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Vårt Land’s musikkjournalist Olav Solvang anmelder “Finding Home”

Avisen Vårt Land, papirutgave lørdag 30. august, 2014.

Finding Home anmeldt av musikkjournalist Olav Solvang olav.solvang@vl.no

Endelig viser Solveig Leithaug seg fra sin beste side som plateartist. Og da er hun helt oppe i Norgestoppen blant Maria Mena og Marit Larsen. Forsåvidt også Gabrielle, tantebarnet hennes, selv om hun har en annen stil.

Solveig’s første studioplate på ni år byr på elleve selvskrevne sanger, noen i kompaniskap med låtskrivere fra Nashville. Musikken er i vise-pop-country-format, kledelig utformet i et havlakustisk neddempet og distinkt lydbilde av den glimrende amerikanske musikeren og produsenten Steve Hindalong (The Choir, Sixpence None The Richer.)

At tekstene har tydelige avtrykk fra hennes eget liv de siste årene; blant annet et turbulent samlivsbrudd, men også en ny kjærlighet, gir dem en tyngde og troverdighet langt bortenfor den ofte klisjeaktige tematikken som ofte sees i amerikansk lovsangspop.

Trenger ingen etikett.

Solveig’s sanger om troen, som nok også er blitt satt på prøve de siste årene, er jordnær, og enkel, men fremdeles hengiven. Plata Finding Home trenger likevel ingen kristen etikett: Like mye som evangelisk forkynnelse, handler den om å finne kjærligheten midt i livet, å si godnatt til barna sine, og løfte blikket utover ens egne enemerker: “When She Plays” ble fullt fortjent spilt mye under fjorårets TV-aksjon. En sang om Leithaug’s alzheimer-rammede svigermor, som freldeles kan kjenne igjen sitt gamle jeg i musikken, gjør inntrykk. Det same gjør “Mor”, tilegnet Solveigs mor som døde i 2011. Den vakre teksten til Anders Vassbotn lot seg ikke gjøre om til engelsk, slriver Solveig i CD-heftet.

Solid oppfølger.

“Mor” blir en påminnesle om at Solveig Leithaug er på sitt beste når hun benytter sin egen norske dialekt. Slik hun så glimrende fremstod allerede i 1985 med LP-en Askepott. Etter mange år bosatt I USA, med et amerikansk platemarked som gradvis har åpnet seg stadig mer for henne, er det ikke rart hun konsentrerer seg om engelskspråklige sanger. For norske lytterer forsvinner uansett litt av særpreget, spontaniteten og intimiteten i sangene. Viktigst er det likevel at hun endeleg har laget den oppfølgeren den strålende debuten Askepott fortjente.

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Upcoming events in the Nashville area

Solveig a resident of Nashville, Tennessee for the past five years, is looking forward to sharing her new music at some of her hometown’s fine area churches.

She is collaborating with Norwegian gospel choir Voice of Joy and St. Bartholomew’s Chamber Singers, renowned tenor David Phelps as well as some of Music City’s finest musicians such as Matt Slocum (cello, Sixpence None the Richer), Steve Hindalong ( drums, The Choir). and Bethany Bordeaux, violin, Tim Lauer, (accordion, keyboards).   Also Russian born award winning recording artist and violinist Alexander Rybak is coming to Nashville this fall. More information to come on their joint concert at Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Nashville October 1st.  Here is an overview of places you can hear Solveig singing from her latest critically acclaimed solo CD Finding Home.

9.3    Free concert at Christ Church Nashville, (15354 Old Hickory Blvd, Nashville) at 7pm featuring David Phelps, Voice of Joy, Christ Church Choir, and Solveig.
9.6    Worship Service at Brentwood United Methodist Church,  at 6pm with Voice of Joy and Solveig.
9.7    Benefit Concert at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopalian Church, “Summer Nights, Northern Lights”  (Solveig with St. B’s Chamber Singers, Voice of Joy, Band: Bethany Bordeaux, Steve Hindalong, Don Cason and Matt Slocum.)
9.28  Offertory at Bethel World Outreach Church, 5670 Granny White, Brentwood, TN 8.15am, 10.15am, 12.15pm services
10.1   Concert at Christ Church Cathedral (Sacred Space Art Series) , 900 Broadway, Nashville, TN. (Alexander Rybak, Solveig.)
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Sanger fra Solveig (Songs from Solveig)

JK, a Norwegian magazine for girls of all ages interviewed Solveig about the making of Finding Home.

JK-redaksjonen tok en prat med plateaktuelle Solveig Leithaug om hennes nye utgivelse: Finding Home. 

1. Hva er tanken bak utgivelsen?

Jeg har lenge hatt et ønske om å lage en ny plate med egne sanger. Det er ni år siden Tilbe Deg. Til høsten er det 30 år siden jeg spilte inn LPen Askepott! Jeg ønsket å finne tilbake til røttene mine. Finne hjem, på et vis. Skrive noen historiesanger. Men jeg visste også at det var tid for å skrive musikk som er for alle. Sanger som bygger broer, som folk kan finne gjenklang i, uavhengig om de bekjenner seg som troende.

Jeg visste at det ikke var mulig for meg å presse skrivelysten fram. Etter store, dyptinngripende forandringer i livet mitt, måtte jeg ha tid før hjertet fikk lande. Det skjedde første etter far Peder’s evige hjemreise i januar 2013, (mor Helga døde i 2011), og jeg fikk 5-6 måneder med reisefri. Halvferdige sanger ble hentet fram igjen, og jeg booket tid for å skrive med andre komponister, alle anerkjente, flere med Grammy-nominasjoner og andre priser. Jeg merket at jeg igjen hadde noe jeg ville si. Og den vesle flammen vokste seg sterkere, som til et bål, i løpet av høsten og innspillingstiden. Platen dedikerte jeg til håpet om at sangene ville nå noen som trenge det. At Gud kunne få ta mine små fisker og brød og la det bli til mat for andre. Nå føler jeg at dette kanskje er blitt til min viktigeste plate. Den som bærer mest av hjertet mitt. Og som jeg opplever, fra tilbakemeldinger, at har noe som når inn, langt utover kirkebenkene. Takk og lov. En gjennomarbeidet produksjon som er personlig, men samtidig er så universell at andre lett kunne si: Å, her kjenner jeg meg igjen!

Jeg har vært gjennom noen veldig tunge år. Tanken bak platen var også et ønske om å finne sølvranden i stormskyene, et sted å finne hvile når livet røyner på. Jeg ville gi rytmer og toner som får en til å ta seg en “svingom” på kjøkkengulvet midt i oppvasken, med ektefellen, en veninne eller barnebarn, eller sette ord på hjertets innerste bønner og lengselen etter å finne hjem- til hverandre og til Gud.

2. Hvilke hovedspor er det i tekstene? 

Det er sanger som gjenspeiler livet mitt, slik jeg opplever det nå.  Ønsket om å skrive sant om livet. Om tro. Sorg. Gleder. Familierelasjoner. Det ble 11 nye sanger.

Mitt ønske er at sangene skal kunne synges like godt i onde som i gode dager, om man har lite eller mye, om man bor i en knøttliten leilighet eller i et fancy strøk, om man vil granske tekstene eller bruke sangene som bakgrunnsmusikk.

Jeg ønsket sanger som løfter opp, som gjør at man ser litt høyere. Får perspektiv. Finner pusten igjen. Eller kommer seg inn på stien etter at man har gått seg bort i skogen.

Kilden for alt ligger for meg i Kristus. Detter er også en hyllest til Han som har båret meg gjennom stormene. Gud, min sikre, faste klippe. Mitt hjem. Tross alt. Gjennom alt.

