Two great voices meet in the lullaby.
The stage is set for a meeting between two truly remarkable voices when Solveig Slettahjell and Mahsa Vahdat join together, singing duets based on new and classic lyrics in Persian and Norwegian.
Mahsa Vahdat was born in Tehran, where female singing in public was made illegal after the revolution. Instead, the world has become her stage. She has made a name for herself with personal and masterful interpretations of Persian music, often performing with her sister Marjan Vahdat. She is loved by audiences all over the world, in her home country and in the Iranian diaspora. Ever since she participated in Kirkelig Kulturverksted's "Lullabies from the Axis of Evil" in 2004, she has had strong ties to the record label and several artists from the Norwegian scene. In 2010, she was awarded the Freemuse Award for her work.
Solveig Slettahjell is one of Norway's greatest jazz singers, and has been an integral part of the Norwegian scene since her debut with the Slow Motion Orchestra in 1997. She is the recipient of the Spellemann prize, Radka Toneffs Minnepris and the Buddy prize, the highest award in Norwegian jazz. Slettahjell is known for a vast range, from the intimate to the overpowering, where her background in gospel music comes to the forefront.
They have two outstanding musicians with them - Tord Gustavsen (grand piano and electronics) and Sjur Miljeteig (trumpet and electronics). The collaboration began in 2021 with "Lullaby of the sea" - a new lullaby written by Erik Hillestad and Atabak Elyasi (lyrics) and Mahsa Vahdat (melody). It is about the 1-year-old boy Artin from Iran who died together with his family during an attempt to cross the English Channel in October 2020. The body of the boy washed ashore on Karmøy in January 2021. The situation in Iran over the past year, where women in particular have joined the fight for change in the aftermath of the murder of Mashsa Amini in September 2022, is part of the political backdrop. It has become a concert performance which will move and engage the listener, with messages of comfort and unity .
Lullaby of the sea: Exile and women's rights in Iran
After the concert, a conversation will be held with Erik Hillestad, Solveig Slettahjell and Mahsa Vahdat as part of the Beyond Music program during the festival.
The talk emphasizes the importance of music in promoting understanding, empathy, and social awareness, and how art can inspire audiences to think critically about social issues and connect with others across cultural and linguistic barriers.