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  • World Music as an artistic resarch field is ment to inspire the education of musicians, both as soloists. members of varied ensembles and researchers.
  • To provide the opportunity for specialization in different genres of Folk Music, Traditional Norwegian Music and other different World Music collaborations.
  • The research results provide both practical and theoretical insight.
  • A key point for the research group will be networking and further collaborations with existing partners in Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia, China, Lebanon, Tanzania and Sweden as well as other partners. The World Music research group has several employees who through their artistic work and career have established a strong international position in the world music genre.
  • The academic research in World Music area is a new scientific field and therefore academically interesting and challenging.

Les nyheter og mer informasjon fra UiAs Popular Music Research Unit



This artistic research area is directed towards the education of musicians both as a soloist and musicians in various ensembles as well as being part of the research work at the World Music studies. The upcoming master study in World Music provides the opportunity to specialization within different genres of folk, traditional Norwegian music and World Music concept, how exciting musical collaboration will be in focus. In addition, both the research and education provide both practical and theoretical insights. A key element of this field will be networking and further cooperation with existing partners in Nepal, Cambodia, China and Tanzania. The academic community has several employees who through their artistic work have strong international position within the genre World Music.

The University of Agder is one of few universities who has a focus on World Music as a academic research area at the master education level and in the Ph.D program. The university has employees who are already established artists and composers in the world music scene and it is natural that their capacity both as artists and researchers is further developed. 

The research project Music Without Borders (http://musicwithoutborders.project.uia.no)–led by Project Leader Professor Bjørn Ole Rasch and assistant project leader Associate Professor Ingolv Haaland – is linked to this research group. 

The project was in 2014 awarded NOK 2,3 million from the Artistic Research Programme (http://artistic-research.no/en/), which represents almost a quarter of the national provisions on the field. Two of our then research fellows was linked to this group. 

A project like this gives us the opportunity to specialization within different genres of folk, traditional Norwegian music and World Music concept, where musical collaborations will be in focus. In addition, both the research and education will provide both practical and theoretical insights. A key element of this field will be networking and further cooperation with existing partners around the world. The World Music research group have already established musical and academic collaborations in Asia, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Current Projects

Current Projects


Folk music in slow motion

Idiomatic material slowed down and zoomed in for modular synthesizer

Egil Tobias Kalman

PhD Research Fellow

In the process of isolating and freezing momentary expressions of idiomatic details of tuning, phrasing and rhythms found in traditional Scandinavian music, the aim for this project is to construct musical materials that will serve as a basis for real-time composition and performance for the modula synthesizer, both in a solo context and in small ensembles.

These musical details, by sounding in a different sonic environment and over extended time-periods, serves to highlight the underlying principles and parameters at work in new ways, and thereby expanding the language of the modular synthesizer, as well as to alternative sound aesthetics and ways of interpreting traditional Scandinavian music.

Utilizing the neutral nature of synthesized sound, the project aims to explore qualities intrinsic to folk music in a way where the musical foundation and inspiration of traditional music is felt rather than explicitly heard.

It is a project that explores the use minimalist compositional techniques for interpreting traditional folk music from Sweden and Norway on modular synthesizer, both as a live solo instrument and in small ensemble settings.

By zooming in on idiomatic details of tuning, phrasing, and groove, and placing them in a different sonic environment over extended time-periods, my aim is to highlight the underlying transcendental possibilities of this music.

In doing so I hope to investigate the following questions and to share my process, results and reflections with listeners and readers.

•How can the non-associative quality of synthesized sound allow musical material from folk music to be experienced in a different way?

•How can I process this musical material through improvisation and compositional techniques from minimalist music?

•How can I place this musical material in an abstract sonic environment?

Implicit in these questions is an artistic enquiry of these topics, I’m trying to give possible answers to them through making music!

Following are some of the results so far in the project:
A solo version of ‘Norafjells’ from the practice room:


My own composition played on a ‘Synthi 100’ in Athens:


A duo concert with fiddler Hans P. Kjorstad:





Idunn Sem

Assistant Professor

Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Agder


The maturation project “Folkemusikkmaskinen”, Art, artificial intelligence and cultural heritage will explore one new opportunity space, where audiences outside the field get to experience folk music in new ways. 

Created not by leaving the folk music discipline, but by using practices and ideas from the field as creative tools in pairs with new digital technology such as artificial intelligence (AI), 3D sound and 3D visualization. A space of opportunity where the folk music dissemination moves out of its habit arenas, partly invisible to those without expertise, and into the shared, physical space, and the greater ecology of production, sharing and consumption of digitized expressions that surround us.


 “Folk music machine. Art, artificial intelligence and cultural heritage ” will explore and concretize the following:

 · How to create hybrid and innovative experiences of folk music using new technology?

 · How to make qualities visible, actualize and create interest in cultural heritage through the audience's participation and experience? 

· Can the project benefit from the potential of folk music, with its strong ties to local identity and belonging, in new inclusive and innovative ways?


“The folk music machine. Art, artificial intelligence and cultural heritage ” will with the help of new digital technology such as AI, interspersed with possibilities such as immersive 3D sound and 3D visualization, explore the possibilities of taking the folk music dissemination out of its partly inaccessible arenas, invisible to those without expertise. The public, physical space, and into the larger ecology of production, sharing and consumption of digitized expressions that surround us.

 · Use the cultural heritage to both root for ourselves in a fragmented and global contemporary, and at the same time build a sense of "togetherness".

 · Use folk music as an analogy to better understand an AI technology that is increasingly shaping our lives. 


Like folk music, machine learning (part of artificial intelligence) is characterized by and over time generates new versions over a data set (here; traditional material). A locally based project can create an initial understanding and interest in AI technology, which is a prerequisite for influencing a technology development that is characterized by low representation. We work with the following ideas for hybrid and innovative forms of communication that can serve to exemplify the potential that lies in the project: 

1. A larger, immersive sound installation in physical space (with or without responsive VR visualization of the sound, with or without live actors, and with or without interactive audience involvement, such as how audiences can add fireflies to The Dream in collaboration with The Shakespear Company). The installation can develop over time according to the following parameters; 

a. site-specific (Setesdal, Telemark, multicultural) 

b. instrument 

c. complexity (small, simple melodies versus complex) 

2. Several small AI installations that listen and include new sounds (nature sounds, city sounds) into the folk music database, which then generates new ones, site-specific variations over time 

3. Live improvisation between culture carriers and AI generated soundscape 

4. Non-verbal search in the database of folk music in public spaces, using the audience's own playlist on its own mobile.



Bjørn Ole Rasch 


During the recordings for the "FERD" album there was a lot of unused source and response material. More than 1,8 TB (Terrabyte) of audiorecordings was done in 16 different studios all over the world. They all are recorded with the highest technical quality and has great musical performances. 

What we are trying to achieve is to create a database of the the recorded research material. To create indexes and other search options for the music like: Country, Musical scales, Instruments, Harmonic information and musical motivs and frases. As well as trying to combine the material both scientifically and musically we also have a great opportunity to make a follow-up to the FERD album which has been a tremendous success internationally. 

The recorded material will be made accessible for the master students at the popular music studies at University of Agder. Especially at the Electronic Music studies there are so many artistic possibilities to combine the recordings with the students own interpretations. The MWB project must be seen as an "umbrella" for the artistic research work in the World Music Science group. There are so many academic possibilities with the material both for the researcher and the musician and also create cross-over projects with the other science groups at the Popular Music studies. We look upon the use of the recordings and the research possibilities as an academic signature for the Faculty of Fine Arts.

Previous Projects

Annbjørg Lien

PhD Research Fellow

Retune: A Toolbox for Music Making – Based on Folk Music from Setesdal: 

This work is a artistic research in popular musicology. The research is based on the material that was collected and recorded for the artistic research project "Music Without Borders".The purpose of this practice-based research is to explore idiomatic qualities on the Hardanger Fiddle and look at how such qualities are used by the traditional Hardanger Fiddle master Andres Rysstad from Setesdal. Separated from the analytical basis, I will explore what other ways such qualities (tools) can be assembled in the process of music making and what aesthetic assessments I add to the various possibilities the material provides.

The idiomatic qualities will be framed in groupings of rhythm, melodic structure and The Grip. Out of my knowledge no theory exists on The Grip issue, and I will therefore attempt to propose new terms in this regard. My assumption is that The Grip may hold central functions within the traditional Hardanger Fiddle tunes.

Gap in field: Lack of performance studies mentioned by different scholars i.e. Derek Scott, Richard Middleton. Lack of scope on the actual artistic process. In folk music research, tonality is the main focus in Scandinavia where idiomatic qualities are mentioned in such perspective but not researched on its own terms.

The study can also be understood as ethnographic because of the cultural and social settings of Setesdal is part of the foundation for analysis through fieldwork and theory. It can also be understood as auto-ethnografic by being involved in analyzing a traditional material.

The project «Retune» will be finalized autumn 2019 and a CD covering the artistic research results with new composed music will be recorded summer 2019. Produced by Bjørn Ole Rasch.

Solveig Korum Manga

PhD Research Fellow

Values and Practices: A Study of two Multi-Agency Musical Development Projects in Palestine and Sri Lanka.

The title of Research Fellow Solveig Korum Manga’s PhD project is Values and Practices: A Study of two Multi-Agency Musical Development Projects in Palestine and Sri Lanka. From 1999 to 2009, Norwegian development aid to cultural projects in the Global South grew from an annual contribution of 58 to 128 millions NOK. Throughout that period to this present day, Concerts Norway (CN, now Kulturtanken- Arts for Young Audiences Norway) has been the biggest grant receiver in the field, operating MFA-financed long-term musical development programmes in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America.

Other than regular activity reports and occasional external reviews, little documentation and/or research exists about what can be termed the “CN model for music and development”. Since 2000, the model has been implemented in thirteen countries with societal goals ranging from music for peace and reconciliation to music programmes for educational purposes, stimulation of local creative industries and more.

This doctoral research examines how the CN model has been operationalized in Palestine (2004-2017) and in Sri Lanka (2009-2018): What are the main characteristics of these musical development projects? How do the actors’ perceptions and discourses about music get translated into programme activities for “nation building” (Palestine) or as a contribution to “peace and reconciliation” (Sri Lanka)? What link (if any) exists between the parties’ (CN, MFA, local partners) interpretation of musical meaning and the reported deliverables of these projects?

The research also includes a study of the involved parties´ legitimization work and how this effects their program decisions and interactions with each other. Of special interest will be to analyze the weight of artistic arguments versus civic goals and investigate the question whether the logics they follow are ultimately compatible.

Ingolv Haaland

Associate professor and PhD Research Fellow

PhD research fellow in popular music: Intercultural musical collaboration – Towards a global sound. 

The dissertation is artistic-scientific and contains both a written as well as an artistic performing part published as a webpage (pending review). The artistic research contains four albums developed through field work in music studios in Lebanon,Thailand and Cambodia.


Music Without Borders


Traditional music from Setesdal in meeting with world musicians

The starting point for the project is a set of recordings by Norwegian folk-musicians of Norwegian folk-songs in the “stev og slåtte” (stave and tune) tradition of Setesdal in Agder. These studio-produced video and audio recordings will be passed on to performers from other parts of the world for them to respond to. Their musical responses will form the basis for a digitally interactive process using the latest music technology: portable studio / laptop, Dropbox and Skype. Participants will also meet in person to continue their work in joint seminars and workshops at the various partner institutions.

The project is based on the following two-part problem as presented:

  1. How do performers from other cultures respond to traditional Norwegian music from Setesdal, and how do Norwegian artists / performers respond to these responses?
  2. In further developing the musical material, what are the implications of the different instruments of world music? What tonal and rhythmical challenges and opportunities do they offer when developing a new sound?

The final results of the project will be made publicly available on CD and DVD, and in the form of video installations that presents a selection of the musical responses submitted during the working process. The video installations will also form an opportunity for live responses from various musicians. The artist Jeremy Welsh will take charge of developing these video installations. Other presentational formats will include public concerts, seminars and studio sessions.

One major resource for this project is the international network built up by PhD research fellow Annbjørg Lien and Project leader Professor Bjørn Ole Rasch, which has been documented in their own album releases, most of them nominated for the Norwegian Grammy Spellemann prize.

Assistant project leader and research fellow Ingolv Haaland also has several years’ experience of working with musical projects in Southeast Asia and The Middle East.

The first part of the project was finalized in March 2018 with the international release of the album FERD.

The Modern Ancient Voice

Anneli Drecker

Associate Professor

The goal of this artistic research project is to explore and research what I call “The Modern Ancient Voice” in order to be able to develop my voice and ways of singing. The term “ancient voice” refers to the voice as the first ever instrument within ancient societies where song was a vital part of the human´s expression, cult and religion as described by John Koopman in A brief history of singing.

Throughout the project i will seek to push my artistic barriers trying to merge singing techniques and vocal expressions that derive from ancient time with today´s contemporary music to add something unique and new to the popular music scene.

Through observations during master classes with chosen mentors, musical co-operations and studies of several ancient singing techniques, I wish to obtain new singing techniques and aesthetic expressions as well as reveal the ancient voice receding in my body.

The project was finalized the 28th of January 2019 at the Arctic University, Tromsø. Main supervisor: Professor Bjørn Ole Rasch





