BACH TO FOLK
Release date: 23rd September 2022
Cat ID: NXW76158-2
Label: Naxos World
Bach to Folk – the debut album of ground-breaking classical / folk triumvirate Lodestar Trio – releases 23rd September 2022.
Lodestar Trio is an exciting new collaboration steeped in the sounds of classical and folk music. Formed by three highly regarded musicians from seemingly different worlds but bonded by their mutual desire to explore musical avenues and unearth new qualities in centuries-old traditions, Lodestar Trio brings a bold spark of innovation as they blend genres and influences to create a unique listening experience. Why their music is so compelling could be down to the very makeup of the band. British-German violin virtuoso Max Baillie, having graduated from the renowned Yehudi Menuhin School, is deeply immersed in the classical tradition yet is also a keen collaborator. His eagerness to explore led him to work with diverse talents like John Williams, Bobby McFerrin, Steve Reich and Björk.
Erik Rydvall plays the nyckelharpa, a keyed fiddle synonymous with the folk music of his homeland, Sweden. After studying this enigmatic instrument at the Eric Sahlström Institute in Tobo and Stockholm’s Royal College of Music, Erik co-founded the successful Swedish trio Nordic. He also joined the Swiss flamenco dance company Flamencos en Route. Erik then later formed an award-winning duo with the third member of Lodestar Trio, Olav Luksengård Mjelva.
Norwegian Olav plays the ornate Hardanger fiddle – considered the national instrument of Norway. An accomplished songwriter, Olav has written music for mediums such as theatre, documentaries and short films and recorded for Hollywood composers for movies and video games. A co-founding member of the ensemble SVER and The Nordic Fiddlers Bloc, Olav is a recipient of the Spellemannprisen (Norway’s Grammy equivalent) for his debut solo album and was recognised as his homeland’s Folk Musician of the Year in 2013.
Despite these contrasting backgrounds, these musicians have a strong sense of unity. After initiating contact with Erik and Olav, Max found himself on a musical blind date as he made his way to Røros in central Norway. Three days of intensive jamming followed, connections were formed, and commonalities were discussed. Having all played from childhood, music is their hobby, work, and life. The shared love of improvisation, exploration and following musical impulses allowed instant chemistry and the ability to create a shared sacred space surrounded by beautiful sound. The bonds formed have proved enduring as even the global pandemic couldn’t extinguish the collective commitment of Lodestar Trio. Patience finally paid off when the band were able to record in August 2021. The resounding result is Bach to Folk.
As the album title suggests, Bach profoundly influences the album yet never overwhelms. The band discovers new takes through reverent exploration of Bach’s works, with instruments sometimes switching melodies and improvisation allowing the music to be mined to create something fresh yet familiar. Not to be confined to just one exquisite artist, the album also offers interpretations of pieces by other Baroque behemoths such as Tarquinio Merula and Jean-Baptiste Lully. In their genuinely collaborative style, each Lodestar Trio member contributes their original compositions to the album giving an intrepid identity. The unique combination of instruments, enhanced by rich talent, produces music that can calm, invigorate, entice, and entertain.