Nils Økland Band - Kjølvatn - ECM 2383



Nils Økland was born in Haugesund in western Norway in 1961. He attended the Rogaland Music Conservatory and the Norwegian State Academy of Music, studying violin with Terje Tønnesen. He also studied Hardanger fiddle with Knut Hamre and Sigbjørn Bernhoft Osa. A scholarship brought him to the Budapest Academy, and in Amsterdam he studied the music of Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber with Jan Willem de Vriend. Økland was for six years musical director of the Ole Bull Academy in Voss, Norway. He has been a distinctive presence on ECM recordings in the 21st century. Recordings with Christian Wallumrød -Sofienberg Variations and A Year From Easter - gave early notice of the scope of his inventiveness. Since then, the solo album Monograph, as well as Lysøen - Hommage à Ole Bul and the drone-rock of Lumen Drones have all expanded the picture of one of Norway’s most resourceful musicians, broadened still further by Kjølvatn.

The musicians in Økland’s ensemble are well-known in diverse contexts across the idioms. Håkon Stene is a Norwegian contemporary classical percussionist of distinction, recently praised for his interpretations of the music of Gavin Bryars and Laurence Crane. Harmonium player Sigbjørn Apeland often operates at the interstices of Norwegian church and folk music and improvisation; he collaborated with Økland previously on Lysøen – Hommage à Ole Bul, a tribute to another far-sighted Norwegian innovator, and also works with Nils in a trio with singer Åsne Valland Norli. New music saxophonist Rolf–Erik Nylstrøm has played extensively with Frode Haltli in the trio Poing, been a soloist with the Oslo Philharmonic and worked closely with contemporary composers. And Mats Eilertsen’s elegant bass has been heard on ECM recordings with Tord Gustavsen, Trygve Seim, Wolfert Brederode and Jacob Young. Eilertsen, too, is a band leader in his own right (an ECM disc from his septet is in preparation).