This music is composed for the play Sverdet (The sword) by Vera Henriksen.
The play is about the Norwegian Viking king Olav Haraldson, his sword Baesing and his struggle between Christianity and paganism.
King Olav is known to be the one to have brought Christianity Norway, he also became a Saint after his death.
The music is a mix between Viking/ medieval music and world music.
All instruments are acoustic;
Drums, Sarangi, Didgeridoo, throat singing, jewsharps, but also choirs and orchestras...
The history in short terms:
Rane Roesson delivers the sword Baesing to Olav Haraldsson as a child. Rane trains Olav in sword- fighting.
King Olav has a party. He binds his closest friends (Torberg, Kalv and Finn Arnesson) to him and gets his own poet/ singer (skald) Sigvat.
Olav gets baptized in Rouen. - You can hear both the pagan and the Christian powers, and Olavs struggle between them...
Olav meets Astrid, his prospective wife and queen.
King Olav gives the sword (Baesing) To Bishop Grimkjel to show that he has become a good Christian and given up the paganism. He then rides out of town (Borg) to conquer Norway.
These sounds set the mood to a long part of the play. Olav loses many people and ships. The Danish takes over a lot of Norway (also Olavs town Borg (today Sarpsborg)). Just before the next track he loses against the Danish King Knut and has to abandon about one hundred ships with goods and warriors...
Olav returns to Borg (Witch now is taken by the danes) to take back Baesing (The pagan sword). He believes that the sword gives him the powers to rule Norway, But Bishop Grimkjel does not agree...
The battle of Stiklestad (July 1030). One of the most famous battles in Norway, now known to be the start of the Christian times in Norway. The king brings his men to a fight against the locals that has sworn their trust to King Knut of Denmark. In the middle of the battle, he suddenly throws his sword away, and Thore Hund spear him to death.
The king is dead...