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Following her acclaimed 2021 release 'Blikan', which has seen Strange gain international recognition in the form of over 1 million plays on Spotify and reviews in wide-reaching publications including Downbeat magazine.
The record is a melancholic, spacious, Nordic ode to the circle of life, both literally and conceptually. Recorded by four musicians (her "dream team") arranged in a circle, the compositions reflect on those she loves, and those she has loved and lost.
It begins with a song dedicated to the grandmother she lost when she was eight years old as well as to her daughter, both who share the name 'Alice'. 'Byssan Lull' is an interpretation of a lullaby Cecilie sings to her children, taught to her by her husband who had it sung to him by his mother when he was a child. 'Where My Heart Lives' is dedicated to her husband, with whom she has spent half of her life. 'Midnight Sun Upon Saltværsoya' was inspired by witnessing the eternal light on a small island off the coast of Norway.
Lyrical, lamenting melodies are the focal point of 'Beyond', emerging from every corner of the ensemble and removing the boundaries between the improvised and the composed. Experienced ensemble playing, comforting harmony and sparse, intentional musicality create a sense of delicate intensity that demands to be listened to.
This 'dream' quartet of pianist Peter Rosendal, drummer Jakob Hoyer and bassist Thommy Andersson accompanied Cecilie on her previous two bodies of work. "The mutual understanding and musical chemistry between us allows for a freer approach to ensemble playing" she commented. There were no discussions regarding who would take what solo - the four simply arranged themselves in a circle and played. The result - with the addition of guest vocalist Josefine Cronholm on two tracks - is a dynamic, emotive and interactive recording that oozes togetherness and intimacy.