The tormented history of Norway’s Romanis, the Tater people, is the focal point for Elias Akselsen’s Hjemlandsklokker. This ethnic minority has throughout history been subject to persecution and racism from all layers of the Norwegian society, and to this day it remains a dark spot on Norway’s human rights record. The collective pain felt by a people forced to take upon such hardship is vividly portrayed in their song tradition. Many of the traditionals interpreted by Akselsen go back centuries, but they still hold painful relevance today. His sole companion on this release is renowned multi-instrumentalist Stian Carstensen who contributes with supportive parts that complement Akselsen’s unique vocal style. The ancient songs deal with issues that are close to many Taters hearts: faith, stigmatisation, and yearning for the journey’s end to come.

Recently the music department at one of Norway’s biggest dailies, VG, voted Hjemlandsklokker release of the year. Said VG journalist Stein Østbø: Hjemlandsklokker is essential Norwegian cultural history. This release is so powerful that even an atheist is left with only one word: amen.

Elias Akselsen is also nominated for a Norwegian Grammy (Spelemannsprisen) in the folk category.

Elias Akselsen: Hjemlandsklokker (VIA Music / Musikkoperatørene – VCD 386)sd
 
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Genre\Folk / Traditional, Listen to Norway - promotion\2002:A