  • 2023
  • Bjørn Ole Rasch - Artistic research presentation Setesdalsmuseet, Rysstad Mai 2023
  • Egil Kalman & Zoe Efstathiou Contemporary Music Research Center KSYME – Athens
  • Egil Kalman & Zoe Efstathiou Echoraum, Vienna
  • Egil Kalman & Zoe Efstathiou Inkomst- Malmø
  • Marthe Lea Band featuring Egil Kalman - Skien Jazzdraget
  • Egil Kalman Solo Gorrlaus Motvindsfestivalen, Stavanger
  • Egil Kalman Solo Gorrlaus - Numedal Middelalderfestival
  • Egil Kalman – Forskerskolen, Oslo
  • Egil Kalman – Folkmusikkforum , Norges Musikkhøgskole
  • Bjørn Ole Rasch «FERD» Music Without Borders” Vågsbygd Videregående Gymnas as part of the series “Meet a scientist” from the University of Agder
  • Egil Kalman “Folk Music in Slow Motion”. World Music Master presentation. University of Agder
  • 2022
  • Bjørn Ole Rasch «FERD - Music Without Borders” Arendalsuka 2022
  • Annbjørg Lien “Retune” World Music Master presentation. University of Agder.
  • Egil Kalman & Hans P. Kjorstad «Folk Music in Slow Motion» Research forum days at the University of Agder
  • Sigbjørn Nedland «Music/Retur» the 27th of January. University of Agder
  • 2021
  • Bjørn Ole Rasch «FERD» Music Without Borders November 2021 at Dahlske College, Grimstad, as part of the series “Meet a scientist” from the University of Agder
  • Sigbjørn Nedland «World Music´s Cultural History part 2» University of Agder October 2021.
  • Annbjørg Lien “Artistic development and observations” University of Agder October 2021
  • 2020
  • Sigbjørn Nedland «Global Music´s Cultural History, digitalizing and trading» University of Agder, the11th of March 2020
  • Annbjørg Lien «Retune, Artistic Research from the Valley of Setesdal» University of Agder, April 2020.
  • Bjørn Ole Rasch/Annbjørg Lien «Konsertforedrag Grenseløs Musikk» Kilden, Kristiansand the 3rd of March 2020
  • Anneli Drecker «The Modern Ancient Voice» University of Agder the 16th of March
  • Bjørn Ole Rasch «Ferd, Music Without Borders» University of Limerick, World Music and Dance Academy in Limerick, Irland the 17th of February
  • 2019
  • Solveig Korum: «Music and International Aid» 2019
  • Bjørn Ole Rasch «Exploring, Recording and Producing the World Music project FERD» Symposium, Høgskolen Kristiania, Oslo, Norway the 26th of February 2019
  • Sigbjørn Nedland «World Music´s Cultural History» University of Agder October 2019.
  • Anneli Drecker «The Modern Ancient Voice» Høgskolen Kristiania, Oslo, Norway,May 2019
  • Bjørn Ole Rasch/Annbjørg Lien «Grenseløs Musikk» The Norwegian Medical Association´s annual conference, Kristiansand, Norway the 4th of June 2019
  • Bjørn Ole Rasch/Annbjørg Lien «FERD» Relief organisation «Blåkors» Kristiansand, Norway the 9th of May 2019
  • Bjørn Ole Rasch «FERD, Music Without Borders» WOMEX Internation Wold Music Expo Tallin, Finland October 2019
  • Bjørn Ole Rasch «Presenting the World Music Artistic Research at the University of Agder» WOMEX Internation Wold Music Expo Tallin, Finland October 2019
  • Bjørn Ole Rasch «FERD, Music Without Borders» Kristiansand Kunstforening, August 2019
  • Annbjørg Lien/Bjørn Ole Rasch «Konsertforedrag Grenseløs Musikk» Kristianand Kunstforening September 2019
  • 2018
  • Bjørn Ole Rasch «Music Without Borders» MIDI School of Music, Bejing, China the 12th of December 2018
  • UIA World Music Masterstudents Richard Andreas Salvesen, Kristoffer Hanssen and Mathias Degnevoll Øren «Presenting the World Music studies at the University of Agder» Jeunesses Musical International, Førde Culture House the 18th of November 2018 
  • Solveig Korum «Development Brokers or Cultural Translators? Analyzing the roles of intermediaries in a musical development project» (2018)
  • Bjørn Ole Rasch «World Music and Artistic Resesrch» Jeunesses Musical International, Førde Culture House the 19th of November 2018 
  • 2017
  • Solveig Korum «Values and practises: A Study of Two Multi-Agency Musial development projects in Palestine and Sri Lanka» 2017
  • Bjørn Ole Rasch/Ingolv Haaland «Traditional music from Setesdal in meeting with world musicians» Womex World Expo, Katowice, Poland the 21st of November 2017
  • Korum Solveig «International partnerships in music education» 2017
  • Bjørn Ole Rasch «Exploring, Recording and Producing the World Music project FERD» Sami Music Week, Alta, Norway the 7th of February 2016
  • 2016
  • Bjørn Ole Rasch «Exploring, Recording and Producing the World Music project FERD» Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand, 2016
  • Bjørn Ole Rasch «Innovation and Continuation of the Traditional Music of Norway» Landeskogen Peace Center June 2016 
  • Ingolv Haaland/Bjørn Ole Rasch "World Music and Artistic Research at the University of Agder" NorTrad Conference, Tallin, Estland 20-22 of April 2016
  • 2015
  • Ingolv Haaland «Field work in music: Challenges and benefits of working in other cultures» 2015
  • Bjørn Ole Rasch/Ingolv Haaland/Jeremy Welsh «Music Without Borders 2nd Chapter» Artistic Research Forum, University of Agder, Norway, October 2015
  • Bjørn Ole Rasch/Ingolv Haaland «Music Without Borders» University of Gothenburg the 13th of October 2015
  • Bjørn Ole Rasch/Ingolv Haaland/Jeremy Welsh «Music Without Borders. The Last Chapter» Artistic Research Forum, Østfold College, Fredrikstad, Norway October 2015
  • Annbjørg Lien, Kirsten Bråten Berg, Bjørn Ole Rasch, Karl Oluf Wennerberg: «Nystev/Nordafjells» Artistic Research Forum, University of Agder, Norway the 21st of October 2015
  • 2014
  • Bjørn Ole Rasch/Ingolv Haaland «Music Without Borders 1st Chapter» Artistic Research Forum, Tromsø October 2014. 