3. Hvordan har prosessen vært fra tanke til ferdig utgivelse? 

Jeg var ganske nervøs før vi satte i gang prosjektet. Jeg bad mye. (Eller kanskje sukket mye?) Tenk, vi har en Gud som også hører våre sukk!) Det var noen drager som måtte bekjempes. For eksempel det at jeg nå er godt oppi 40-årene og ikke er noen ung artist lenger. Den store endringen i musikk-markedet med mye “streaming”. “Finnes det noen som kjøper plater lenger?” Jeg var ikke ute etter høye salgstall, men det hadde vært fint å kunne tjene inn igjen investeringen for satsingen. Og ikke minst: Ville jeg kunne skrive sanger som kunne bety noe for andre? Det var det viktigeste på “listen” av betenkninger som gjorde at Finding Home nesten ikke ble til.

Jeg har nok aldri jobbet så intenst og grundig med en plate som med Finding Home, der hver tone, hvert ord, hver akkord og hver instrumentering har blitt nøye veid. Det var veldig viktig for meg å skape noe kvalitetsmessig som jeg helt og fullt kunne stå inne for.

Selv om jeg nå har laget 18 plater, var det soleklart for meg at jeg nå ville gi mitt aller, aller beste. Jeg tenker ennå om fremtiden: Kanskje jeg ikke har skrevet min beste sang ennå? Kanskje det er nye ting som Gud har for meg, gjennom at jeg strekker meg og gjør meg tilgjengelieg for Guds nærvær?

4. Hvilke planer har du framover? 

Jeg har noen spennende prosjekter på gang som det er litt for tidlig å si noe mer om. Utenfor oppgaver i hjemmet, der vi har mye besøk, og med sangen, har jeg et aktivt engasjement i hjelpeorganisasjonen Compassion, og jeg har noen oppdrag med Gaither Homecoming, blant annet skriver jeg for deres Homecoming Magazine.

Blant konsertstoppene i 2014 er steder som Sarons Dal, Karmøy, Froland, Kristiansand, Sandefjord, Bergen, Arna, Oslo, Frekhaug og Ålesund, samt noen julekonserter i Sverige og England.

Og i juli, under min Norges-turne, har vi satt av tid til å “fiske torsk ein sommarkveld”.

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Stellar “Finding Home” review. “Sonic sophistication and authentic heart”.

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Christian Musician Magazine. July, 2014.  By Shawn LcLaughlin.

“Finding Home”

Solveig Leithaug  

(Independent)

Talk about an off the board find! Those familiar with Solveig Leithaug through her past affiliation with the Gaither’s as well as her Norwegian releases, will be surprised  at the sonic sophistication and the authentic heart with which she imbues the real life inspired compositions on her wonderful new album, Finding Home. Personal tales of life, love, family, and the joys and sorrows associated with each are interspersed with genuinely affecting songs of devotion to the savior who delivered her time and time again from the vagaries of the human condition. Highlights of the album include the elegiac “Faraway Lullaby”, which laments the distance a life on the road sometimes engineers between a parent and their children, “A Million Miles” a harmonica fueled (thanks to veteran harp blower, Buddy Greene) ode to the unexpected joy of finding love later in life, and the deeply moving “When She Plays” a song written for Leithaug’s mother in law, a former church pianist for 40 years who, afflicted with laments of late stage Alzheimer’s, manages to find moments of lucidity when she plays the piano.

With production from Steve Hindalong (with assistance from Stephen Leiweke), the project is both drenched in atmosphere, yet full of instrumental definition and sonic sophistication, a hallmark for Hindalong productions. A project that should hold rewards for most any listener, Finding Home reveals an artist who communicates encouraging universal truths by daring to be vulnerable.

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“Summer Nights, Northern Lights”, A benefit concert in Nashville September 7th.

SummerNightsPoster

Press Release
AWARD-WINNING INTERNATIONAL SINGER-SONGWRITER SOLVEIG LEITHAUG
IN CONCERT WITH NORWAY’S VOICE OF JOY.

