Susanna….The album Elevation is out today. Here is a celebratory Q & A.

The new album by Susanna is out today. We thought you might like to know what it’s all about so who better to tell you than Susanna. Give it a read then give the album a listen. It’s cool.

Hello Susanna…….Welcome to the DeClunk universe.

Please could you tell us where you are and give us a description of your surroundings.

I am in Oslo now, sky is blue and sun is shining. It feels like promises of spring, even though it’s quite wintery temperatures. At least the days are longer, and that helps. Times are trying, and winter here is too dark. 

Could you tell us about your engagement with the 19th century French poet Charles Baudelaire’s 

The poetry of Baudelaire has fascinated me for a long time, but it was first with Anthony Mortimer’s translation from 2016 it really hit me, and inspired ideas of singing these words. I find the poetry so comforting and it vibrates within me, so it has been a joy to work with for the past years. 

I have read that you describe the work on the new album ‘Elevation’ as a ‘time travelling’ project. Could you expand on this please?

Well, the poetry is from the 19th century and looking at the sounds I wanted to include in the mix, with Stina Stjern’s tapes, which is a format from a different time so to speak, combined with the voices of Delphine Dora and me – this is both modern and old, classical and experimental, clear and hazy at the same time. To me it feels like elements from different time periods in dialogue. Which I like very much. 

Is there a theme that ties all the tracks together?

I think the spiritual journey and grinding, carving work of the soul is essential on this record. There are so many layers in Baudelaire’s poetry, and singing it feels like connecting with something outside myself for higher learning. 

Previous albums show that you like a collaboration. Is this the same for ‘Elevation’?

Oh yes, I really like involving others in my musical world and collaborate with other voices and artistic directions. So Baudelaire & Piano from 2020 was my first proper solo-album, only me and the piano, if you don’t count Baudelaire that is. With the process of taking these songs live and making the concert performance for Henie Onstad Art Center, I invited other expressions into the picture – scenography, textile art, lights, video and music for cassette tapes. In this process I discovered the music of Delphine Dora, and was blown away by it. So I asked her to recite Baudelaire’s poetry in French for the performance. Out from this sprung the idea of curating music for my album; I commissioned music from Stina Stjern and Delphine Dora to go along with my Baudelaire interpretations – and the album came together that way. This is a new way for me to work, and I found it very interesting. 

Will there be a tour? Are you coming to the UK?

I hope so – right now there’s one or two shows here and there. The pandemic has really messed up a lot for us, so I am curious and a bit anxious about the time to come. Hopefully I would visit UK with this music!

If we were to come to your home town for a weekend where would you take us? You are the Entertainments Committee!

If you come to Oslo, I assume you have a lot of money to spend, haha. It’s expensive here, but I have some recommendations for sure. You should have a cocktail at Dangerous Club, eat fantastic food and drink biodynamic wine from small producers at Nektar Vinbar, check out the live program at Kafé Hærverk, Blå and Victoria while in town – for some experimental Norwegian music. If you’re lucky it’s that one Friday a month for TUVAS BLODKLUBB at Riksscenen, a club-concept with live Norwegian folk music led my Tuva Syvertsen who is an amazing musician herself, last time the concert was with four folk singers singing solo a capella while people are dancing Norwegian folk dance. To see the tradition alive and breathing is so thrilling, and afterwards there is both karaoke with folk songs and DJ that plays through the night for more dancing. You should see some art, and both the new Munch-museum and the soon to reopen-National Gallery will be good places for that. A walk along the sea or a swim and sauna down by the Opera House is getting quite popular. We don’t have many parks, but there are a couple of beautiful cemeteries which I have spent so much time walking around during the lockdowns for the past couple of years. And on Sunday you should visit Emanuel Vigeland Mausoleum, for very unique experience inside his gorgeous artwork which also has a 16-17 seconds reverb. There you go, I think the weekend is fully booked. 

Are there any bands/artists that you recommend we check out?

Except of course the music of Stina Stjern and Delphine Dora, you should check out Morgonrode, Nothing Personal, Kjorstad Brothers, Sarah-Jane Summers and Why Kai – an interesting mix of music with both acoustic and electronic expressions. 

Many thanks, Susanna, for taking the time with DeClunk. Thank you for your interest in my music!

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