Publications and Productions


Music Publications and Productions


  • 2022
  • «Kingdom of Bells – Egil Kalman plays the Synthi 100”. iDeal Records
  • “1000 Bitar” Miman featuring Egil Kalman. Motvind Records
  • «Prince Purple» Single/digital release from Annbjørg Liens PhD project “Reune” Produced and arranged by Bjørn Ole Rasch
  • “Amazon” Single/digital release from Annbjørg Liens PhD project «Retune». Produced and arranged by Bjørn Ole Rasch 
  • JANUS Album/CD/Digital release Annbjørg Lien based on the PhD project “Retune”. Grappa Records International. Produced and arranged by Bjørn Ole Rasch 
  • 2021
  • «The Old Fabled River» Alisdair Roberts & Vølvur featuring Egil Kalman. Drag City Records
  • Sheila Simmenes «Love was Easy” Album/CD/Digital release by SheMusic.no. World Music album based on brasilian folk music, jazz and Norwegian folk music. Produced by Bjørn Ole Rasch.
  • Annbjørg Lien «The Clock is ticking» Single/digital release from Annbjørg Liens PhD project «Retune». Produced and arranged by Bjørn Ole Rasch 
  • Sheila Simmenes “Could be Love” Single/digital release by She Music.no. Produced by Bjørn Ole Rasch
  • Sheila Simmenes “Snåle mi Jente” Single/digital release by She Music.no. Produced by Bjørn Ole Rasch
  • Sheila Simmenes “Brazil” Single/digital release by She Music. Produced by Bjørn Ole Rasch
  • Sheila Simmenes “Same old Song” Single/digital release by She Music. Produced by Bjørn Ole Rasch
  • The Balgyp Band “Balkan Voyage” EP/Digital release. Produced by Bjørn Ole Rasch
  • 2020
  • Sheila Simmenes “Si Ka Du Vil” Single/digital release by She Music. Produced by Bjørn Ole Rasch
  • 2019
  • Sheila Simmenes «Beautiful» She Records (2019) Produced by Bjørn Ole Rasch
  • 2018
  • Ingolv Haaland (2018). Dawara [CD] Norway, Cambodia, Lebanon. (C-Lounge Records) Produced by Ingolv Haaland
  • Various Artists «Music Without Borders» (2018) FERD (Grappa Records International) Arranged by Bjørn Ole Rasch and Ingolv Haaland. Produced by Bjørn Ole Rasch
  • 2017
  • Anneli Drecker (2017) Revelation For Personal Use (Rune Grammofon). Produced by Anneli Drecker
  • 2015
  • Annbjørg Lien (2016) Drifting like a Bird [CD]  Grappa Producer by Bjørn Ole Rasch
  • Ingolv Haaland feat. Synth. (2015). Asian Flow [CD] Norway, Thailand: (C-Lounge Records) Produced by Ingolv Haaland
  • Ingolv Haaland & Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra. (2015). Live in Concert [CD] Norway, Cambodia, Lebanon: (C-Lounge Records) Produced by Ingolv Haaland
  • Anneli Drecker (2015) Rocks And Straws (Rune Grammofon), lyrics by Roy-Frode Løvland, based on poems by Arvid Hanssen. Produced by Anneli Drecker
  • 2014
  • Ingolv Haaland feat. Ouch Savy. (2014). Asian Flow [CD] Norway, Cambodia: (C-Lounge Records) Produced by Ingolv Haaland
  • 2013
  • Sondre Bratland/Annbjørg Lien (2013) Alle Vegne [CD] Kirkelig Kulturverkste d. Produced by Bjørn Ole Rasch
  • 2012
  • Annbjørg Lien (2012) Khoom Loy [CD]  Grappa Produced by Bjørn Ole Rasch
  • 2009
  • Bjørn Ole Rasch & Annbjørg Lien (2009) Come Home  [CD] (Grappa Records) Produced by Bjørn Ole Rasch
  • 2008
  • Bjørn Ole Rasch & Annbjørg Lien (2008) Roquebrune [CD & Art]with artists Kjell Nupen, Magne Furholmen, Elisabeth Werp, Bjørg Thorilldotter and Per Fronth (Grappa/BIZ Records)  Produced by Bjørn Ole Rasch
  • Annbjørg Lien (2008) Waltz with Me [CD] (Grappa Records) Produced by Annbjørg Lien
  • 2005
  • Anneli Drecker (2005) Frolic (Capitol Records) Produced by Anneli Drecker
  • 2004
  • Bukkene Bruse (2004) Spel (Grappa Records) Produced by Bjørn Ole Rasch
  • 2003
  • Bjørn Ole Rasch & Annbjørg Lien (2003) "40" [CD & Art] with artists Nico Widerberg, Ørnulf Opdahl, Kjell Nupen, Magne Furholmen and Per Fronth (Grappa/BIZ Records) Produced by Bjørn Ole Rasch
  • 2002
  • Bjørn Ole Rasch & Annbjørg Lien (2002) Music & Art in a Box [CD & Art] with artists Nico Widerberg, Ørnulf Opdahl, Tone Svaland Holberg og Per Fronth (Grappa/BIZ Records) Produced by Bjørn Ole Rasch
  • Annbjørg Lien (2002) Aliens Alive [CD] (Grappa Records) Produced by Bjørn Ole Rasch
  • Orbina (2002) Orbina II(DAT Records) Produced by Bjørn Ole Rasch
  • 2001
  • Annbjørg Lien (2001) Fragrance of Norway (Dreamboat Records) Produced by Bjørn Ole Rasch
  • Various Artists (2001) Northern Nights-Music from the Top of the World (Norside Records) Tracks Produced by Bjørn Ole Rasch
  • 2000
  • Various Artists (2000) Nordic Roots  (Norside Records) Track Produced by Bjørn Ole Rasch
  • Bukkene Bruse (2001) Den Fagraste Rosa (Grappa Records) Produced by Bjørn Ole Rasch, Annbjørg Lien, Steinar Ofsdal, Arve Moen Bergset
  • Anneli Drecker (2000) Tundra (EMI Music)Produced by Anneli Drecker
  • 1999
  • Annbjørg Lien (1999) Baba Yaga [CD] (Grappa Records) Produced and arranged by Bjørn Ole Rasch
  • 1998
  • Bukkene Bruse (1998) Steinstolen (Grappa Records) Produced by Bjørn Ole Rasch, Annbjørg Lien, Steinar Ofsdal, Arve Moen Bergset
  • 1997
  • Bukkene Bruse «Åre» Annbjørg Lien, Bjørn Ole Rasch, Steinar Ofsdal and Arve Moen Bergset. Produced by Bukkene Bruse. Grappa Records International
  • 1996
  • Annbjørg Lien (1996) Prisme  Norway: (Grappa Records) Produced by Bjørn Ole Rasch and Annbjørg Lien





Workshops and Field Work

  • Recording at Artic Studios, Kautokeino. 16-17 April 2016. Engineered by Roger Ludvigsen. Recording musical dialogues and improvisation with Sara Marielle Gaup Beska, Per Tor Turi and Roger Ludvigsen.
  • Workshop at the University of Agder the 20th of October 2015. «Cambodian traditions» Ouch Savy , Yun Theara (Cambodia) and students at the popular music studies.
  • Recording at Kulturkirken Jacob the 23rd of May 2016. Engineered by Martin Abrahamsen. Recording musical dialogues and improvisation with Mahsa Vahdat (Iran).
  • Workshop at the University in Gothenburg the 12th of October 2015 . «Middle East improvisation» with Tareq Abboushi (Palestine), Elie Khury (Lebanon) and students at the World Music Studies at the University of Gothenburg
  • Workshop at the University in Gothenburg the 12th of October 2015 . «Middle East improvisation» with Tareq Abboushi (Palestine), Elie Khury (Lebanon) and students at the World Music Studies at the University of Gothenburg
  • Recording at Sanden Studios, Norway May/June 2017. Engineered by Roald Råsberg. Recording musical dialogues and improvisation with Rolf Kristensen, Pat Broaders (Irland), Fredrik Sahlander (Sweden), together with students from the World Music master studies at the University of Agder.
  • Recording at Sylvartun Studio 28th of June 2017. Engineered by Roald Råsberg. Recording musical responses based on the traditional music of Setesdal with Kirsten Bråten Berg, Hallvard Bjørgum, Gunnar Stubseid and Sigurd Brokke.
  • Recording at Aslam Khan Studios, Mumbai, India 6-7 November 2016. Engineered by Benvin Fernandes. Recording musical dialogues and improvisation with Sriboni Chaudhuri, Sandeep Misha, Anubrata Chatterjee and Ravi Chary.
  • Workshop at the University of Agder the 21th of October 2015. «Middle East string instruments» Tareq Abboushi (Palestine), Elie Khury (Lebanon) and the students at the popular music studies.
  • Recording at Cambodian Living Arts Studio, Cambodia September 2014. Engineered by Ingolv Haaland. Recording musical dialogues and improvisation with Ouch Savy and Yun Theara
  • Recording at Dynamic Studio, Thailand September 2014. Engineered by Panya Pirdpipat and Saranya Ruttanapun. Recording musical dialogues and improvisation with Nithitorn Hiranhankla and Saharat Chancalerm.
  • Workshop at the University of Agder, Norway the 19th of October 2015. «Middle East Percussion theory and practice» John Robert Handal (Palestine) and Rony Barrak (Lebanon) and the students at the popular music studies.
  • Recording at Hug Sound Studios, Udon Thani, Thailand the 9th of November 2016. Engineered by Sattawas Intarakasam and Kornkawin Duangdee. Recording musical dialogues and improvisation with Boonchung Dandung, Pongsapon Upani and Tontrakul Kaewyong.
  • Recording at Cocoloco Studio, Frankfurt, Germany the 1st of November 2016. Engineered by Chritoph Seipel. Recording musical dialogues and improvisation with Rasho Dlovani (Armenia).
  • Workshop at the University in Gothenburg, Sweden the 13th of October 2015 . «Cambodian Traditions» with Ouch Savy and Yun Theara (Cambodia)and students at the World Music Studies at the University of Gothenburg.
  • Recording at MIDI School of Music, Bejing, China the 20th of November 2016. Engineered by Wang Nan. Recording musical dialogues and improvisation with Mei Ru Zhang (China) , Lan Jing Ya (China) , Lin Fu (Tibet) and Zhou Nan (China).
  • Recording at Kongshavn Studios the 20th of August 2014. Engineered by Roald Råsberg. Source recordings of the traditional music of Setesdal with Kirsten Bråten Berg, Hallvard Bjørgum, Gunnar Stubseid and Sigurd Brokke.
  • Recording at Studio C, Kongshavn April 2017. Engineered by Bjørn Ole Rasch. Source responses and sound editing with Annbjørg Lien and Bjørn Ole Rasch.
  • Recording at The University of Agder Studio, Norway the 20th of October 2015. Engineered by Roald Råsberg. Middle East sessions with Tareq Abboushi (Palestine), Elie Khury (Lebanon), » John Robert Handal (Palestine), Rony Barrak (Lebanon), Ouch Savy and Yun Theara (Cambodia)
  • Recording at The University of Agder Studio, Norway the 22 of October 2016. Engineered by Roald Råsberg. Indonesian Gamelan percussion source and response recordings with the Indonesian Gamelan Ensemble featuring Ismet Ruchimat, Endang Ramdan, Budi Sofyan, Atang Suryawan, Rudi Mukhram and Asep yana Karyana.
  • Recording at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden the 3rd of February 2016. Engineered by Ingolv Haaland. Recording musical dialogues and improvisation with professor Jonas Simonson (UiG) and Ahmad Al Khatib (Jordan)
  • Recording at Nepal Music Studio, Khatmandu, Nepal September 2014. Engineered by Rajaye Gurung. Recording musical dialogues and improvisation Achuytram Bhandari, Durga Khatiwada and Prabhu Dhakat.


