Her er nogle af de vidunderlige anmeldelser, som mine albums har modtaget.
The Moon Stays Bright
CD’en er VIRKELIG smuk! Helt sin egen, men med samme healende klangbund som al din og jeres musik. Det vækker en særegen fortryllelse, når man vandrer med musikken på de indre stiers veje. Melodierne er drømmende, men ikke retningsløse, som sagte hvisken af gåder i mørket. Man ved der findes svar på dem, hvis man søger længe nok og bliver ved med at længes efter sjælens svar. Man bliver bestyrket i sin vished om, at livets magi altid bærer os gennem natten, gennem forvirring, sorg, angst og fortabthed. For mig er denne cd et musisk udtryk for pilgrimsfærden i det ukendte belyst af den universelle visdoms milde og kærlige lys. Så TAK for endnu en healingsgave til os alle! Håber sådan, at musikken når ud til rigtig mange, også i udlandet.Signe Urdskilde
I know it’s kind of a cliché to equate harp music with heavenly angels, but The Moon Stays Bright is pure listening bliss. Nine harp solos and three duets for harp and cello create a warm, comforting place to just breathe and let everything else go. Ahhhhhhhhh……
Listen to The Moon Stays Bright, and you are bound to find that “Stars Lie Hidden In You.” This is a prolific release that you should not miss. The Celtic Harp is a fantastic instrument and becomes magical instantly in the right hands. Trine Opsahl is one of those rare artists that come along once in a lifetime for a listener. Her music will leave an indelible imprint on your soul.
While listening to these tracks, personally I found a succession of riddles that the musical notes threw at my inquisitive mind. As I kept solving them mentally one by one, my exciting travel took off letting me pass through newer levels of spiritual existence.
Legendary harpist Trine Opsahl, with a little help from her daughter Josefine on inspiring cello, offers us a sublime album of deep beauty and hopeful promise. The Moon Stays Bright is a dozen New Age and contemporary gifts that feature optimistic, meditative, and calming relief from your busy world. Breathe deep and take part often.R J Lannan, Artisan Music Reviews
Trine Opsahl continues her unbroken string of exceptional releases with The Moon Stays Bright, which for me is her most soothing and reflective album to date. She is at the top of her game here.Bill Binkelman, Wind and Wire
Add Colours to my Sunset Sky
Trine Opsahl’s latest release is Add Colours To My Sunset Sky. The 13 tracks on this CD encompass some of the most beautiful harp playing you will ever hear. She is an expert at playing the Celtic Harp. The album is primarily instrumental.
I think of two people when it comes to harp music, Harpo Marx and Andreas Vollenweider. I know you may find it funny that I mention the famous comedian Marx Brother but if you ever saw him play the harp you would understand. His face got real serious and he was excellent. Andreas of course broke new ground many years ago for the instrument. I believe it is time to add another name to list.
Thinking about the gates of heaven and angels naturally come to mind when you hear harp music or picture someone playing. I say that at the risk of being cliché. One thing for certain, music that is so delicate and gorgeous will you bring closer to the heavens above. Perhaps you will be able to totally relax or even meditate with the help of this music. It certainly engages your spirit and makes your physical existence seem nonessential. The soul cages we live in can be set free with a little help from our friends like Trine. For people that are cerebral, there is release available as well.
Another addition to this album is an instrument that may remind you of the Indian Tamboura called the monochord. I was actually reminded of the sitar myself and along with Trine’s haunting vocals, the combination proved to be striking. The use of the two different instruments projects different sides of the artist. When she plays the harp, it is inviting and peaceful but then there are other shades of light and emotion that come through when she sings and plays the monochord. The visions that came to my mind were Vikings traveling the seas or dying in battle with the promise of honor in Valhalla. I know that may sound a bit dramatic for a new age recording, however those are the images that came to me, for anyone else I am sure it would be entirely different.
As simplistic and straightforward as Add Colours To My Sunset Sky is at times, it remains a very interesting and entertaining work of art. I think Trine’s mixture of tempos and moods is brilliant and I cannot wait to see what she comes up with on the next album. She will add colors to your sky, day, evening and world, whatever the case may be, this another great example of the power of music.
Sit yourself by a window, perhaps on a partly sunny day with clouds lazily drifting by, and allow the music of Trine and Josefine Opsahl to wash over you, maybe eliciting a daydream or two from you…of your childhood, a past love, or a warm memory. I doubt you will hear a finer musical tonic for today’s troubled world.
Unbroken Dreams is a brilliant combination of Celtic and Nordic tradition blended with contemporary inclinations. The spiraling nature of each piece was like a flower bursting open, with new discoveries every step of the way. I couldn’t stop listening and don’t plan to any time soon.
Unbroken Dreams is an album filled with exquisite artistry and intricate interplay. Trine is an exceptional musician in every way, and more than deserves to be known as one. And the same goes for Josefine, who despite her young years, is highly accomplished, not only technically, but also stylistically and intuitively. The blend of the earthy and the ethereal on Unbroken Dreams makes for a beautifully uplifting and heart-warming listening experience that is nourishing to the body, mind, and spirit.
Unbroken Dreams is their second mother and daughter collaboration. Their love, passion and respect of the relationship is quite evident. Every track has a give and take to the instrumentation that is joyous and enchanting. Their two voices are certainly one on this recording and it is glorious.
Rating: Very Good+R J Lannan, The Sounding Board
Unbroken Dreams is the follow-up recording to Leaving My Silent Empty House from Celtic harpist Trine Opsahl and her daughter Josefine, who plays cello. As on that earlier album, the two talented musicians have rare simpatico, almost as if they were one musician playing two instruments simultaneously. This innate talent, to intertwine musically with one another, yields music which is soulful, delicate, beautiful, serene, and sometimes softly dramatic. At 23 years old, Josefine’s command of her instrument is remarkable and bodes a long and praiseworthy career ahead. Trine performs with a casual elegance, so well attuned to the sonic qualities of the Celtic harp that it’s as if the two were old, dear friends. Influences can be heard from both the classical and new age genres and the mood can vary from serene and soothing to somber and introspective. What will strike most listeners is the sense of intimacy achieved throughout the album. While, at times, the music can be sparse, approaching mild minimalism, the beauty is always present, flowing through Unbroken Dreams like a golden thread winding through an exquisite tapestry.Bill Binkelmann, Zone Music Reporter
The crisp, sparkling sound of the plucked harp strings is an amazingly effective pairing with the velvety-smooth bowed strings of the cello.
Unbroken Dreams is a beautiful masterpiece for the music alone. Relaxation, healing, and stress relief are bonuses for listeners. This music is perfect for so many situations, but be sure to really listen to it to hear the full yet subtle impact of the music. It is available from Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby. Very highly recommended!
Trine and Josefine Opsahl are a marvelous mother and daughter duo. Unbroken Dreams is a brilliant combination of Celtic and Nordic tradition blended with contemporary inclinations. The spiraling nature of each piece was like a flower bursting open, with new discoveries every step of the way. I couldn’t stop listening and don’t plan to any time soon. There is a reason Opsahl’s work is used as soundtrack material in documentaries. It’s that good. And now with the added layer of her daughter’s cello work, I’m hooked for life. More please. This album is amazing. If you are a fan of fantasy novels or just plain good music, you seriously have to get this album.
Somewhere in a Hidden Memory
This album is her third release and I only wish I had known of her sooner–I never tire of music as timeless and therapeutic as hers. Somewhere in a Hidden Memory is no longer a “hidden” CD which is great news for listeners looking for a soothing musical balm to counteract the craziness we must contend with on a day-by-day basis.