August 1, 2014 – (Nashville, TN) “Summer Nights, Northern Lights” a unique offering of Scandinavian music featuring Dove Award winning recording artist, Solveig Leithaug (Sole-vey Lighthoug), Norway’s gospel choir Voice of Joy, the St. Bartholomew’s Chamber Singers and violinist Bethany Bordeaux will take place Sunday September 7, 2014 at 7:00pm at St. Bartholomew’s Church, 4800 Belmont Park Terrace, Nashville, TN.

Headlining the evening, Norwegian born singer songwriter Solveig Leithaug, who resides in Franklin, TN will present a collection of songs from her recent release Finding Home produced by Nashville’s acclaimed Steve Hindalong. Finding Home is a culmination of decades of life experience and evolution as a musician and songwriter, and is being hailed as the most honest, courageous, and breathtakingly beautiful recording of Solveig’s 30-year career. Solveig will also present a few classics from her Norwegian repertoire.

CCM Magazine compares Solveig to Eva Cassidy, Shawn Colvin and Fernando Ortega and says: “Finding Home is a perfect sample of one of gospel music’s sweetest acoustic treasures.”

Voice of Joy known for their inspirational trademark gospel music sound, features 24 young singers from the island of Karmøy in western Norway. The choir has toured throughout Scandinavia and America, and is a leader in Norway’s gospel choir tradition. They have recorded several CDs and been featured on a number of TV and radio networks.

Rounding out the evening, St. Bartholomew’s Chamber Singers under the direction of David Madeira, known city-wide for their performances on WPLN. They will perform selections by Scandinavian composers.

Violinist Bethany Bordeaux will accompany Solveig with an ensemble of Nashville’s finest musicians including Steve Hindalong, percussion, Matt Slocum, cello, and Don Cason, bass. Both choirs will also perform with Solveig.

The concert is sponsored by St. Bartholomew’s Church along with Compassion International, for which child sponsorship will be part of the evenings’ program.

Ticket price is a suggested $5 person and $15 per family. After the concert patrons are welcome to linger for a cup of coffee with scrumptious Scandinavian baked goods provided by Nashville’s Music City Vikings, a local chapter of Sons of Norway.

Contact:
Interviews:
Jim Chaffee at Chaffee Management
Phone: +1 615 300 9699
E-mail: jchaffee@chaffeemanagement.com
Booking/Management: www.ChaffeeManagement.com

www.solveigmusic.com
http://www.voiceofjoy.no
http://www.bethanybordeaux.com
http://stbs.net

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Where can I buy your CDs?

Thank you so much to those of you who have sent requested information about this!

I just realized we have done a poor job of telling you where to buy my music.

Here’s the scoop:

Since we don’t currently have a staff and I tour extensively, we are limited in filling orders ourselves. Gaither Music has been so kind to offer “Finding Home” via their web store, and it’s listed at only $11.95 + shipping.

Gaither Music Web-store

This CD along with my previous records are also available at digital stores such as iTunes and Amazon.

iTunes
Amazon

If you prefer ordering in bulk (10 or more) for gifts, to sell in your book store, give to your employees or choir members, feel free to contact us to order them directly from us at bulk rate (For the USA: $10 each + shipping.)

If you live in Norway, you can also purchase my music (hard copies) via MudiStore.no, Platekompaniet, and Vivo in addition to digitally on Norway’s own iTunes: http://bit.ly/1jI2mL7.

Get your hard copy of “Finding Home” here. Just $11.95 + shipping!

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CCM reviews Solveig’s Finding Home.

CCM Magazine gave this outstanding review of Solveig’s newest release “Finding Home”.

FOR FANS OF: Eva Cassidy, Shawn Colvin, Fernando Ortega
Rating: 4 Stars

With thirty years of internationally celebrated recordings in her musical register, including a pair of gold certifications, the Dove Award-winning, Norwegian-bred singer-songwriter births her first original English recording in nearly a decade. Gently engaging tough human topics like Alzheimer’s as well as celebratory occasions with sheer vocals, tender musical bedding, a clarinet and a harmonica, plus Steve Hindalong’s (The Choir, Sara Groves) graceful production, Finding Home is a perfect sample of one of gospel music’s sweetest acoustic treasures.

