Industry Talk: Susanne Lundeng Trio

Susanne Lundeng spends most of her time on an island far out on the sea in the north of Norway. For the last 30 years, she has become a unique fiddle player, composer, singer and musical free thinker.

Skrevet av Tina Brodal 21.09.2020

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Together with renowned jazz musicians Nils-Olav Johansen and Erik Nylander (Susanne Lundeng Trio), they are now taking part in Global Music Match, the largest online matchmaking of musicians ever undertaken.

“Tell us about yourself, who are you and how did you begin as an artist?”

I am a fiddle player, singer and composer from Bodø in the north of Norway, born in 1969. In my upbringing there was a rich folk-dance environment in Bodø and the music school was newly started and I began there on the fiddle. I rapidly begun playing folk music and I used the fiddle in the folk-dance environment, where I also met old musicians and got to learn tunes and play with them.

At the time there was little awareness of this tradition, but I was lucky to get to know it through living musicians which introduced me to their culture.

My professional artist life started in 1989, when I went on my first solo tour with the fiddle and tunes from Nordland and played 45 concerts that summer.

I have no official education, but quickly got to play with various other musicians, especially from the jazz genre. I released my first album “Havella” in 1991, and from there things really started happening, with TV appearances, festival jobs and tours with my own band. I have been an active musician on the road for more than 30 years!

“Can you tell us a bit about your music, how would you describe it?”

The folk music tradition and especially the fiddle tradition in Nordland is my anchor in what I play and write about in my music. I like that music is open and partly driven of improvisation, and that it can be created in the moment, but that it is based on basic structures from my tradition. My music is often described as both melodic, energetic and image-creating.

“What inspires you when creating music?”

I am lucky to have a fairy tale-like place on an island far out on the sea where I often spend my time, with the ocean and bird life close to me. It enables me to calm down and think slow and deep thoughts. Immersion in structures of my folk music tradition and further development of these is what inspires me most. At the same time, being able to play with good fellow musicians such as Nils-Olav Johansen and Erik Nylander is a driving force in itself, and the eternal quest to achieve contact with the audience through music.

“You are selected as one of the participants of Global Music Match, tell us a bit about the program?”

Global Music Match is an initiative that got initiated after Covid 19 arrived, focusing on social media, human encounters and networking at a time when this is difficult to achieve in the usual way, as travel and live concerts are limited, especially abroad. Global Music Match makes it possible to get in touch with artists in other countries, share experiences and introduce the music and perhaps the people behind it to a new audience.

“What do you hope to achieve during the 6 weeks of the program?”

During these weeks, I hope my music can reach out to people who otherwise would not have found it. I also think that I could benefit from learning more about how social media works and become more aware of how I appear as an artist in social media.

Maybe this can lead to organizers and other industry professionals to notice me as an artist. This is also a very nice way to get to know more artists and hear music that I otherwise would not have discovered!

“The program has a focus on export, what are your ambitions as an artist internationally?”

I have previously played quite a bit abroad, but it is primarily in Norway that we (the Susanne Lundeng Trio) has had their concerts. We want to expand our tour area outside Norway a few weeks a year, especially in the Nordics, but also to other countries.

“What is the best advice you have ever received?”

I can’t really remember having received so many advices in the past, but I remember that an older violinist told me that I had to be careful not to burn out, but to save some of my energy.

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