There is something magical and inherently soothing about harp music, especially when it’s played by Trine Opsahl. Her newest release (her third) is titled Somewhere in a Hidden Memory and it contains fifteen compositions for solo Celtic harp penned and performed by Opsahl, all of which are lovely beyond description. Some tracks are serene and introspective, while others have a gently laughing effervescence, but all the music is warm and engaging and Opsahl’s mastery of the harp is evidenced throughout. Her playing is emotionally nuanced, technically flawless, and distills to the essence of the Celtic harp’s unique musical beautyBill Binkelmann, Zone Music Reporter
Trine Opsahl is a harpist of rare talent and with an equal talent as a composer. Her new album, Somewhere In A Hidden Memory, is a collection of fifteen self-composed tracks, the music drawn from the Nordic tradition rather than the usual Irish Celtic tradition. The Nordic harp tradition may lack the Irish folk dance style and be more, let’s say Classical in structure. Less ‘jiggery pokery’ and more atmospheric, reflecting the Scandinavian landscape and the solitude of the region. Ms Opsahl creates magical soundscapes from her fingers, short vignettes of her own mythical [and musical] worlds set across the Nordic hinterlands. The Celtic harp [as opposed to the concert harp used in symphony orchestras] is one of those beautiful sounding instruments that can never be made to sound harsh or unmelodic. It has a drama and magic all of its own, which when added to the talented musician becomes as truly inspiring instrument. That is the case here – Ms Opsahl has a style that eschews the flash showmanship of some harpists, and at times it seems as if the notes are just flowing from her fingers. The track titles are: To Wild Rose, A Star In Heaven Is Born Tonight, Sister Moon, Morning Mist And The Breathing Of Evening, Crossroads, The Light Dances My Love, Brother Sun, Ladybirds And Butterflies, My Way Up High, Love Waltz, True Thomas, Ripples In Water, Somewhere In A Hidden Memory, The Space Between The Fish And The Moon, Be My Vision And Light. Somewhere In A Hidden Memory is classified as New Age or Healing, but I think Contemporary Folk is equally valid. This is a superb album that will reward the listener with many wonders on repeated listening.John Peters, The Borderland
Available from Amazon MP3, CD Baby, iTunes and other retailers for download or as a CD. For more information about this artist, album and availability visit: www.trineopsahl.com
Somewhere in a Hidden Memory is one of the best harp albums I’ve heard!
You don’t have to be totally in love with harp music to enjoy Trine’s great music… but if you are, you’ll be even more in love with the instrument after you listen to the 15 wonderful songs she plays for your enjoyment on this CD. I particularly enjoyed pieces like “The Light Dances My Love“… nice steady pace and full of the spirit of angels. Music like this will be recommended by music therapists the globe over, and one of their recommendations will surely be my favorite, “Ripples in Water“… we’ve all been there, watching them & wondering what they feel like – you’ll know after you hear Trine speak of them through her harp! I give this a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.97. Get more information at Trine’s web pages.
I love this album! I haven’t heard anything as peaceful as this since Kim Robertson’s first Celtic harp releases in the early ’80s. Trine Opsahl’s harp play is a therapy for body, mind and soul! A gentle sound bath – meditative and rejuvenating. Inspired by Therese Schroeder-Sheker who reinvented Music & the Art of Dying a practice for people who make the transition to another plane, Trine also plays in hospices in her homeland in Denmark. It is interesting that harp music is thought to be the music of the heavens and that angels play the harp! There must be something in the sound of the harp that is healing, angelic and soothing. Somewhere in a Hidden Memory is highly recommended.Tajali Moonstar
Trine Opsahl’s music is so peaceful and resonant. The Celtic harp is such a glorious instrument. Her original compositions for harp blend one into the other like floating on clouds of different sizes, shapes and textures. To give an idea of the range: the opening track “To a Wild Rose” is wistful and contemplative, while “Crossroads” is like sonic pixie dust & “Ripples in Water” embodies a bubbling brook running briskly. “Brother Sun” and “Somewhere in a Hidden Memory” are lovely melodies that grow gracefully with repeated play. For fans of harp music, this is a delightful disc. Enjoy!Lee Armstrong på Amazon.com
Trine Opsahl draws her music from Nordic traditions and uses it as a balm for the soul. She began playing her first Celtic harp in the mid 1990’s and has become a force to be reckoned with in the New Age music community. Known as a composer and harpist in Europe, she had developed what she calls her true purpose in life as a harp therapist, composer and performer. Somewhere in a Hidden Memory is her newest release. It was recorded at Nasima Music in Copenhagen and was produced by Samir Cuhtait.Dana Wright, Muzikreviews.com
Listening to this album is like drifting on a sea of consciousness that guides you away from the frenzied pressures of life and living. The first piece that lures you in is “To a Wild Rose.” Like a flower blooming outward in a steady awakening of colors and splendor, this orchestration is short, but you know you are in for a treat for the rest of the album.
