with SUSANNA of

Photo by Signe Fuglesteg Luksengard

“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today’s guest is a Norwegian singer who has put together a new group of musicians she’s calling The Brotherhood of Our Lady and recorded an album called “Garden of Earthly Delights” which is largely inspired by the medieval Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch (his triptych of the same name was painted c. 1495 – 1505) and his “vivid images of darkness & light and the folly of mankind”.

With a voice of disconcerting, unwavering beauty and economic precision, whose music can pan from dark to light within the blink of an eye, we’re pleased to welcome to these pages, Susanna!

check out the “City Of Hope” single from the new album below…

This is the classically trained vocalist, pianist and composer Susanna Wallumrød’s 13th album, but I must confess I’m new to her music, and this has opened a door to a whole new labyrinthine world of minimal electronic soundscapes to pleasingly and glacially traverse. Although Bosch was comparatively sketchy his minutely detailed compositions bear long contemplation, so much is there to take in. Likewise Susanna’s music bears repetition, finding nuance and space between decomposed beats and masterfully placed key strokes, but there’s nothing sketchy about it.

Forming Susanna and the Magical Orchestra in 2000, she originally composed minimalist interpretations of mainstream and leftfield pop gems, but she began diversifying to the outer echelons of the esoteric in 2007 with a “Meshes of Voice” duo with Jenny Hval through to collaboration with Norwegian poet Gunvor Hofmo and working with the group Ensemble neoN on ‘The Forester'(2013) as well as a multitude of solo albums including this year’s “Go Dig My Grave” with its collection of eerily beauteous covers, all on her own label SusannaSonata.

Latest work, the aforementioned “Garden Of Earthly Delights” was originally born as a commissioned work for the Vossajazz Festival 2017 and to commit it to record, Susanna has assembled The Brotherhood of Our Lady, a new group (named after the religious organisation that sponsored Bosch) by recruiting from Norway’s progressive, leftfield music scene with members of bands like Skadedyr, Stina Stjern, Listen to Girl and Propan.

If you are a Susanna completist or indeed have a technical interest, here’s the roll call/kit list this time around:

Susanna: voice, piano, CP80, Rhodes, electronics
The Brotherhood of Our Lady – personnel:
Stina Moltu: guitar, voice, tape recorder
Ida Løvli Hidle: accordion
Ina Sagstuen: voice, electronics, synth
Natali Abrahamsen Garner: vocals, electronics

And with such attention to detail and crystal clear artistic direction it shouldn’t come as a surprise to find such a carefully considered song choice, so without further ado here’s Susanna’s “song for ewe”…

Artist: Mammane Sani et son Orgue
(name Mammane Sani Abodoulaye)
Album: La Musique Électronique Du Niger
Song: Lamru

“I came across this album quite recently and just fell in love with the sounds, and also structure of the songs- which feels both elaborate and minimalistic at the same time.

From what I can find out about the album it was supposedly recorded in two takes only, at Niger National Radio, and as few as 100 cassettes was made. The music makes me very happy, perfect after a long day of work or while I am in the kitchen making dinner. It’s truly one of the blessings with the digitalised world, that hidden gems like this hit the surface.”


Due out on the 22nd February on SusannaSonata, you can find out more about “Garden of Earthly Delights” on the social media links below: