Crossing language barriers through music – Ljodahått

by Ljodahatt

Photo: Ljodahått.Photo: Ljodahått

Crossing language barriers through music

Last updated: 01.04.2016 // Ljodahått is a musical group that combines classical Norwegian literature and self-composed music to great response from audiences all over the world. This week they played several concerts in New Delhi. 

This is the group’s first visit to India and they were anxious about the reactions to their music. “India is a country with an incredibly important musical culture that has influenced many Western artists and we are very honoured for the opportunity to play here,” says Ljodahått frontman Magne Håvard Brekke.

Brekke started the group together with fellow artists from all over Europe. All the songs are in Norwegian, but group believes the music and the sound of a foreign language open up for a personal interpretation of the music from everyone in the audience. “When we play abroad in Europe the various audiences seemed to understand beyond words. I am positive that was the case at the concerts in India as well,” comments Brekke.

Ljodahått played concerts at several festivals and the Piano Man Jazz bar in Delhi. There were great crowds turning up to hear their performances and the response was very enthusiastic. According to Brekke, two Indian musicians joined them onstage for the last concerts, which helped bridge a cultural divide.

The lyrics have been taken from well-known Norwegian poets and authors and Ljodahått composes music to go with the texts. “We mix texts from different periods of time and from various places in Norway,” Brekke notes. “It is very inspiring to use these traditional texts and convey their message and cultural meaning through a different medium,” he adds.

Norwegian music institutions have been very supportive of the group and they hope to establish a partnership with Concerts Norway (Rikskonsertene) in the near future. Now the band is off to Bangalore for a last concert there. After such great response this may not be their last trip to India.