TV Coverage

NRK 1 FERD Recordings at Sylvartun Setesdal the 1st of May, 2017

NRK 1 «Dagsrevyen» Recording and presenting MWV at the University of Agder and Setesdal the 13th of February 2015  

(Go to Chapter 16)

NRK 1 «World Music Recodings and MWB seminars at the University of Agder»

TV Documentary (113 minutes)  «Music without Borders» 2018. Directed by Jeremy Welsh, Professor in Fine Arts, NTNU 

NRK 1 "Grenseløs Musikk" TV - Documentary following Annbjørg Lien and Bjørn Ole Rasch recording the World Music album "Khoom Loy" (2015) (60 minutes)

Newspaper and Radio Coverage

  • Korum Solveig "Kulturbistand i blinde"- debattinnlegg (m.fl) på Verdidebatt.no (2018).
  • Korum Solveig Norsk kulturbistand før og nå (Jungeltelegrafen NRK P2) (2018).
  • Bjørn Ole Rasch/Ingolv Haaland FERD (Jungeltelegrafen NRK P2 2017)
  • Annbjørg Lien/Bjørn Ole Rasch «Drifting like a Bird» Spillerom NRK P2 2016
  • Bjørn Ole Rasch/Jeremy Welsh/Roger Ludvigsen «Sami music responses to the source music of Setesdal» Kautokeino Radio the 9th of April 2016
  • Bjørn Ole Rasch/Annbjørg Lien «The Musical Journey of FERD» Klassekampen August 2017
  • Ingolv Haaland/Bjørn Ole Rasch «52 Musicians, 18 Countries and 16 Studios» Fædrelandsvennen January 2018
  • Bjørn Ole Rasch «World Music and artistic research at UiA» Fædrelandvennen november 2016


FERD/Music Without Borders 

Artistic Research Results and Critical Acclaim  

The album FERD was released digitally on all platforms in November 2017 and CD in Norway. It was published internationally onCD and digital download in May 2018. The project has receivedl critical acclaim and is important for the research work at the University of Agder seen from an international perspective. 


With 52 musicians from 18 different countries and a basis in the traditional music of Setesdal, Norway, Ferd has evolved into something unique. With 'Music Without Borders', the listener is presented with a window into a three-year artistic research project that has resulted in an incomparable record.

Project leader and producer Bjorn Ole Rasch has alongside some of Norway's premier interpreters and heritage keepers of the region of Setesdal, engaged in a musical dialogue with musical tradition through heartfelt musical encounters of musicians from vastly different backgrounds. 18 different countries are represented: Norway, Sweden, Ireland, Armenia, Romania, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, India, Indonesia, Cambodia. Thailand, Nepal, Iran, China, Mongolia and Tibet.

The initiators of the project, Kirsten Braten Berg, Sigurd Brokke, Gunnar Stubseid and Hallvard T. Bjorgum wanted to find out how different instruments from different parts of the world would affect the original material, and what tonal and rhythmical challenges and opportunities this encounter would produce in the search of a new soundscape.

The process was based on video and sound recordings of Norwegian folk musicians that had been forwarded to every corner of the world, to pick up musical response. Through an interactive process with portable studios and new digital technology, the musicians have been able to work together on the material though physically distanced. In addition, the collaboration has been continued through personal meetings, seminars and workshops.

Every tune on the record has evolved into a unique piece of music, in many of the cases far away from the original material. What initially could seem like a stiff research project at the university has become a fabulous and innovative pioneering work that is unparalleled.



Under the name FERD, the oldest and largest independent Norwegian music label GRAPPA presents a striking and ambitious project to which local musicians / artists are connected with traditional instruments from their homeland in studios all over the world. Own interpretations on video and sound contributions from a number of Norwegian musicians who are also the initiators of this project. A project that transcends ethnic divisions and that musical talents and passions are shared. "Music Without Borders" is a hit album title. From Norway to Nepal and from Cambodia to Lebanon; music has no national borders but solidarity and solidarity. A unique approach that delivers beautiful and interesting music. The traditional folk music from the Norwegian valley Setesdal forms the basis of this album. 

An hour long pure musical adventure sounds as a relief for the spirit, brought together on the interactive work "Music Without Borders" with songs from the rich Norwegian folk music tradition. Those who take the time to listen to this album will hear beautiful melodies played by genuine musicians and vocalists who play the instruments with an extrodinary intensity.

(Johan Schoenmakers)

Folk Roots May 2018 (Verdens ledende World Music Tidsskrift)

«It´s a big piece of work full of genuine, meaningful encounters in beautiful, spirited music»


LIRA - Scandinavias leading World/Folk Music Magazine


Music Without Borders

Skivbolag: Heilo Records
Recenserad av: Bengt Edqvist

Ännu en samling norsk-asiatiskt från Bjørn Ole Raschs studio i Kongshavn i södra Norge. De två senaste skivorna med östliga inslag har väl egentligen varit Annbjørg Liens soloalbum, här spelar hon fiol som en i raden av skickliga musiker. Ferd är mer Raschs egna musikaliska konstverk med en mängd gästartister, inklusive den ganska o-asiatiske Groupa-Jonas Simonson.
Det är en väldigt välgenomtänkt duett mellan de två världsdelarna, och den röda tråden och det som gör att norskt och exempelvis indiskt fungerar så bra är nog resonansrikedomen. Repertoaren är här i princip uteslutande norsk trad, men i väldigt vid bemärkelse.
Till antalet är musikerna femtiofem, alla spelar dock inte samtidigt. Det är olika större eller mindre sättningar på varje låt och upplägget är den norska grunden utfylld med improviserad musik av allehanda asiatiskt slag, eller ett slags pendanger till det norska. Skulle kunna bli hur splittrat som helst men det är det ju inte alls tack vare den norsk-asiatiska klangen och huvudsakligen Kirsten Bråten Bergs mästerliga sång. Hon sjunger emellanåt duett, alltså inte samtidigt men i samma sånger, med lika skickliga Ouch Savy från Kambodja och det fungerar alldeles ypperligt.
Bjørn Ole Raschs George Martin-influenser är tydliga och Rasch håller samma klass som den femte Beatlen. Det finns ingen chans att kunna klämma in alla musiker och instrument i en recension men övergången från sången i slutet av Nordafjells/Liti Kjersti via harpaintrot till Gamlestev följt av hardangerfela är ett exempel på välproducerat utöver det normala. Samma med bland annat norsk mungiga, ”arabisk” trumma och khmerfiolen tro, i svängiga Fanten. Och att inleda en norsk folkmusikutgåva med spel på kambodjansk fiol är snyggt, för att inte säga genialiskt.
Att Bjørn Ole Rasch själv, trots en av klaviaturer välfylld studio, väljer att hålla sig till tramporgel och mellotron är en Beatlesblinkning som inte är övertydlig men uppenbar. Vi lever i en mångkulturell värld och det är meningslöst och dumt att vrida klockan tillbaka, något som går att säga i ord, men också i toner. Det gör projektet Ferd, jag hakar gärna på den färden och är väldigt förtjust i Raschs sätt att utveckla norsk folkmusiktradition.

