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New Age Music in Norway


norwaymapFor those who are interested, here is a short presentation of Norwegian New Age music. Unlike the US, there was never a “1980s golden age of New Age music”, and the genre has never been even close to mainstream. Today Norway is actually most famous for the darkest of death metal – but it has given the New Age music community some truly great artists too.

The most important event was without a doubt Secret Garden’s 1995 Eurovision song contest winning song Nocturne. I’m just going to stop here and show you the video, because this is a major thing in New Age music history. Never before or after have a song in our genre won a competition like this.

This was the beginning of Secret Garden’s massive success (which has also given us the “You raise me up” phenomenon too).

But to see the Norwegian impact on new age music, we have to look a bit back into the 1970s and the history of Jazz – where Norwegian Jan Garbarek had a large impact and influenced many artists, also in the NA music genre.

In the 1980s and 90s, the group Bel Canto released albums that one could label as ethereal dreampop – but really is new age pop (in a highly creative way). The artist Biosphere must also be mentioned in this context.

One of the finest artists is our genre, which was released by the Windham Hill label and had several songs on the Billboard new age chart, is Øystein Sevåg (lots of Norwegian letters in his name). His music is still among the most popular albums on eMusic and he continues to amaze with each new release.

We must not forget Erik Wøllo – which is a major star in our genre too (and in the more electronic/ambient field), and has been active since the early 1980s

A very popular Norwegian New Age artist is Amethystium. The man behind the name is Øystein Ramfjord. His highly melodic synth music has made him a favorite on many online stations.

Other notable Norwegian artists are Egil Fylling (http://www.egilfylling.no/ ) Helge Krabye (Homeless Balloon – a Circle member),  Bjorn Lynne (also in the ambient/electronika genres).

Yes, Norway is a small country (about 5 million citizens), but has a lot to offer in New Age music category. Please tell about new age music in your country – and if you know about other Norwegian new age artists, please let me know