Formed in 2013 by pianist Herborg Rundberg as part of her Masters degree in Rhythmic Music at the Tromsø Conservatory, LEAGUS became the contemporary and experimental music duo that it is today when Herborg was joined by guitarist Kristian Svalestad Olstad, who coincidentally also received his Masters degree in the same subject two years earlier.
Following the release of two albums, LEAGUS were commissioned by the NORTH NORWEGIAN JAZZ ENSEMBLE in 2021 to write a piece for a ten-member orchestra, which resulted in Herborg and Kristian composing and arranging the piece “Flora Eallin”, which will now be released in full by Is it Jazz? Records.
By way of introduction, the label has released the track “Hyperion” from the album, and you can stream it, or download it from a variety of services at https://link.isitjazzrecords.no/Leagus_Hyperion
A video of LEAGUS performing the track “Hyperion” directed by Norwegian photographer and artist Martin Losvik, and featuring the NORTH NORWEGIAN JAZZ ENSEMBLE, can be seen below.
Losvik is well known for his distinctive style that can contain elements of humour, surrealism and darkness. The video is the result of Martin being given free hands to do his visual interpretation of this musical project.
As regards the track itself, LEAGUS had this to say:
This song is the final track of the one hour long commissioned piece “Flora Eallin”, which we wrote for Nordnorsk Jazz Ensemble. The piece is an ode to plant life. The song “Hyperion” is named after the world’s tallest living tree and therefore marks the symbolic ending of the piece.
“Flora Eallin” features the NORTH NORWEGIAN JAZZ ENSEMBLE and will be released on the 28 April in CD, Digital and Double LP formats. With cover art and design by Martin Losvik, track listing is as follows:
“Flora Eallin” is now available to pre-order from:
Over the years the duo have worked extensively on finding new, and different, interactions between the piano and the guitar, leading them to develop for LEAGUS a new and progressive kind of musical togetherness. LEAGUS’ sound is thus highly dynamic with musical contrasts playing a big part in their concept, and alternates between formal composed parts, open structures and free improvisation that at times feel like subdued, minimalistic psalm-like pieces, whilst at other times makes use of more rock-oriented improvised parts.
The name LEAGUS is actually Sami slang for asking for something, and originates in the area in which Herborg herself was born. It is her Sami background, and her work with traditional and classical music, along with Kristian´s extended use of guitar and electronics, that forms the basis of LEAGUS’ sound, which has, over time, developed into an exploratory and complex sonic universe.
On stage the duo are known for their energetic and visual concerts, and more information about LEAGUS can be found on the band’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/leagusleagus or on their website at http://www.leagusband.com