«Bjørn Ole Rasch's George Martin influences are clear and Rasch holds the same class as the fifth Beatle»


Rating 4/5

Ferd - Music Without Borders

The Norwegian project Ferd was set up by producer Bjorn Ole Rasch. His goal was to give the Norwegian folk music a great deal of attention crossing musical borders all around the world. The project has got a lot of critical acclaim and attention internationally and is rated 4/5.


The research group Ferd have produced a new album entitled "Music Without Borders", which is literally boundlessly conceived. 

A little rectification, upon further examination, the words "group name" and "company" were mentioned unfortunately in the previous paragraph. Ferd is more than just a 13-in-a-do music group. Ferd has a mission: to keep Norwegian traditional folk music alive. In order to achieve this, project leader Bjorn Ole Rasch already dares to outline the lines (or as it is called 2018: dares to think out-of-the-box). Instead of taking the cream-cream of the Norwegian people's scene under the proverbial arm, Rasch saw it bigger. Mondiaal and limitless, In literal and figurative sense : Music Without Border. For example, the aforementioned project leader sought musicians around the world who challenged (inter) Norwegian traditions with their trusted natioanal instruments. This freedom of interpretation without too many restrictions gave a wonderful result (that's to say, sometimes it dares to diverge from the original). A collaboration between as many as 52 musicians from 18 different countries that sounds like a piece of Scandinavian musical heritage suddenly sounds like 'worlds'. (Almost) Forgotten Norwegian songs that once happen to be Asian, then Irish or somewhere else still based in the Scandinavian sound.

Significant to this project is the symbiosis that arose between old music on the one hand and contemporary 'possibilities' on the other. Adding a drawing is superfluous. 52 musicians. 18 countries. Combining this physical "should" mean the death sting for a project like this, but thanks to the internet, exchange and collaboration it could be done without physical displacement. Or how heritage is maintained by digitization.

'Music Without Borders' is at least a unique, noble, commendable project. In the field of heritage. But especially in the area of ​​connection between people, between peoples. Music in its purest form ... as a universal language!

Jan Coonen


According to Google translate Ferd is the Norwegian word for process. Project leader and producer Bjorn Ole Rasch did not exactly choose the easiest way for the album Music Without Borders. He pulled out three years before it came into being. A dozen traditionals are performed, which originate in the Setestal, located in the south of Norway. More than fifty musicians from no less than eighteen different countries participated. Sometimes the result sounds very familiar in our Western ears, such as Havar Heddi, partly sung in Norwegian and the other part in English by Pat Broaders. This song is also a completely Irish version, known by Dolores Keane. There are quite a few Asian musicians working on the album, who give their own twist to the repertoire, and therefore more than justify the title of the CD. 

Music Without Borders comes with a booklet that has been given a lot of care and that also contains the necessary background information. It is an fantastic project, which aims to keep the music from Setedal alive, I think they suceeded very well.


Rating 9/10

The traditional folk music, which originates from Setesdal valley in southern Norway, forms the basis of the music that is the subject of the big-scale project, named by the Norwegian producer Bjorn Ole Rasch, under the name 'Ferd'.

He invited 52 musicians from 18 different countries to record 12 songs carefully selected and the result of more than three years of research. Those tracks have now come to the CD "Music Without Borders". The local Norwegian musicians who participated in this major project include Kirsten Bråten Berg, Sigurd Brokke, Gunnar Stubseid and Hallvard T. Bjørgum, while Annbjorg Lien, Niclas Pedersen, Ingolv Haaland, Rolf Kristensen and Sara Marielle Gaup Beaska selected the 12 songs have taken the rich Norwegian folk music past.

As mentioned, musicians also dive from various other countries such as Sweden, Ireland, China, Mongolia, India, Thailand, Nepal, Iran and Syria. The most striking aspect of this album is that all those musicians with a wide variety of backgrounds have been able to bring their personalized interpretations of traditional Norwegian folk music. In addition, typical instruments used in these different countries are often used to make local music.

The final result of all the efforts around this initial scientific music project 'Ferd' is a unique piece of music with often very original interpretations of and variations on old-fashioned Norwegian folk songs. Unfortunately, we can not fully understand the Norwegian language used in these songs, but for world and folk music community that will not be a problem or a border to this wonderful music.


Ferd (INT) - Music Without Borders

The title already gives a clear statement: Music Without Borders. The fact that the Ferd project initiated from Norway uses that title is no wonder. The twelve songs are played by fifty-two musicians who come from eighteen different countries. 

Because many musicians bring their own input to the music, a sound is created that links Indian Bollywood to Western pop music through glue from the Middle East. 'Fanten' shows that well. In 'Havar Heddi', Ferd comes to rest in the Middle East. The feeling of a foreign restaurant remains present when listening to the record. The twelve numbers have both a clear connection and a total diversity in the experience. On the one hand, this can be described as fine, on the other hand there will be people who state that this makes it difficult to get into the record.

Music Without Borders can be seen as a musical world tour based on Norway. Ferd shows that different musical arrangements makes the tunes differ from each other as cultures doit  will appreciate the art behind this gigantic collaboration.


FERD - Music Without Borders/ published on 14-01-2018 /

Ferd is not really a group. This Norwegian word for 'process' is the name given to a multicultural music experience conducted by the Department of Popular Music at the University of Adger (UiA), Kristiansand Campus in Norway. If we understood correctly, the aim of the study was to submit traditional songs from folklore in the Setesdal Valley (southern Norway) to musicians from all over the world and to invite them to react by including elements from their own sound and cultural landscape. To carry out their project, Professor Bjorn Ole Rasch and Associate Professor Ingolv Haaland asked the four most influential musicians of the Setesdal Folk scene (NDR: singer Kirsten Bråten Berg, the two virtuosos of the Harding Fiddle (NDR: a traditional eight-stringed Norwegian violin) Hallvard Bjørgum and Gunnar Stubseid and jew's harp player Sigurd Brokke) to record a base of twelve titles from the traditional Norwegian repertoire. These titles (called source) then traveled to the four corners of the world (eighteen countries in total) to be submitted to about fifty musicians. The latter, after listening to the original title, provided a (sound) response based on their own musical culture. All these answers, sorted and reassembled like a puzzle, were used to create the album "Music Without Borders".

Of course, the process is much more complicated than we have tried to describe you. Those of you who are interested in the project can discover all the details in the booklet.

The very serious framework of this university project should not make us forget the essential: "Music Without Borders" is a superb album, original and intoxicating. Primarily intended, of course, to fans of folk and ethnic music, the album enchants with its amazing sound encounters and atypical combinations of instruments and vocals. Sometimes Khmer singing, Arabic percussion and Cambodian mouth organ mix with the vibrant sounds of the jew's harp, sometimes the Mongolian throat voices, the Indian percussions (tabla), the strings of a Syrian qanun and the mellotron respond to captivating lines of a traditional Norwegian violin. 

Each title is a discovery, every second an enchantment. Simply wonderful and exotic, 


Norwegian newspaper ”Fedrelandsvennen”

Rating 5/6

Ei grenseløs reise gjennom Setesdal

52 musikere fra 18 forskjellige land er med og tolker tradisjonsmusikk fra Setesdal. Produsent Bjørn Ole Rasch fester grepet på en utmerket måte. 

