Hallingdølens Kniv


Per O. Noss

kr 180

EM55 / 2010

Ethnic Music Club’s release of its first pop/ electronica CD – with ”a touch of folk”, is something of a sensation. This is a rather unusual album for a record company whose specialty is folk music! Our explanation is thus: We consider singing well in dialect to be genuine ethnic musical expression. This is a pop album that does not follow in the path of American pop-genre, but goes in its own direction. In my opinion, precisely this aspect provides a healthy inoculation against the English language media and pop music that has dominated Norway’s airwaves for the last century. Per O Noss presents ”Halling pop” from the Hallingdal valley region, sung in his own Hallingdal dialect. Norway, with its many regional dialects, is actually a treasure chest chuck full of potential! And studies show that the Norwegian public appreciates lyrics in Norwegian. I also believe that that this album can captivate listeners who don’t understand Norwegian.

Per O Noss was born in Oslo on Tuesday, the twelfth of August, nineteen-eighty, and he grew up in Ål, a community in the Hallingdal valley. He sang his first songs at his family’s summer farm, in the rugged, scenic Skarvheimen mountain area located between Jotunheimen and Hardangervidda. It was here that his imagination was stimulated and his life-long fascination for mystique and enchantment was born. At the age of twelve he took part in the Norwegian junior ”Melodi Grand Prix” [Eurovision Song Contest] called ”Under 17”.

Some years later, in April 2003, 23-year-old Per O Noss hitchhiked from Trondheim to Oslo with a borrowed 500 NOK in his pocket and the dream of becoming a full-time singer. He had abandoned Media Studies and his Hallingdal dialect; jobs in Trondheim were few and far between. Luckily, work on the Norwegian Coastal Express ”MS Nordkapp” turned up, rescued his economy and allowed Per O Noss to concentrate on music. Eventually he made contact with producers and musicians, and in 2006, the time was ripe for work on an album. When his single, ”Englestøv” [Angel Dust], was played on 70 radio stations, Per O Noss and his producer understood that an entire album in Norwegian would be feasible.

In short, Per O Noss”came home”: he found out where he wanted to go with his music and what he wanted to tell with it. At Easter time in 2009, in an interview on Radio Hallingdal, Per Olav spoke of the treasure chest of dialects in Norway, and how important it is to use and care for these, since they tell so much about who we are. Simultaneously, his new single, ”Kjeringi” The Soothsayer captivated radio request program audiences, and the term ”Halling pop” was born. Now Per O Noss has now returned to his native Ål, where he lives in a cabin with a view of the Hallingskarvet mountains. He is employed as receptionist at the Ål Cultural Center, and it was here the leader for Ethnic Music Club met him, during the Norwegian Folk Music Week 2009.

”I prefer just to call my music ”Halling pop”, but if I must go into detail, I can say that it is electropop with a little touch of folk,” says Per O Noss. Several well-known local performers are guests on his recordings: Anita and Tove Bøygard croon seductively from the mountains, and Hellbillies’ drummer, Bjørn Gunnar Sando, adds his energy to several cuts. Arne Moslåtten, also of Hellbillies, has contributed lyrics.

Per is definitely a breath of fresh air on the Norwegian music scene! His specialty is up-tempo music in his own dialect. When writing, Per O Noss allows himself to be inspired by his natural surroundings. “I have always been fascinated by nature’s mystique”, he says, ”and when I use my own dialect it is easier to write about things near and dear, and to express what I feel.”

Varenummer: EM55