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New Release: “The half-finished heaven” by Sinikka Langeland

The half-Finnish Sinikka sets “The half-finished heaven” – and other verse by Tomas Tranströmer – on her fourth album for ECM. “Despondency breaks off its course / Anguish breaks off its course / The vulture breaks off its flight. / The eager light streams out …” Such vivid images establish a tone for what is primarily an instrumental album this time, with a striking blend of sound-colours in music written by Langeland. Sinikka’s kanteles – 10-string, 15-string, and 39-string table-harps – seem to carry archaic echoes older than “folk” tradition. Lars Anders Tomter has been described by string-players’ magazine The Strad as “the giant of the Nordic viola”. One of Norway’s most distinguished classical soloists, he also has a history of collaborating with players of other idioms, and appeared on Sinikka’s “Maria’s Song” album (as well as on ECM discs with Terje Rypdal and Ketil Bjørnstad). Saxophonist Trygve Seim and drummer Markku Ounaskari were both members of Sinikka’s quintet heard on “Starflowers” and “The Land That Is Not” and play together in contexts including the Kuára Trio. Out of this network of musical relationships Sinikka has created a characterful quartet with a strong identity of its own.

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