Songs to the Fauna of the Hills

Nicolaj Wamberg
Master of Folk Music, Academy of Music, Southern Denmark

“I liked to be introduced to the Indian culture, the city, traditions, spirituality. Openness at all times.”

NW Holi AZIMVTH IndiaNicolaj Wamberg is a musician, freelance artist, and dancer. He teaches violin and singing. He has also done exchanges in Liszt Academy, Budapest, Hungary for one year and the World Music Programme of Gothenburg University for one year.  Nicolaj also plays double bass in the ukulele and double bass duo Elof & Wamberg. He teaches children, adults, and groups of orchestra.

Nicolaj is working with the relation between music and movements and has done a project in Iceland at Listhus artist residency, where he composed music  inspired from movements in the nature. This idea is inspired from his background in folk music, where the relation between music and dance is very important.

At AZIMVTH Ashram, Nicolaj trained everyday in breathing exercises, Aum and Mantra chanting. He learned the Sun Salutationes Yoga.

Music made before coming to AZIMVTH

Some examples of music made by Nicolaj before coming for residency at AZIMVTH are given below.

NW Icelandic MovementsVideo above) Folk music and experimental music. Elof & Wamberg Folk music duo touring since 2010. Tobias Elof: ukulele. Nicolaj Wamberg: double bass/violin.

(Image left) Icelandic Movements (Solo EP). Music inspired from movements in the nature. Piano, violin, whistling and voice.

Track ‘Hey Horses’

(Below) Photo exhibition “Houses and Mountains”. Exhibited -Anna Church, Copenhagen, 2017.  -Artarctica Festival, Helsinki Finland 2017. 9 photographs (37×28,5 cm), shot in Northern Iceland 2015. Printed on Hahnemühle 310g.

NW Photo Exhibition

Projects at AZIMVTH

He made short films in the nature in Haridwar. He got hugely inspired from the view, the movements and the sounds in the landscape of Haridwar, especially the holy river Ganges.

Project A. Learning an Instrument – Harmonium

NW Harmonium Fabricator AZIMVTH Haridwar - 1During the residency, Nicolaj was helped with selecting and acquiring  a harmonium. The keys of the harmonium tuned to his preferences so the drones became C, D, G, A, as these keys are more used in Scandinavian folk music. Originally they were C#, D#, G# and A#, according to the tradition of Indian classical music.

Following video shows Nicolaj playing a harmonium and singing in Haridwar during the residency.

Project B: Songs to the Fauna of the Hills

Nicolaj had earlier sung  a song ‘Hey Horses’ and another one titled ‘Seagulls’. At Haridwar he tried various possibilities and finally recorded singing to the goats in the meadows. Here’s a raw video.

Project C: Experiment with Aum Chanting

Aum is a sacred syllable and chanted for peace. Nicolaj experimented by chanting long sound for A rather than the usual quick short one.

Project D: Singing to the River

Nicolaj would often go to the river near AZIMVTH and sing for long harmoniously with her.

Impact and Next Levels

With inspirations and inputs gathered during his residency at AZIMVTH, Nicolaj will compose a collection of new musical compositions inspired by the local nature and people.

He will be sharing these experiences and knowledge from Haridwar, India with his networks in the North.

He is going to include his new inspirations from Haridwar when he teaches composition and bring this new knowledge in collaborations with his partners at Artarctica Festival, Finland, with whom he is  working and discussing about global and social issues, and how art can contribute in changing our habits in our systems in society.

With his work, he wishes to inspire and open peoples’ eyes so that they see more clearly. and won’t be afraid to make a change.

“Breathing and chanting was cool to  try.”