point for Langeland’s more flowing musical voice, as she sets about making pithy moments into bigger shapes.

For all the harsh monochrome of the album cover, this is a very pastel-hued album, made up of easy grooves and soft melodies. Beautifully captured in Oslo’s Rainbow Studio, for the most part, Wind and Sun drifts along gently, full of release from some unrevealed tensions. It does have moments of light and shade, though. ‘A Child Who Exists’, two variations of which appear on the album, captures some the space that Langeland loves in Fosse’s poetry, with the ensemble pared down to just two players: Trygve Seim’s zooming soprano saxophone, plus Langeland on voice and kantele – a Finnish hammered dulcimer.

The scattered textures of title track ‘Wind and Sun’, a loose chorale under sprinkled drum and kantele shards, adds something slightly more free-form to the mix. And final track ‘You Hear My Heart Come’ is faintly malevolent, returning to the looping repetitions of Fosse’s work.

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