Anneli Drecker

Rocks & Straws

July 10, 2015

Rune Grammofon

Anneli Drecker‘s ethereal voice first became known through the music of her band Bel Canto back in the 80s. At age 17, Anneli left her Arctic hometown of Tromsø with band members Geir Jenssen (aka Biosphere) and Nils Johansen, for the pulsating indie scene in Bruxelles. Signed to the legendary Belgian label Crammed Discs along with Zap Mama and Tuxedomoon, Bel Canto captured the Zeitgeist of European electronic music in the late eighties. Their two first albums, White Out Conditions and Birds Of Passage were released internationally in most territories. They have won the Norwegian Grammy award “Spellemannprisen” three times, and are regarded as pioneers in the Norwegian electronic pop music scene.

With her characteristic experimental singing style, often compared to other wonderful singers such as Lisa Gerrard and Liz Frasier, Anneli has had the possibility to collaborate with many great artists. She participated in projects with Hector Zazou, Jah Wobble, Gavin Friday, DJ Krush, Tim Simenon, Simon Raymonde of Cocteau Twins, and Guy Sigsworth. Anneli has also cooperated with ECM artist Ketil Bjørnstad and recorded three albums based on poems by John Donne and Hart Crane. Few can claim that they have been singing duets with Morten Harket, but Anneli joined a-ha on two world tours as their guest singer. She also toured the world for more than 10 years singing with Röyksopp and co-writing a number of songs with them.

In 2012, Anneli left Röyksopp to return to her own music. Her album Rocks & Straws is a homecoming album, an ode to her native town and region. The songs are based on lyrics by the North Norwegian cult poet Arvid Hanssen and translated to English by artist and writer Roy-Frode Løvland. Hanssens poems are strongly influenced by the mysterious and powerful nature of this arctic region, like the writings of Knut Hamsun, born only a few miles from Hanssen´s birthplace. Man and nature, and man in nature – Hanssen captures the interaction of Northern Norwegians with their merciless but beautiful surroundings, and the sometimes deadpan observations that follow.

Rocks & Straws is very much an acoustic record. In a world of ever simpler electronic recordings she has moved in another direction, and made a record based on recording techniques from the 70s. The music is played live, with some of Norway´s finest musicians: Guitarist Eivind Aarset, drummer Rune Arnesen, bassist Ole Vegard Skauge, and The Arctic Philharmonic, Tromsø´s acclaimed orchestra. Apart from singing Anneli plays the piano and organ, and has produced the recording with the musicians. As a Ph. D. candidate at the Arctic University of Tromsø, she is doing a research project on the voice techniques of indigenous people, and this is apparent especially in the song Ocean´s Organ, with a Maori group singing kapa haka songs that Anneli recorded while in Auckland, New Zealand. The title refers to the voices of sailors that have drowned in the ocean, a global reference and a subject that the Maori singers could easily relate to.

Rocks & Straws – Tracklisting:

  1. Alone
  2. Circulating Light
  3. Come Summer´s Wind
  4. Green Leaves In The Snow
  5. Fisherman´s Blues
  6. Ocean´s Organ
  7. Rain
  8. Rocks & Straws
  9. Seagull´s Melody
  10. Waiting For The Boat



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