The duo Kelpie consists of two renowned musicians from the Celtic-Scandinavian world-music scene. As well as concerts at major festivals and venues world-wide, they are in demand as composers, producers, arrangers and session musicians.
All this experience condenses into this exciting new album, which is a combination of two things: new Kelpie pieces, which have become part of the Kelpie live repertoire, and pieces specially composed as soundtrack music for photographer Kai-Uwe Kuchler’s wonderful slide-show about Norway.
The album title "Var det du – var det deg?" – "Was it you or was it you?" is a wonderful mixture of easily singable mouth music (in the old Norwegian tradition of sung dance music) and cheeky dialect. The outside cover shows, as on Kelpie`s previous CD, a painting by Norwegian artist Theodor Kittelsen: "Nøkken" - "The Water Sprite". "Kelpie" is the Scottish equivalent, a mystic water horse in Scottish mythology. Kelpie`s fascination for mystical creatures is evident in their choice of repertoire. 'Troll expert' Kerstin had already dedicated her latest solo album "Trollsang" to those living under the ground.
- Kerstin Blodig: vocals, acoustic guitar, bouzouki, bodhrán
- Ian Melrose: acoustic guitar, low whistles, seljefløyte, vocals, synthesizer, electric guitar, bouzouki, percussion, programming
- Urs Fuchs: double bass, percussion
- Peter Jakk: fretless bass, electric bass
- Leiv Solberg: hardingfele (hardanger fiddle)
While the first CD, "Kelpie", was strictly acoustic and as performed live, this new CD shows the whole spectrum of their creativity – allowing them to fully exploit their multi-instrumental and compositional talents, using overdubs and samples as well as acoustic instruments and voices. This means that the CD is very diverse - and Kerstin and Ian love to accentuate this variety: from typical intimate Kelpie arrangements through to almost orchestral works, from rough (for the middle-European ear unusual micro-tonal singing and playing) traditional music to beautiful melodious ballads, from religious psalms to wild and wonderful troll festivities.
This work conveys feelings and emotions which fit the various inspirations, be they old Norwegian folk ballads or pictures of the vast grandness of a Norwegian fjord or range of mountains. Achieving new depths of emotion and dramatic tension, this CD displays beautifully crafted arrangements, sublime layered vocal harmonies, haunting flutes, virtuoso guitar work and the ethereal, soaring lead vocals of Kerstin Blodig.
KERSTIN BLODIG (www.kerstinblodig.com)
Internationally known as one of the most important interpreters of Scandinavian and Celtic world-music, her musicality shines through, not only as founding member of Touchwood, Talking Water and Norland Wind, the project Women on Stage and the duo Kelpie with Ian Melrose, but also as a solo artist. With a voice described as “clear as Norwegian fjord water” and her virtuoso, groovy guitar-playing she recently released her highly acclaimed second solo album "Trollsang" - original compositions and intricate arrangements of traditional Norwegian songs – which sets an even higher standard than her debut album, "Valivann", which won the German critics prize in 2002.
IAN MELROSE (www.MelroseAcousticGuitar.com)
from Scotland, belongs to the cream of Europe's acoustic guitarists. He is an internationally acclaimed composer and arranger, lead guitarist with Clannad (World Tour, grammy-award-winning CD Landmarks), and plays with Kerstin Blodig in Talking Water and Norland Wind. He produced and arranged the new CD "Rubicon" by Clannad`s Noel & Pádraig Duggan. A major aspect of his work is solo guitar: based on Celtic finger picking style, his compositions blend Irish dances, Scottish ballads and classical formats with Brazilian samba and Argentine tango to create real world-music on the guitar. He has played major festivals across the world ranging from e.g. the Montreal jazz festival (Canada) to the Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow (Scotland), where a new project, the Island Tapes (live Celtic music to silent films) premiered to sell-out crowds.
His solo CDs, "Wolves", "Between the Sighs", "A Scottish Legacy" and most recently "A Shot in the Dark" (Acoustic Music Records), have gained him rave reviews in the international music press.
“…top-class guitarist …brilliant fingerpicker...” The Times (GB)
“…one of the best Celtic-based fingerpickers on the scene today” Acoustic Guitar (USA)