The journey continues with “A Star in Heaven Is Born Tonight.” Languid harmonies ease you into the piece, drifting on puffs of air that remind me of fairytales and ships drifting off beneath silvery moons. Gallant pirates bow to bejeweled ladies and gallant knights kneel to damsels in need of their aide. Dragons be gone from here. This song holds other meanings as well. Opsahl’s occupation as a harp therapist offering aid in the hospice field is very visible. One of the finest things in life is to bring comfort to a soul in distress and Opsahl uses her divine gifts to sooth the suffering of those around her. This piece is just one example of an album filled with audible images of peace and tranquility.
“Somewhere In a Hidden Memory” is the title track for this album and with good reason. It is a tapestry of well woven threads that holds the secret to the colors of life and living beyond the tangible. The center is in the soul and that is the place that Opsahl’s music pours from like a fountain of youth and everlasting tranquility.
Bringing my work with me today as I had lunch with friends, they delighted in the soothing compositions of this album and wanted to know more about it. Both are needle work artists who found it relaxing and one friend wanted her grandson, who is undergoing cancer treatments, to listen. I cannot think of a greater compliment than that. The gift of healing in unexpected ways and places is a gift and a blessing.
Opsahl has captured the feeling of eternity in her playing. Drawing on the deepest confines in the soul, she followed her dream to become a harpist, leaving behind her work as an attorney. She is now a part of the IHTP (The International Harp Therapy Program) and uses her gifts to bring others relaxation. Opsahl enjoys her work in the hospice field helping people to transition into new phases of their journey into eternity. If you enjoy blissful harmonies and harp music with a celestial feel, I think you will enjoy this album as much as I did.
The great American mythologist Joseph Campbell once wrote: “We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” Such was the case for Norwegian-born harpist Trine Opsahl, who walked away from her career as a lawyer to devote her life to music. After graduating from law school and becoming an attorney for the Justice Department, as well as giving birth to two children, a series of unexpected circumstances led her to re-evaluate her situation and follow a different calling. As she explains: “When life brought many challenges to my doorstep, playing Celtic harp became an ever-expanding opportunity for my personal development. I intuitively knew that I had embarked on my true purpose in life.”Michael Diamond, Music and Media Focus
Born in Norway and moving to Denmark when she was six years old, music was always an important part of Trine’s life and as a youngster, she won a number of national and international awards for playing the accordion. However, the harp always held a fascination for her and in 1996 she acquired her first Celtic harp. She took to it naturally and began composing her own music on it. Since that time Trine has recorded three albums and performed in a variety of venues. However it is the healing power of music that inspires her most: “Creating and playing our own music is like a prayer. The music creates a sacred space that brings us closer to who we are and to each other.”
Trine was deeply influenced by the work of music thanatologist, Therese Schroeder Sheker. Music thanatology is: “a musical/ clinical modality that unites music and medicine in end of life care. Fundamental to music thanatology is an underlying recognition that the experience of dying is a sacred, spiritual process within which exists the possibility for a peaceful death. Central to the field itself is the healing potential of sound and the intention of deepest respect in music played prescriptively. The music thanatologist utilizes harp and voice in a vigil setting, to lovingly serve the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the dying and their loved ones with prescriptive music.” Although Trine performs at various concerts and events, as well as teaching Celtic harp, playing at the bedside of hospice patients is most near and dear to her heart. She was educated under the International Harp Therapy Program and officially became a Therapeutic Musician, who devotes part of her time to doing this work in two different Hospices in the Copenhagen area, in addition to hospitals and rest homes. She is also an advocate for healing music and harp therapy within the health care system of Denmark. As she explains: “The harp, with its soothing timbre and spiritual associations, has been revered as a healing instrument by many cultures for thousands of years.” Along with her music, she also incorporates holistic breathing practices.
