Whether using words or singing without them, designing melodies or sounding space, Eldbj¸rg Raknes is lyrical and subtle, expressive and contained at the same time.
Born in 1970 in Norway, Eldbj¸rg Raknes has been active as a composer and vocalist since 1991. While still a student at the Trondheim Music Conservatory together with her colleagues Tone Åse, Kristin Asbj¸rnsen and Solveig Slettahjell she established a cappella improvising quartet Kvitretten, exploring the possibilities and abilities of vocal ensemble singing. Still actively performing today, the Quartet has earned critical acclaim as one of the most extraordinary phenomena in the vocal music scene. Kvitretten has recorded 3 very successful albums: Voices (1996, Norwegian Grammy nomination), Everything Turns (1999) and Kloden er en snurrebass som snurrer oss (2002, joined project with composer Christian Wallumr¸d and poet Torgeir Rebbolledo Pedersen).
In 1996-1999 Eldbj¸rg Raknes led yet another a cappella group - experimental ensemble ESE with Sidsel Endresen and Elin Rosseland, where their free improvisations were enhanced by Bugge Wesseltoft's electronic effects. In 1999 ESE vocalists, nicknamed "vocal extremists", recorded an album Gack.
Leader of and composer for her own groups since 1992, Eldbj¸rg Raknes has made her recording debut in this capacity in 1997 with album TINGeLING, recorded with her Quartet. This album features original compositions, written to lyrics by eminent writers such as Ernest Hemingway, Rudyard Kipling and Pablo Neruda among others.
The discography of this versatile artist amounts to 15 albums. She has collaborated and recorded with Ketil Bj¸rnstad, Havard Lund, Jon Balke, groups S¸yr, Bodega Band, Sonus and others, performed with Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, and improvised in duo with Bobby McFerrin. In addition to Kvitretten and TINGeLING Eldbj¸rg Raknes performs solo, as a duo with Swedish bass player Anders Jormin, writes music for theatre, teaches at the Trondheim Conservatory and produces music and acts for children - with which she has experienced great success for more than 10 years!
After spending a number of years working with vocal a cappella groups, honing her skills in free improvisations and exploring vocal possibilities, in 2002 Eldbj¸rg Raknes started performing solo. Today, empowered by the electronics, she sings a cappella with herself. Vilnius Jazz brings just this kind of concert from unique Norwegian vocalist to the Lithuanian audiences.