Nils Økland Band

Nils Økland Band 2017 c Photo Morten Spaberg LITENils Økland (Hardanger fiddle/violin/viola d’amore) is a renowned master of Norway’s national instrument the Hardanger fiddle. However, his musical outlook is far wider than just traditional music and his contributions diverse. Both as an instrumentalist and as a composer he interlaces elements of classical and contemporary music as well as jazz with traditional Norwegian expressions, finding common traits and not least common expressive mindsets across genres and time periods.

Økland belongs to the category of musicians who have come to represent an individual sound and a musical sensibility that is completely their own. On the album ‘Lysning’, the Nils Økland Band’s first for the Hubro label, the musicians have merged even more successfully into an ensemble. The various musical voices are matched even better than before, and the result is instrumental music with drive, great depth and broad appeal.

Økland has gained an international reputation for his innovative playing style. The solo albums he has released on the ECM and Rune Grammofon labels have garnered rave reviews. Økland has guested with several leading orchestras, has written music for the London Sinfonietta, films, ballets and theatre, and has played on records by Christian Wallumrød, Arve Henriksen, Åsne Valland Nordli and Bjørnar Andresen.

All of the melodic material on ‘Lysning’ was composed by Økland, and it was drawn from several projects in which he is involved. The arrangements were developed in close collaboration with the band. Økland does not use written musical notes – all of the pieces are rehearsed by ear. “Our verbal working method might come into its own even more strongly this time,” says Økland. It is not difficult to agree with him: an audible sense of boldness and a powerful presence are palpable through the entire album.


Nils Økland: hardanger fiddle, violin, viola d’amore

Sigbjørn Apeland: organ

Rolf Erik Nystrøm: sax

Mats Eilertsen: bass

Håkon Stene: percussion, vibraphone, guitar


Photo by Morten Spaberg