Trine’s latest CD, Somewhere In A Hidden Memory, is steeped in her Nordic roots, while combining the transcendental qualities of new age music as well. The album contains 15 tracks, with a number of them being in the one to two minute-range in the first half of the CD. They created a feel almost like an interlude or motif within a composition, and I enjoyed the arrangement of the shorter and longer pieces. As I listened to the opening tune, “ To A Wild Rose,” literally within a few seconds I began to feel a sense of peace and relaxation as my whole mind and body became attuned to the vibrations of the harp strings. Trine speaks from experience when she says: “Music has a unique ability to bring silence and rest to a busy mind and to those who suffer from illness and distress.” And I agree that the harp in particular, is one of the foremost musical vehicles for healing energy, especially when the intention of the musician is focused. According to Trine: “While playing the Celtic harp, I travel through a place of immense beauty and silence.”
On the appropriately named “A Star In Heaven Is Born Tonight,” the plucked notes twinkle like celestial lights in the darkness and evoke an image of looking up at the vastness of the night sky. For me, a song entitled “Crossroads” elicited a sense of trying to decide which path to follow. This was perhaps inspired by Trine’s own times of challenge and change that led her to pursue her passion in life. Trine’s music has been licensed for commercials in Europe, and while listening to “Brother Sun” I sensed a cinematic quality, and thought that it would make an excellent soundtrack. Another example is “Love Waltz” with its romantic grandeur that sweeps you along in its dance, and shows what an emotionally evocative instrument the harp can be. Of course it is Trine’s dedication and experience as a musician and composer that is the wind in the sails of the instrument. One of my favorite songs was the title track, which created a wistful dream-like ambience that evoked rich visual imagery listening with eyes closed.
Norwegian harp-therapist Trine Opsahl releases her third album of pensive New Age, Nordic and Celtic influenced music called Somewhere In A Hidden Memory. I have to admit that it has been a while since I have heard an all harp recording and it appears that I missed them. This pastoral music is so soothing that it allowed me to forget what a harried week I just had and fall into a state of relaxation. Apparently her theories about the healing power of the harp are rightly justified. Her album has fifteen tracks and, with their soft, tender themes, they manage to quell my tension and stress. Healing may be a welcomed side effect.
The first serene track is called To A Wild Rose and although the artist composed it recently it sounded like a traditional Irish song of long ago. As I listened I looked out on my landscape at the six, small rose bushes and understood why the glossy green leaves and chartreuse flowers brings so much joy to our hearts.
Sister Moon became an instant favorite. I could hear the delicate femininity of the melody, soft, sweet and endearing. The tune switched around and I thought there was an interplay of silver light and shadows, a game perhaps played in a field strewn with scented wildflowers. There is a little bit of teasing and a lot of love.
Living at the base of the mountains allows me to enjoy the almost daily ephemeral mists that Nature produces and Trine’s Morning Mist and the Breathing of Evening is a perfect soundtrack to my viewings. The harp notes from the pastoral tune float about like gossamer and the suggestion of a twilight concert of fireflies is truly inspirational.
The Space Between the Fish and the Moon was fascinating to me. It has a story inside a story feel to it. The song has some dreamy arpeggios that sparkled in the air. I thought of a pair of M.C. Escher drawings, one called Three Worlds with the Koi and trees and another called Rippled Surface. Somehow the music brought the two illustrations together adding a magical touch to my mental depiction.
The final cut, Be My Vision and My Light was a reverent hymn and a fitting end to the remarkable recording. The delicate entreaty was very soothing and warranted many plays before I could stop. Trine Opsahl is an active practitioner of Music-Thanatology, a field discovered and made popular by Therese Schroder-Sheker. The process uses music vigils, voice and medicine to alleviate the trauma during an end of life experience. This is more than just background music. It is the careful selection of music based on the patient’s existing needs and symptoms and in addition, it offers some modicum of comfort to the patient’s relatives. If there is a more noble cause for the use of music, I cannot think of one. I must say that after learning all this it made me sad in one way and comforted in another. As I wrote the review the image of an angel sitting at a bedside offering reassurance and succor kept coming to my mind.
