When Kirkelig Kulturverksted (KKV) started in 1974, the idea was to break down the walls between the secular, contemporary culture and the church. The idea has been to show that the latter probably is the most important foundation of most of the art in the Western world. Through the years breaking down walls has become an extended issue for KKV. Whether it has been between conservative and liberal groups in Norway, between different musical styles under various hemispheres of the planet, or between different religions and political systems, KKV has always loved the idea of provoking the consciousness of rules and stiff thoughts about genres, religious systems and dogmas.
One of the most important walls KKV has tried to turn down is the one between the artist and the listener. In order to do that, the company has developed a philosophy of sound that tries to be as true as possible to the original sound of the voices and instruments. This fidelity to a natural acoustic sound is maybe the reason why many of our records have been appreciated by producers of loudspeakers and sound-equipment in many countries.
We owe special thanks to three engineers, who with efforts and fidelity beyond imagination have helped us with fulfilling this ambition:
Alf Christian Hvidsteen was a part of the team that once started the company. As engineer in many productions, especially those recorded in authentic locations, like churches, concert halls, vineries, monasteries or narrow pubs, he has been a true searcher for quality and an inspiring partner.
Jan Erik Kongshaug is the head of the famous Rainbow Studio in Oslo. His musical sense, professionalism and ability to create living rooms and “soundscapes” with a sophisticated series and combinations of reverbs and delays are important reasons behind the quality we have achieved.
Björn Engelmann of Cutting Room in Stockholm has mastered almost all of our records since 1987. His magic final touch on all productions, his sense of what musical elements that deserves focus, his concern for the dynamic element when building the structure of a record have had the greatest influence on the results.
Lullabies from the Axis of Evil
Having been involved in 300 record-productions, most of them as a producer, I would like to give you the following message:
I have very seldom taken part in projects of which I truly can say that they changed me as a person. It might have happened four or five times before. Now it has happened again.
The album contains 14 lullabies from Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Palestine, Syria, Afghanistan and Cuba. Every lullaby is presented in its original form sung by women from these countries, and then a western version with interpretations in English sung by singers like Nina Hagen (Germany), Eddi Reader (Scotland – Fairground Attraction), Sarah Jane Morris (England), Lila Downs (USA/Mexico) and Mimi (USA) is attached to it, within a musical landscape composed by Knut Reiersrud. Thus the record forms 14 small musical bridges between east and west.
In the world of today, there is a need of the power of lullabies. They are more reliable than most of the hits we find on the charts these days. They will remain when most of the digital dust from the porous music business has fallen to the ground. They are the point where the cultures and civilisations of the earth meet each other, or rather the common starting-point from which they grow into diversity.
In the world of today the lullabies are more sustain than the weapons of Bush and Al-Qaida.
But it is not a given fact that all people hear them. It is not a given fact that the mothers’ voices are heard at all. Most of what the media brings us is the language of power, generally spoken by men.
Good music has a great value! It has the ability of changing people’s attitudes and minds. People who bring about and sell music do an important job in the world today! You know your audience, and how to reach them. This is a work of peace.