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Nils Økland (Hardanger fiddle/violin/viola d’amore) is a renowned master of Norway’s national instrument the Hardanger fiddle. However, his musical outlook is far wider than just traditional music and his contributions diverse. Both as an instrumentalist and as a composer he interlaces elements of classical and contemporary music as well as jazz with traditional Norwegian expressions, finding common traits and not least common expressive mindsets across genres and time periods.

2021: New album Glødetrådar from Nils Økland

”Glødetrådar”, the commissioned work for Vossajazz 2016, is a sort of ”back to the roots” for Nils Økland. The area of Voss has been an important part of his musical development, in the 80´s as a student and later as the musical leader at Ole Bull Akademiet (1989-95). His time at the academy gave him important impulses that inspired his characteristic, personal style: the mix between jazz, free improvisation, contemporary music and folk music. More

The NILS ØKLAND BAND is formed of musicians that each on their own has collaborated with Økland over a long time, but not all of them with each other before this project. Nils Økland plays with Per Steinar Lie and Ørjan Haaland in Lumen Drones, Sigbjørn Apeland, Håkon Mørch Stene, Mats Eilertsen and Rolf-Erik Nystrøm in Nils Økland band.In addition his brother Torbjørn Økland features on this album, whom Nils has played with since they were young boys.


“There have been numerous notable commissions at Vossa Jazz since the very first in 1983, but it’s hard to imagine there have been many quite as compelling as Nils Økland’s “Glødetrådar.” – Ian Patterson, All about Jazz

LUMEN DRONES is a fascinating and powerful collaboration between Hardanger fiddle master Nils Økland and Per Steinar Lie and Ørjan Haaland, respectively guitarist and drummer with Norwegian ‘post-rock’ group The Low Frequency In Stereo. The participants describe their project as a psychedelic drone band, but its stylistic reach is broad and evocative and will trigger many musical associations. Specific influences include the Doors, Sonic Youth, Durutti Column and “the jazz of the Dave Pike set”, but the Lumen Drones also rove through modal, ambient, multi-folk, minimal and noise zones, making exciting music all the way…


Nils Økland has released several solo albums on the labels ECM and Rune Grammofon, all of them critically acclaimed. He has played with several big orchestras, written music for London Sinfonietta, films, ballet and theatre. He has featured on albums with Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Åsne Valland Norli and Bjørnar Andreas. Nils Økland Band´s recording “Kjølvatn” (ECM, 2015) was awarded jazz album by the year by Aftenposten, nominated to the Norwegian Grammies and won a Folkelarm award. Their album “Lysning”(Hubro, 2017) won the Norwegian Grammies.

All of the melodic material on ‘Lysning’ was composed by Økland, and it was drawn from several projects in which he is involved. The arrangements were developed in close collaboration with the band. Økland does not use written musical notes – all of the pieces are rehearsed by ear. “Our verbal working method might come into its own even more strongly this time,” says Økland. It is not difficult to agree with him: an audible sense of boldness and a powerful presence are palpable through the entire album.’Lysning’ is an album that both challenges the listener and digs deeply into exciting musical material.

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