Rating: Very Good
Med dette bløde, bølgende album fyldt af kvindelig energi vil du tilbringe tiden i behageligt selskab. Det vil sende tankerne i den rigtige retning, og, hvem ved, give dig positive incitamenter, der vil ændre dit liv, så du undgår problemer og negative følelser. (Frit oversat fra russisk)
Niels Horskjær har lavet en video til Trine Opsahls stykke “Somewhere in a Hidden Memory” fra samme album. Dejlige og tankevækkende melodier, naturskitser og ren lyd – det er bare nogle elementer af Trine Opsahls rige verden. Indre indtryk lever uafhængigt af det ydre liv. Der er lys og smil på musikerens ansigt – det betyder, at Gud hjælper Trine under hendes spil. (frit oversat fra rumænsk)Antony Krakhmalnik, Relaxmuz.ru om Niels Horskjærs video
El arpa celta en todo su esplendor, así nos muestra la compositora y arpista noruega, Trine Opsahl, su instrumento. Un álbum que toma forma con quince tracks solistas de carácter apacible y dulce; una combinación perfecta para aliviar nuestros pensamientos y vislumbrar un escenario verde, donde la paz es la auténtica protagonista.
La pieza más hermosa de álbum es la que precisamente lo presenta, “To a Wild Rose”. Una música entrañable y cariñosa que nace de unos dedos llenos de afecto. La pasión es quebradiza y el sentimiento mayúsculo en esta pieza, donde imaginar a la artista interpretar la pieza aporta un momento de inmensurable paz.
Una canción de cuna es “A Star in Heaven is Born Tonight”, otra de las grandes composiciones de este álbum. Poseedora de un estribillo y una combinación de notas realmente interesantes, Opsahl acude a las más altas para ofrecer a la pieza un toque de fragilidad y ternura. Es hermosa, es emocionante, sincera. Cautivadora melodía.
“Sister Moon” es de un tono más serio y apagado que las dos pistas anteriores. “Sister Moon” sí recuerda a grandes piezas celtas, donde la melancolía nacía de melodías celtas en bandas Europeas. Es breve, pero fascinante!.
“Morning Mist and the Breathing of Evening” es la música perfecta para presenciar un hermoso amanecer. Ver como el sol surge en el horizonte, mientras las flores son mecidas por el paso de la brisa. El toque continuado y repetido de algunas notas ofrece un toque de misterio a la composición, es la música para el fresco nacimiento de un nuevo día.
Al igual que “Sister Moon”, “Crossroads” es una de las piezas más celtas del álbum por su carácter apagado y buena combinación entre silencios, notas altasy bajas. Pasa algo desapercibida, ya que es una pieza que carece de la fuerza melódica de las piezas anteriores, pero su poder relajante es excelente. Una composición perfecta para conseguir el mejor de los descansos.
“The Light Dances my Love”, “Brother Sun”, “Ladybirds and Butterflies” y “My Way up High” forman un conjunto fantástico, radiante y lleno de luz. Entre algunas notas apagadas, siempre resurge una melodía atractiva y cariñosa. Son hermosas, casi inapreciable el fin y el comienzo de la pieza que sigue.
Otra de las grandes composiciones que podemos encontrar en Somewhere In A Hidden Memory es “Love Waltz”. Un baile de cuerdas y acordes con un sentimiento agridulce, donde nacen notas optimistas y en algunas ocasiones, algo más apagadas. “Love Waltz” es, junto a las dos primeras piezas del álbum, otra a tener en cuenta en este CD.
“True Thomas” es melancólica, donde el arpa juega con los silencios en una melodía profunda y contemplativa. “True Thomas” es otra de mis preferidas, una música que consigue que en el oyente despierte un sentimiento de abatimiento y tristeza. Me gusta esta composición.
“Ripples in Water” es repetitiva, desconcertante con su peculiar repetir de notas. Es una de las composiciones que mantienen al oyente en continua tensión.
