Hugsjá Set To Sail South To Roadburn 2018

Roadburn Festival is proud to announce that the 2018 edition will play host to Hugsjá – for the first time outside of Norway.

This new collaborative musical piece is designed by former Roadburn curators, Enslaved‘s Ivar Bjørnson and Einar Selvik (Wardruna), combining indigenous and contemporary music with Norse and Norwegian poetry, accompanied by instruments from the Stone Age through to the present day. It’s set to be a monumental follow up to Skuggjá’s international premiere at Roadburn 2015.

A series of concerts named Nordvegen (“the northern road” – an ancient shipping route connecting Norway to the rest of the world for some 3000 years), was performed in four harbors along the west coast of Norway in late May and early June of 2017. The audience was taken on a spectacular journey along this route in a musical declaration of love to Norwegian coastal culture and Norse history. The concerts were inspired by local history in each of these places. The Nordvegen concerts created an acoustic and intimate basis for the grandiose commissioned work, Hugsjá, which received its world premiere in Bergen concert hall Grieghallen on May 31st. Originally commissioned by and performed at Bergen International Festival, the piece will now sail southwards to Roadburn 2018.

Roadburn’s artistic director, Walter Hoeijmakers was at the Grieghallen to witness Hugsjá and knew it would be the perfect fit for Roadburn: “Channeling the spirit of Norse coastal history by way of pastoral (acid) folk meets Led Zeppelin III meets Wardruna was nothing short but mesmerizing. Ivar and Einar have outdone themselves – musically, artistically and spiritually. Hugsjá is such a transcendental experience – the spirit of the old sea-route and it’s pioneers will be felt throughout the entire performance. It’s Ivar and Einar’s storytelling that will hugely inspire and take Roadburn on this incredibly vivid journey. Hugsjá is not to be missed; it’s sheer impact will make you feel part of these ancient settlements that still have a lasting impact on us today.”

Einar Selvik commented, “It is a great honor to be invited back Roadburn and for the first time being able to present Hugsjá internationally. The festival´s devotion to give the artists the best conditions to perform their art, and doing so in front of an incredible density of music enthusiasts, fuels me with a perfect combination of pressure and inspiration!”

Ivar Bjørnson added: “Being invited to Roadburn 2018 with Hugsjá is an honor and an undivided pleasure! I cannot wait to return with this concert; to perform it in what is both the most enjoyable and professional festival-environment there is. We hope you will find this journey backwards in time and Northwards on the seas as enjoyable as we did during the making of Hugsjá.“

As well as the performance of Hugsjá, Selvik and Bjørnson will host an exclusive “guided tour” through the inner workings of the concert. Given that the piece is based on over 10,000 years of Norse coastal history, and developed through research and journeys to several key points along the old sea-route that probably gave Norway its name – Norðvegr or Nordvegen – there’s a lot of ground to cover! The session will start with the creators telling some of the stories they discovered and shaped into songs, and the process that created Hugsjá. Then the floor will be open to Qs, and hopefully some sensible As. Who knows, there might even appear a tune or two towards the end.

Einar Selvik and Ivar Bjørnson will perform Hugsjá on Saturday, April 21 at the 013 venue, Tilburg, The Netherlands. The Hugsjá workshop will take place on Friday, April 20, also at the 013 venue.

Date: April 21

Time: 15.15

Stage: Main Stage