This is a composition from Frode Haltli’s 2007 recording Passing Images featuring a vocal performance by Maja Ratkje and Arve Henriksen on trumpet. As the accordion player notes, the origin of this track is twofold:
Vandring is based on “Jeg er på vandring gjennom livet” as it is sung by Elias Akselen (b. 1947) who is a well known singer and representative for Scandinavia’s long suppressed minority, the Roma travellers. The melody can even be recognized as the American Wayfaring Stranger.
Maja Ratkje’s vocal improvisations over Arve Henriksen’s effortless trumpet lines transform a near traditional folk song into an impressive avant-garde piece.
Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje (b. 1973) is a Norwegian composer and performer whose distinctive blend of vocal improvisations, noise music and electronica is truly unique. She has already worked on an impressive range of projects, from composing orchestral works to performing, touring and recording with improvisation quartet Spunk, noise duo Fe-mail, trio Poing or as a solo artist. Incidentally, Maja Ratkje is also the subject of an upcoming German documentary for cinema and television by IJ. Biermann. Voice – Sculpting Sound with Maja Ratkje is set to be released in 2013.
“Anyone who has seen or heard Ratkje perform live will know what a superb musician she is, and one who can genuinely be said to be extending the expressive range of the voice through technical and technological means…. Her work is celebratory and inclusive, an energising rallying call to those who are curious enough to peek out from behind the curtain of mainstream mediocrity.” The Wire 2006