The Bee Madrigals
With this release, vocal group Nordic Voices, incorporates ecological perspectives in new music. Composer Bjørn Bolstad Skjelbred has written music that calls for action, and trumpeter Nils Petter Molvær is guest of honor on the opening track.
A quick web search reveals frightening images of hundreds of thousands of dead bees – the worker bees no longer return to their beehives. Bees, as we know, are essential for vast pollination work throughout the flowering world. CCD seems to have many causes, but one of the most significant is the use of chemicals in agriculture. Composer Bjørn Bolstad Skjelbred has turned this gloomy development into beautiful and wistful music for six voices alone, specially written for Nordic Voices. The lyrics in Skjelbred’s madrigals are fragments from different descriptions of the CCD phenomenon, but also include downright criticism of the lack of preventive actions by politicians, industry, worldwide corporations etc.
Nordic Voices has performed Bjørn Bolstad Skjelbred’s work around the world for several years, spawning huge interest and response. The trumpeter Nils Petter Molvær was also inspired by the project. This resulted in a very special version of the last movement of the piece – “Still in Silence.”- with Molvær improvising together with Nordic Voices.
Bjørn Bolstad Skjelbred is a composer working in a broad field. He writes just as vigorously for kids at the local rock club as for the Oslo Philharmonic. Touring all over the world regularly, Nordic Voices has become one of Norway´s most important exports within the segment of serious music. The liner notes are written by David Rothenberg, philosopher, musician and expert on the interaction between man and nature. He has written a variety of books, including Bug Music, Survival of the Beautiful, Why Birds Sing.