Mats Eilertsen – Hymn for Hope

One of my dearest musical companions since 1994, and the start of Dingobats, Mats Eilertsen, invited me to join a session for his new project some time in the summer of 2020.

I’ve been privileged to work on many of Mats’ projects. Starting with Radio Yonder in 2009 (with Tore Brunborg, sax, and Olavi Louhivuori, drums), on to Skydive in 2011 (also with Tore and Olavi, adding Alexi Toumarila on piano), then to the Skydive Trio (Mats, Olavi and me) albums Sun Moee (2015) and Sun Sparkle (2018), and Rubicon in 2016 (with Mats, Olavi, me, Eirik Hegdal, sax/clar. Trygve Seim, sax, Harmen Fraanje, piano and Rob Waring, Vibraphone/Marimba). Not to forget 10 years of Dingobats crazy time.

 photo Mats Eilertsen © edits by Jonas Sjøvaag

Hymn of Hope was recorded by Aksel Jensen in Newtone Studios in Oslo 19th-20th of december 2020, in an open pocket of freedom in the middle of the Covid pandemic. It was mixed by Daniel Wold @Oslo Fuzz. After being locked in for almost a year, the feeling of just meeting people, hanging out and even playing, felt extremely invigorating. A lifeline.

Tore Brunborg was, as always, playing amazing saxophone. And finally I got the chance to play with the the unique Hans Hulbækmo, drums. It always fascinates me how easy it is to connect with people You’ve never met through music.

This recording was “The” beacon of light for me during the pandemic. Because of the interaction, the music, and the feeling of freedom in the moment. So, I don’t care if anyone else likes it or not 😉. Those two days were important to me. We needed some kind of release, and we got it.