Aparece la pieza que da título al álbum, “Somewhere in a Hidden Memory”. Una pieza introspectiva, algo nostálgica. Las cuerdas del alpa dan voz al sentimiento que fluye por los dedos de la artista. Una melodía apagada que deja un desconcierto en lo profundo del oyente.
Interesante el cambio que hace Trine en “The Space Between the Fish and the Moon”, un toque muy oriental en su melodía. La belleza de la variedad reside en su música, todas las notas, los acordes surgen sin seguir un patrón establecido, pero juntos consiguen dar vida a una música inspiradora y cordial.
Un final plácido para el álbum con “Be my Vision and my Light”. Una pieza que invita a soñar, a descansar, donde la artista nuevamente juega con el silencio para ofrecer a su track un encanto único.
Somewhere In A Hidden Memory posee un poder curativo en contra del stress que es difícil de explicar. El sonido cristalino y brillante del arpa, unido a unas hermosas composiciones, capturan nuestro interés con gran fuerza. Somewhere In A Hidden Memory es el escape hacia lo deseable en un mundo loco donde no damos importancia a nuestro tiempo y la compositora y arpista Trine Opsahl nos regala ese tiempo para que lo podamos disfrutar!. Somewhere In A Hidden Memory es un álbum recomendado para realizar ejercicios de relajación, o simplemente, para escaparnos en nuestros propios sueños.
Celtic harp is one of those magical instruments that seem to strike a chord (no pun intended) deep inside me–a chord of supreme relaxation and irresistible beauty. When the natural healing qualities of the Celtic harp are channeled through the skilled hands of Trine Opsahl, that effect is multiplied. Somewhere in a Hidden Memory is all the more amazing when one takes into account that, rather than incorporate some (more usual) Celtic/Irish standard tunes, Opsahl has composed all fifteen tracks herself.
The first thing that struck me about Somewhere in a Hidden Memory was that, no matter what the tempo of a song was (not that there is anything fast and furious on the album), the mood remains consistently pensive, calming, and mellow. Even when Opsahl’s fingers dance swiftly across the harp’s strings, her deft control of volume and nuance, combined with her compositions themselves (and the innate musical quality of the Celtic harp, too, of course) translates into an overall effect of reflection, a gentle cascade of soothing melodies brought about by individual notes.
While tracks do slightly vary in musical style (except for the base root of being solo harp), the main difference between songs is probably duration. Some tracks clock in at barely two minutes or even shorter, while others, such as Morning Mist and the Breathing of Evening and the title track, are over six minutes in duration. Having written that, when this wonderful disc is played in the background, all you are likely to be aware of is the wondrous yet subdued music which will pour forth from your system’s speakers, i.e. there are no jarring transitions song-to-song to interrupt the flow.
Highlighting specific tracks is somewhat superfluous for two reasons: (1) the music does bear some similarity throughout the album, which is not only unavoidable, but, I imagine, intentional, and (2) picking a favored song out of this batch is an exercise in futility. Each one has unmistakable individual elements, when put under close scrutiny, but it’s not like this song or that one will “pop out” and grab you the way many other recordings might. For the sake of being thorough, though, here are some comments on specific songs, since I almost always do so in my reviews.
To a Wild Rose seems to emphasize the instrument’s Celtic roots, as well as having a noticeable romantic aspect to the tune. A Star in Heaven is Born Tonight has a more ethereal sound, especially when Opsahl hits the upper registers. The aforementioned “Morning Mist and the Breathing of the Evening” is sparser, darker, with a hint of mystery shrouded in fog. The main melody of Ladybirds and Butterflies is sweet, wistful, and evokes sun-drenched meadows. True Thomas (like “To a Wild Rose”) seems to have a more pronounced Irish flavor, albeit a slower pace than the former. On Ripples in Water, Opsahl takes the music in a direction that, at times, seems to have a subtle Japanese influence, as well as a hint of jazz. The title track combines subdued melancholy with a gentle mood of reflection, all done in a more impressionistic fashion than some of the other, more structured, tracks on the album. The Space Between the Fish and the Moon features a number of glistening arpeggios, which bubble forth like a brook laughing as it traverses over stones.