Som oftest er det best med lett pop og fyrrig rock for mange av oss. Av og til gjør det godt å komme seg ut av komfortsonen som lytter også. Her er det en god mulighet til å gjøre det. Dette albumet, kalt "Ferd", handler ikke bare om folkemusikk fra Setesdal, men også om hvordan ektefølte og sjelfulle møter mellom musikere fra mange land kan skape noe sammen til et nytt univers.

Nå er det nok slik at de mange tradisjonelle låtene fra Setesdal har overlevd sin basiske tilværelse uten at noen har tuklet så mye med dem. Her får de påfyll. Det skjer med at mange sangere og musikere fra 18 land har blitt invitert til å bidra fra sitt lands ståsted. Innspillingene er gjort med en interaktiv prosess med portable studioer slik at deltakerne kunne arbeide sammen med materialet.

Det høres smektende og flott ut når musikere fra Indonesia, fra India og Iran, Kina og Mongolia, fra Palestina og Romania, leverer sine tilskudd til denne urnorske folkemusikken. Musikk har ingen grenser, og det var det Bjørn Ole Rasch, Annbjørg Lien, Hallvard T. Bjørgum og Kirsten Bråten Berg ville utforske da de satte i gang med denne usedvanlige reisen og dette spesielle samarbeidet.

Mye skjer; det er mye å fordøye. Den heftige versjonen av "Fanten" framstår som et høydepunkt med sin heftige rytmikk. "Bånsullar" har en spennende utvikling fra begynnelse til slutt. Det meste er grenseløst, stilig og tøft utført med mange gode stemmer og mye fett felespill. Dette er musikk uten grenser, men med et midtpunkt i Setesdal sine lange og gode tradisjoner.

Rune Slyngstad

NRK – The Official Norwegian Broadcasting Company

Rating 9/10

”A combination of something new, exotic but still based in the wonderful traditions of the norwegian folk music from Setesdal creating new music you have never heard before. A great and important album!”

Klassekampen 22/1 - 2018-02-26

ALBUM «Ferd: Music Without Borders» Kirsten Bråten Berg, Annbjørg Lien, Bjørn Ole Rasch, Hallvard T. Bjørgum og mange flere. Heilo/Musikkoperatørene «Ferd» er en interessant og bra plate. Noen ganger blir jeg virkelig begeistret, blant annet i rytmepartiet i «Fanten» – som her blir ført an av Sigurd Brokke på munnharpe – omkranset av musikere fra Kambodsja, Thailand, Palestina, Jordan, Libanon og Syria. Det er et driv til å bli svimmel av. Munnharpas rytmiske kvaliteter ligger i bunn og egner seg godt som utgangspunkt for responser fra medmusikerne. 

Det er en fulltreffer fra ende til annen, med masse innhold fra sangeren Ouch Savy og instrumenter i mange klangvarianter som på ulike måter gir den gamle slåtten asiatiske forgreininger. «Oi, dette svinger det av», tenker jeg, mens jeg ser litt skeivt ned på platas undertittel: «Music Without Borders». Tittelen sier kanskje noe om et forsøk på å bryte ned musikalske grenser, og det er jo dét som må være poenget når 53 folkemusikere fra 18 land forsøker å finne veier fra folkemusikkilder i Setesdal representert ved noen av våre fremste utøvere: Sangeren Kirsten Bråten Berg, Gunnar Stubseid og Hallvard T. Bjørgum på hardingfele og Sigurd Brokke. 

«Music Without Borders» har til nå vart i tre år, og er også et forskningsprosjekt ledet av Bjørn Ole Rasch og doktorgradsstipendiat Annbjørg Lien, som begge medvirker på plata på henholdsvis tangenter og hardingfele. Men også andre er med i dette kunstneriske utviklingsprosjektet som har funnet sin form ved Universitetet i Agder. 

Mange som har lytta litt til norsk folkemusikk, vil kunne gjenkjenne grunnmelodiene – setesdalstradisjonen som ligger i kjernen av all musikken på plata. Men dette prosjektet bringer de opprinnelige formene ut av fatning. Kjente vendinger har fått vinger, og jeg lytter til dem på en ny måte. Men uten forkunnskaper om prosjektet, kan det også virke litt romantisk. Det er mange som sier at musikk er et universelt språk og at alle musikere av en eller annen magisk grunn alltid og raskt vil kunne finne tonen. Det er bare å begynne å spille, så – poff! – er musikken der. 

Selvsagt finner musikere sammen, men det krever erfaring å få det til å klinge godt i samspill. Improvisasjon er ikke lett, og en folkemusiker finsliper gjerne et helt liv på egen tradisjon. Jeg kan forstå utøvere og lyttere som mener det ikke fungerer med store arrangementer eller samspill på tvers av kulturer, som nettopp er poenget med dette prosjektet. Det slår meg hvor vanskelig det er å følge med i et spill som er så særegent – som for eksempel slåttene «Nordafjells» og «Sordølen». Selv om enkelte av partiene er flotte og hardingfeleslåttene gnistrende framført, opplever jeg det som heseblesende med musikerne som forsøker å følge med på rytmikken og harmoniene i slåttene. 

Med unntak av noen flotte rytmiske partier med blant annet munnharpe, mener jeg musikken er best når enkeltmusikerne får rom til å utforske virtuositeten i egne tradisjoner, gjerne som en inspirasjon etter å ha hørt det norske. De beste øyeblikkene er når disse musikerne vekselsvis entrer scenen og når lydbildet åpnes opp og gjøres mer transparent. For de kan virkelig spille. Alle sammen. Og jeg blir dratt inn i de ulike tradisjonene når de får mulighet til å boltre seg uten for mange ivrige medmusikere lesset på. 

Et av høydepunktene er når den fantastiske sangeren Mahsa Vahdat fra Iran, kjent gjennom produksjoner fra Kirkelig Kulturverksted, responderer på «Gamlestev» sunget av Kirsten Bråten Berg. Rundt disse to stemmene, som på hver sin måte utgjør kremen fra to tradisjoner, ligger et neddempet svar fra svenske Jonas Simonson på fløyte. Dette kan trollbinde hvem som helst. 

Kjetil Asdal Bjørgan musikk@klassekampen.no 

"The music can captivate anyone. A one of a kind musical project"


Audio Sterophile Magazine – Germany

Rating: Prodction   4/5

Sound and recording: 4/5


”Global Journey” Germany 

Playlist best new releases 20.2.18


Heaven Magazine

Rating:  8/10


Ohrenschmauch Magazine


Ferd „Music Without Borders“

by TheNoise • 24. März 2018 • Kommentare deaktiviertfür Ferd „Music Without Border

★★★★★ Ori­gi­nel­ler Mix aus Tra­di­tio­nen und Na­tio­nen

The four Norwegian musicians, who sing, jew´sharp and play the violin-like hardanger fiddle, are specialists in the music of the Setesdal region. The tunes from the valley in the south of Norway have sent them into the world - to neighboring Sweden, to European countries like Ireland, Armenia and Romania, and to countries like Syria, India and Indonesia, China and Iran. 52 musicians from 18 countries participated in this project without borders, exchanging music with foreign cultures and musicians, and creating new, unfamiliar pieces. In these, the vocal styles of the original inhabitants of Lapland, from Tibet and Mongolia meet together, or play Hardanger fiddle, Indian sarangi, the Persian zither Kanun.