– Andrew Greer
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Charisma Magazine recommends “Finding Home”

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Charisma Magazine features Solveig’s “Finding Home” in their June, 2014 edition for recommended resources to their readers.

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A Memorial Day Tribute

 

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Solveig’s father-in-law Gordon Chaffee with his mother Mildred Chaffee. Gordon served in the Air Force from 1948-1952.

By Deborah Patterson

Originally appeared in Gaither’s Homecoming Magazine Online, April 15, 2014

Dove Award-winning artist Solveig Leithaug has graced the Homecoming stage and videos for nearly a decade. Her wonderful new release, Finding Home, reflects the culmination of years of life, growth, faith and musical exploration. With a dream team of musicians and co-writers, Solveig has crafted this breathtaking collection of songs, which point us to the moments, the people, the Creator and the countless gifts waiting to be noticed along our voyage home.

In the May/June issue of Homecoming Magazine, we honor veterans, those brave souls who have sacrificed much in service to their country. For this issue, Solveig shares a beautiful tribute she penned, dedicated to family members of deployed military, and she also included the lyrics to “Safe and Sound,” one of the songs from Finding Home. IMG_2273The touching lyrics are inspired by those who keep the home fires burning while their loved ones are deployed—those who pray, hope, wonder and worry, often while raising children and working.

As a gift to Homecoming readers, Solveig offers this free download of “Safe and Sound.” Homecoming fans will recognize Buddy Greene’s infectious harmonica on the track, which is produced by Steve Hindalong (Sixpence None the Richer, Leeland, Sara Groves. City on a Hill). Solveig co-wrote with Gary Sadler, a platinum-selling songwriter/producer/musician. We know you’ll love it as we do! You can follow along with the lyrics below…

 

“SAFE AND SOUND”

With deepest gratitude I dedicate this song to all family members of deployed military personnel waiting for your loved one to return.  ~ Solveig
In the wee small hours of the morning dark
When the robin wakens the dawn
With the mockingbird and the meadowlark
You are on my mind
Oh, you are on my mind

When the fireflies come like a summer dream
And the honeysuckle’s in bloom
When the poplar sway in a gentle breeze
Oh, you are on my mind
Yes, you are on my mind

Down the cobblestone to the village square
While the baker sets his dough
I walk our dog in the autumn air
But you are on my mind
Oh, you are on my mind

Safe and sound, safe and sound
Please come home to me

When the arctic wind begins to blow
And the chimney’s smoking all night
Then I think of how you love the snow
‘Cause you are on my mind
Oh, you are on my mind

When your ship drops anchor at Sterling Bay
And your feet are safely on shore
My yearlong night will break into day
‘Till then you are on my mind
Oh, darling, you’re on my mind

Safe and sound, safe and sound
Please come home to me
Oh, safe and sound, safe and sound
Please come home to me, home to me

Solveig Leithaug © 2013 Apple Cake Music / Admin SmallStoneMedia.com / Gary Sadler © 2013 Paintbrush Music, ASCAP / CCLI Song ID: 7005705

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Faraway Lullaby

Yesterday my daughter Kari created this very personal “handmade” video on her phone; Faraway Lullaby. On most nights when she was overseas  these past six months, she listened to an mp3 of “Faraway Lullaby”, a song I recorded last fall about the time she flew out of the nest. This goodnight tune is dedicated to my kids far and near, and all moms and dads who can’t be with their kids at bedtime, whether  small or grown. Special gratitude to Grammy nominated Sarah Hart for her collaboration on the song writing, and to cellist Matt Slocum, (Sixpence None the Richer) for his stellar playing.

From Kari and I to all of you wonderful, brave, courageous ladies:

” Happy Mother’s Day!”

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