Trine Opsahl is of Norwegian descent and now resides in Denmark. I suggest reading her bio (on her website) for the interesting story of the road she traveled to get where she is now. This album is her third release and I only wish I had known of her sooner–I never tire of music as timeless and therapeutic as hers. Somewhere in a Hidden Memory is no longer a “hidden” CD which is great news for listeners looking for a soothing musical balm to counteract the craziness we must contend with on a day-by-day basis.
Leaving my Silent Empty House
So many times the expression “the apple never falls far from the tree” has a negative connotation, but in the case of mother and daughter, Trine and Josefine Opsahl, the saying instead connotes that talent does indeed run in the family. No, check that – abundant
talent runs in the family. Harpist Trine and cellist (and daughter) Josefine come together on Leaving My Silent Empty House and, to be blunt, this album blew me away. I was already wowed by Trine’s Somewhere in a Hidden Memory (2012), which for me is one of the finest harp recordings ever released
(if you think that’s hyperbole, you haven’t listened to it yet – trust me). While this album was recorded several years prior to Somewhere in…, Trine obviously had already refined her harp playing to an incredibly nuanced and beautiful level. Cellist Josefine was only 16 when this album was recorded which, when you hear her play, will likely astound you (it sure did me). Like I wrote above, “apple…not far…tree…” Oh yes, so true.
The album’s title gives more than a hint of the mood present on many of the eleven tracks, although truth be told, with cello and harp as the instruments, one would expect a more low key, impressionistic, and sometimes somber affair. However, there are moments here when the mood is less melancholic and is, instead, warm and inviting, such as the uptempo “Under a Bright Moon.” Yet, the overall evocation of the recording is more in line with the somewhat forlorn album title itself. Of course, if one actually thinks it through, the leaving
of a “silent and empty house” might, instead, elicit emotions such as relief, optimism, even joy. However, this is just my analysis from a narrative standpoint. The music is, if not outright somber, more often than not delicate and pointedly subdued. That doesn’t keep it from being intensely beautiful and, in fact, while this album would make ideal background music for anything from relaxation and massage to daydreaming and late night reading, concentrated and in-depth listening will reveal much depth and attention to detail (credit mixing and producing to Henning Olsen and mastering to Dave Blackburn). With one exception, all the tracks were composed by Trine, and daughter Josefine arranged all the cello parts herself.
It’s somewhat unnecessary to go into a lot of detail about the tracks, since there is a distinct feeling of uniformity throughout the eleven selections. “Fairies in Moonlight” is light in mood and the cello, in particular, seems rooted in classical motifs. “Under a Bright Moon” opens with some solo harp and when the cello enters, the mood becomes more somber and sedate, however the piece does shift gears at the three-minute mark, becoming light-hearted and fanciful, keeping this mood until the conclusion. On “Lion’s Heart,” the harp has a notable Renaissance sound to its melody and the cello enters the song deep in its lower registers. Again, the piece builds into something more energetic, but not upbeat in mood, just uptempo in pace. “After the Rain” is a gorgeous folk harp number, reminding me of Glenn Walker Johnson’s music (an obscure but super talented folk harpist who lives in the northwoods of Wisconsin). It has the same lightness of feel that his music holds – gentle but uptempo (not an easy paradox to master). Cello takes the lead on the title track, and Josefine bows her instrument with sublime grace while Trine follows behind, embellishing the lead cello melody perfectly. The last track, “True Thomas,” sounds Celtic (and it should since it is inspired by the Irish legend of Thomas the Rhyme) and features Trine and Josefine on accordion as well as their respective instruments. It’s a downbeat tune, perhaps based on a story laced with tragedy (it has that feel to it), but it’s a wonderful closing song to an equally wonderful album.
Leaving My Silent Empty House is a 2008 album and while Trine has since released Somewhere in a Hidden Memory, it’s high time the world was favored with a follow-up recording by this mother-daughter duo. Talent this good should be rewarded with acclaim and success, so get onboard and pick up on this one so Trine and Josefine will be motivated and inspired enough to get back in the studio and give us more of the family magic.
The album can be purchased at iTunes, Amazon, and CDBaby, as well as directly from the artist.