On the album, there are only a few as obvious combinations as in "Havar Heddi", for which the four musicians gives a rendezvous of Jew's harp and Hardanger fiddle with bass, harmonium, guitar and tin-whistle, or in "Gamlestev", where the voices by Kirsten Bråten Berg and Masha Vahdat (Iran) is only accompanied by flutist Jonas Simonson. Mostly the vocal styles of several countries are mixed with different percussion types and instruments from many countries. The result is always surprising - and seems to have grown naturally, despite the idiosyncratic pairings. And not only because in one piece related instruments such as the Persian dulcimer Santur and the derived from him Thai Khim are gathered. 

"Music Without Borders" is an outstanding world music album: because the global concept catches and leads to a new listening experience because it brings traditional songs into a new era and because it goes beyond the genre. And that without any excursions into classical music, jazz or electronic music. You can imagine so well that sequences like the vocal finale of the dance song "Nils, Jens and Geidaug" could get the legs moving in today's trendy dance halls.



14.05.2018 kl.23:14 – Tor Hammerø TV2 

Musikk er et grenseløst og fredsskapende språk - spesielt når Kirsten Bråten Berg er involvert.  

Da Arild Andersen sjøsatte sine legendariske skiver «Arv» og «Sagn», blei et større publikum også utenfor folkemusikken oppmerksom på Kirsten Bråten Berg og hennes fantastiske stemme og formidlingsevne. Her møter vi henne nok en gang - i to forskjellige settinger. Det er minst like flott og like sterkt nå som den gang. 

Sammen med sine "sambygdinger" Sigurd Brokke, Gunnar Stubseid og Hallvard T. Bjørgum, ville Bråten Berg prøve å finne ut hvordan musikanter, stemmer og instrumenter fra andre land og verdensdeler ville påvirke tradisjonsmusikken med røtter i Setesdalen med Bjørn Ole Rasch som prosjektleder og produsent. I utgangspunktet var dette et forskningsprosjekt ved Universitet i Agder og lite eller ingenting ante initiativtakerne om hvordan dette ville ende.

Video- og lydinnspillinger fra norske folkemusikanter blei sendt rundt i verden. Målet var å få musikalske tilbakemeldinger fra instrumentalister og sangere fra Sverige, Irland, Armenia, Romania, Syria, Palestina, Jordan, Libanon, India, Indonesia, Kambodsja, Thailand, Nepal, Iran, Kina, Mongolia og Tibet og med fantastisk bistand når det gjelder arrangering fra Bjørn Ole Rasch og Ingolv Haaland, så har dette blitt intet mindre ennei fantastisk reise der vi opplever sterkere enn jeg nesten kan huske at musikk er grenseløst og brobyggende.

De tolv stevene blir tatt med til steder de aldri har vært på tidligere - hele tida med full respekt for hvor de kom fra opprinnelig. 

Sjelden har et musikalsk uttrykk vært opplevd som så spennende som her og med Kirsten Bråten Bergs fantastiske stemme som et slags samlingspunkt, er dette musikk som bør sendes ut i verden og brukes som fredsmekler.

Student and Teacher research collaborations

Student and Teacher artistic and research collaborations


Sheila Simmenes «Snåle Mi Jente». 2021

  • World Music Album Project blending the Setesdal Folk Music with South American Folk Music Traditions.
  • Sheila Simmenes – Composer and Vocals (World Music Master)
  • Yeisy Rojas – Violin (World Music Master/Cuba))
  • Katrine Dahl – Vocals (World Music Master) 
  • Tobias Øymo Solbakk (Electronic Music Master)
  • Tore Bråthen – Trumpet (Teacher)
  • Fredrik Sahlander – Bass Guitar
  • Bjørn Ole Rasch – Music Production
  • Peter Mesquita – Bass Guitar (Argentina)
  • Roberthina Silva – Percussion (Argentina)
  • Singel «Beautiful» Released August 2019
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAdIAxHPeWE
  • Singel «Si ka du Vil» Released October 2019
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ismYRM2HGE0


  • The Balgyp Band (Balkan, Gypsy and Jazz Ensemble)
  • “Balkan Voyage” EP/Digital release on Balgyp Records. Produced by Bjørn Ole Rasch 2021
  • Collaboration between World Music Master student Defrim Mala and Bachelor Student Sondre Jensen Bjerkeli
  • Concerts at Teateret, Hos Naboen, Charlies 2019/2020


  • Marekvist
  • World Music band led by World Music Master student Mathias Degnepoll Øren with members from the world music and performance master studies at UIA. The traditional folk music tunings from Setesdal in combination with original compositions for guitars.
  • Mathias Degnepoll Øren – Guitars and musical director (World Music Master)
  • Richard Andreas Salvesen - Drums and Percussion (World Music Master)
  • Håkon Sakseide – Bass Guitar (Perfomance Master)
  • Klara Høeg – Vocals (Perfomance Master)
  • Sigrid Rekve – Vocals  (Perfomance Master)
  • Birk Gjermundsbo – Keyboards (Electronic Music Master)
  • Tobias Øymo Solbakk (Electronic Music Master)
  • Concerts at Teateret, Hos Naboen, Charlies 2019/2020


  • Music Without Borders FERD
  • Artistic Research Project and album
  • Student and teacher collaboration in the album recording and presentation of the record «FERD» Autumn 2018 Grappa Records International.
  • Featuring World Master Students: 
  • Anamaria Nicoara - Vocals
  • Niclas Pedersen - Saxophone and Flutes
  • Kevin Kvåle - Slåttetromme/Tambur Drum
  • Featuring Teachers at the University of Agder: 
  • Rolf Kristensen - Guitars 
  • Fredrik Sahlander – Bass Guitar
  • Ingolv Haaland - Piano and musical arrangements
  • Nordisk Vårskumring/Tidsskipet
  • Art Project presented at The Nordic Noir Exhibition at Tarvaspää in Finland the 7th of February 2020
  • Author Cornelius Jakhelin together with world music master students
  • Mathias Degnepoll Øren - Guitars
  • Richard Andreas Salvesen - Percussion
  • Jeunesses Musical International
  • UIA World Music Masterstudents Richard Andreas Salvesen, Kristoffer Hanssen and Mathias Degnevoll Øren
  • «Presenting the World Music studies at the University of Agder» Jeunesses Musical International.
  • Concert and presentation at Førde Culture House the 18th of November 2018 
  • Richard Andreas Salvesen – Percussion
  • Kristoffer Hanssen – Bass Guitar
  • Mathias Døgnepoll Øren – Guitars
  • Asia/Norway Project
  • Students from College of Music, Mahidol University, Thailand and the Master students at the University of Agder collaboration. 
  • Concerts at The Embassy of Thailand, Oslo 2019, 
  • Concert at the Oslo World Music Festival 2019
  • Tontrakul Kaewyong - Isan Instruments (Thailand)
  • Naris Sakpunjachot - Saw (Thai fiddle)
  • Kristoffer Hanssen – Bass guitar (World Music Master)
  • Markus Maaren Bastøe – Guitars (Performance Master)
  • Mette Leira – vocals (Singer/Songwriter Master)
  • Jaran Gustavson – bass (Performance Master)
  • Martin Utbye – Drums (World Music Master)
  • The Lyllaby Project
  • World Music Master student Anamaria Nicoara collecting and arranging selected lyllabies from several countries based on «Bånsuller» from Setesdal presented by Kirsten Bråten Berg during the recording of the artistic research project FERD.
  • Anamaria Nicoara – vocals (World Music Master)
  • Niclas Pedersen - saxophone and flutes (World Music Master)
  • Kevin Kvåle - Slåttetromme/Tambur Drum (World Music Master)



Medlemmer i gruppen

Assosierte medlemmer

Master students in World Music:

Sheila Simmenes 

Richard Salvesen 

Mathias Degnevoll Øren 

Yeisy Rojas

Defrim Mala

Nikolas Dossev