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Fyrsta morginn

by Tokso

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    Cover design, artwork: Amund Sjølie Sveen, based on photo by Knut Utler

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Ár alda 02:15
Hvíta tré 05:57
Fyrir sól 02:16
Sorgartími 05:48
Grenjan∂i 04:34
Sólganga 02:37
Innsláttr 03:16
Sinni mána 02:45
Sólarseta 03:14
Sortnar sól 05:39


New music for a 1000-year-old poem

Anne Hytta and the ensemble Tokso have set the ancient Norse visionary poem Voluspá to music. The poem describes a beautiful world that is torn apart by destructive forces. Perhaps the thousand-year-old poem resonates a bit more in our times than we would have wished.

The scene is set for formidable contrasts now that the international folk string quartet Tokso is releasing a new CD inspired by Voluspá. A quietly powerful string vibrates throughout Tokso’s new release, in which the music encompasses fear, desperation and darkness. But it is also music that is full of love, wonder and hope for the beautiful world we share.

“Voluspá gives me goose bumps all along my spine. Behind the short, direct sentences is an entire world of stories and images that are created beyond the words in the mind of the reader. The poem can give me the same sensation as when I have powerful musical experiences – I am connected to feelings that are beyond words. Then creating music seems very natural,” says Anne Hytta, who has composed the music for the album Fyrsta morginn.

“I think that Voluspá can be unpleasant to read, because the poem describes a kind of destruction that can easily be seen as having parallels to our own times, but mainly I think that the lovely images of the creation of the world evoke a warmth that is full of joy and good energy. I hope the music can illustrate that,” says Hytta.

The members of Tokso have their roots in the supple melody lines of traditional music, and play folk instruments that boast a total of 54 strings. In September it will be 10 years since the quartet met for the first time, so the album launch and the tour also mark an anniversary. The story of the untraditional string quartet began in the autumn of 2008, when Anne Hytta was asked to put together a new project for the Mela Festival in Oslo. She contacted Eng, Billy and Thoma, whom she knew from various contexts. Luckily they all wanted to participate, and Tokso became a quartet where the members were immediately on the same wavelength.

They are still on the same wavelength, and through the years they have held concerts in Norway, France and Crete. Their first album, Tokso, was released in 2011, Cor Amant came out in 2014, and this year Fyrsta morginn is being released on the Heilo/Grappa label. On this album they have been joined by bassist Jo Skaansar and percussionist Bijan Chemirani, who contribute their own special groove and imbue Tokso with an even richer soundscape.


released September 21, 2018

Anne Hytta (NO) –Hardanger fiddle
Kelly Thoma (GR) – Cretan lyra
Eléonore Billy (FR) – keyed fiddle
Sigrun Eng (NO) – cello
Jo Skaansar (NO) – bass
Bijan Chemirani (FR/IR) – percussion

All music composed by Anne Hytta except track 8: Bijan Chemirani and track 10: Sigrun Eng.

Recorded at Jønnbu Fjellkyrkje January 29th – February 1st 2018.
Sound engineer, mixing and mastering: Fridtjof Lindeman
Cover design, artwork: Amund Sjølie Sveen, based on photo by Knut Utler
Produced by: Anne Hytta


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Tokso Oslo, Norway

TOKSO consists of four musicians, Anne Hytta and Sigrun Eng from Norway, Eleonore Billy from France and Kelly Thoma from Greece. Tokso performs their own compositions with virtuosity and musicality, accenting the freshness of new creation and the freedom of innovation. Their instruments are Cretan lyra, Swedish nyckelharpa, Norwegian hardanger fiddle and cello, which give Tokso a unique sound. ... more

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