"Enchanting simplicity...I really believe him when he sings" - Acoustic Magazine
"One of the few albums which warrants the listener to hanging onto the artist's every single word..without exception i found every song totally engrossing...Viesselman is an incisive writer who uses dazzling imagery...there are so many highlights it almost seems unfair to spotlight just one" - Maverick Magazine
"A minimalistic soul-folk masterpiece" - Klassekampen
Download English version of bio and reviews.
Norsk versjon av biografi og anmeldelser.
KREG VIESSELMAN - TO THE MOUNTAIN
"Just bring whatever notebook you've been carrying lately, and your guitar. I am sure that will do."
So said producer Bjarne Stensli on the telephone six months after Kreg Viesselman released If You Lose Your Light (COLUMBIA/SONY 2012). When Viesselman arrived at the studio a few days later and claimed that he didn't know what he had to record, Stensli replied, "Just sit down, open your note book, and start playing.”
Within the first hour of that first session, Kreg had four songs that became the nucleus of his next full album, TO THE MOUNTAIN. These songs - "Crazy Horse", "David", "Garland," and "The Inefficiency Waltz" - formed the demos that would bring on board legendary Norwegian musician/producer Kjartan Kristiansen (Dum Dum Boys, Jonas Alaska, Stein Torleif Bjella) to finalize the collection over the next three years.
TO THE MOUNTAIN is more varied than Viesselman’s previous albums. The instrumentation and idiom is much broader, and for the first time in his career, Kreg can be heard on piano. This collection of music is far more upbeat and up-tempo than his earlier records. Yet it maintains an ethereal atmosphere throughout, bearing witness to the influence of the Scandinavian and British landscapes where the songs were created. The first full rough draft of the record was created in the summer of 2013. Viesselman invited his band out to spend a week at his cabin in the forest in Norway, where they sketched out the album. The songs were fine-tuned live as the band toured England in late 2014.
TO THE MOUNTAIN features musical contributions from Anne Lise Frøkedal, Sondre Meisfjord, Øystein Hvamen Rasmussen, Ingrid Berge (all members of Kreg's live band), as well as producers Bård Ingbrightsen and Kjartan Kristiansen. Mari Person plays the string arrangement on the title track, while Hot House Flowers' Peter O Toole Bouzouki's bouzouki is featured on "Our Sun Rose."
2016 will be an exciting year fans as Kreg kicks off his world tour in Italy in January 2016.
Yes, I have moved around a lot. And it is true that I have dabbled in a lot of different vocations. For the most part, it has been a result of being very curious, but it’s also been out of necessity: the journeyman’s phase in the arts is usually protracted, and not very lucrative. And if one is curious enough, and doesn’t identify too strongly with just that one “artistic” aspect of themselves, then that journeyman’s phase becomes a perpetual state; a permanent process. I have run into many people trying to make their way in the arts who resent that fact; this state. I, however, do not.
Many times I have been asked if travelling inspires my art. That question never sits quite right with me. Not because it’s an unfair question, but because I have never really figured out how to answer it accurately.
It’s true, placing one’s self in a completely new locations gives that person a blank canvass, a clean white wall on which to practice their shadow puppets anew; to take notice of any changes. For much of my life, it’s the one I have utilized. True, it’s probably not the most efficient method, and for me has involved some pretty substantial upheaval. Yet as the scenery whizzes by in a state of constant change, I have begun to see what remains unchanged about my train.
At the same time, I think the impulse that has compelled me to move and change scenery so often is the same one that causes me to write songs. I think that that urge, in both cases, is merely an attempt to enjoy and understand the world around me.
Regardless of causes and reasons, I have come to realise that I have never been particularly good at arranging my thoughts about Existence by force. The closest I ever come to knowing how I feel about the world around me is when I hear myself singing my own songs about it. I find myself saying, “oh…so that’s what I think!” pretty often.
Contentedness and Happiness I tend to be able to experience and express naturally and wordlessly. It is sorrow that I have to work harder to either process or leave unmolested.
There is no complexity to my happiness. It just is.
I hope is that if and when people find the songs I have written, that they will find a full helping of both; of everything.
-K.V., Oslo, 2017
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