WARDRUNA | concert
Wardruna is a Norwegian musical constellation set out to explore and evoke the depths of heathen Germanic wisdom and spirituality
Musically Wardruna has its main focus on the cultic musical language found in the near-forgotten arts of galdr, seidr and the daily acts of the cultic life, mixed with impulses from Scandinavian and Nordic folk music. The group was founded by Einar Kvitrafn Selvik in 2003 in Bergen, Norway.
In 2009 Wardruna enchanted their listeners with their mesmerizing debut album ‘gap var Ginnunga’, which also was the first part of a planned trilogy. In the ensuing years the group have spent a lot of time on adapting their music to a live format and establishing a live band. This resulting in a handful of very special concerts, perhaps most notably when they performed in front of the majestic 1100-year-old Gokstad ship at the Viking Ship Museum in Norway.
With the use of the oldest of Nordic instruments and poetic metres as well as lyrics written in Norwegian, Old Norse and Proto-Norse tongue, after nearly three years in the making, Wardruna returned with the second album in the ‘Runaljod’ trilogy entitled ‘Yggdrasil’. Multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Einar Kvitrafn Selvik has, together with vocalists Kristian Espedal (aka Gaahl) and Lindy-Fay Hella, managed to make a strikingly beautiful and intense continuation of what was started with their first album, but without falling into the trap of merely repeating themselves. ‘Yggdrasil’ is also graced with guest appearances by renowned Icelandic composer Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson and Iceland’s leading rímur singer Steindór Andersen.
Finally on 21 October 2016 Runaljod – Ragnarok – the third album by the Norwegian Nordic folk band Wardruna, was released. It is the final chapter of the trilogy Runaljod, inspired by the 24 ancient runes of the Elder Futhark.
Some of the recordings were done outdoors in places or under circumstances of significance to each rune. Wardruna primarily used old and historical instruments such as primitive deer-hide frame drums, Kraviklyra, tagelharpe, mouth harp, goat horn, lur and more. Non-traditional instruments and other sources of sound like trees, rocks, water and torches were also used.
All of these elements were carefully woven into a rich musical landscape and complemented with whispering voices, melodic song and mighty choirs. Although Wardruna’s music share characteristics with music typically labeled as folk, world and/or ambient, none of these genres can really describe their unique style. It truly must be experienced.