Kristin Asbjørnsen

Singer and songwriter Kristin Asbjørnsen is one of the most distinguished artists on the vibrating extended music scene in Europe. Over the last decade, she has received overwhelming international response from critics and the public alike for her personal and unique musical expression.

2018 saw the release of Kristin’s long awaited solo album Traces Of You (Global Sonics/Rough Trade). The music is met with outstanding response. Based on her assured melodic flair and poetic lyrics, Kristin has on Traces of You explored new fields of music. The songs have developed a haunting sound where vocals, guitars and the West-African instrument kora are woven creatively into a meditative and warm vibration. The music shows traces of West African music, lullabyes and Nordic contemporary jazz.

Lyrical African ornaments unite in a playful dialogue with a sonorous guitar universe (guitarist Olav Torget). Kristin sings in moving chorus with griot Suntou Susso, using excerpts of her poems translated into Mandinka language. The songs are like delicate sensations: of life’s imprints, presence and love’s transformations.

Kristin’s enchanting songs are based on her commissioned work Traces of You for Global Oslo Music in 2016. The work was premiered in Oslo 2016, in trio with Olav Torget & kora player Ablaye Cissoko from Senegal, followed by extensive touring.

The outstanding Norwegian singer has featured on a number of album releases, as well as a series of tours and festival performances in Europe. She has won several national Music Awards. In France, Kristin became the winner of the Mondomix Babel Med prize 2009 and she won Spellemannsprisen (the Norwegian equivalent to Grammy Award) for her album “The night shines like the day”, based on her own lyrics and music.

Kristin has a unique voice and her trademark sound is rich with contrasts and dynamics, with strong melancholy and a feisty devilish energy. Known for her very personal approach to song writing, Kristin’s roots lies in both the singer/songwriter tradition and the groove-based world music. Her music is a powerful, mesmerizing beautiful exploration; quiet and intense, with an incredibly strong awareness in the way she’s approaching the songs.

2013/2014 saw the release of Kristin´s enchanting and critically acclaimed solo album “I´ll meet you in the morning”(Emarcy/Universal). The music affectionately reveals her enduring passion for African American spirituals as well as her own compositions; warm, intimate and soulful interpretations that flows, touchingly grounded in Kristin’s unique voice and with a haunting and distinctive ensemble sound.

Kristin´s previous solo albums “The night shines like the day” (2009) and “Wayfaring stranger – a spiritual songbook” (2006) were also released across Europe (Emarcy). All the albums, as well as extended touring in Europe, were met with outstanding reviews. “Wayfaring stranger” sold to Platinum in Norway.

Soundtrack – Film music: In 2005 Kristin made her international debut as a film score composer for the American movie “Factotum”, based on a novel by Charles Bukowski (Bent Hamer /Jim Stark Prod). The film and the soundtrack received a lot of international acclaim and “Factotum” was selected for the Cannes Film Festival. Kristin’s soundtrack album is released on the French/Am label Milan Records. Kristin won the Norwegian “Kanon” Music Award for Best Soundtrack.

During many years Kristin focused mainly on work with her permanent musical ensembles Kvitretten, DADAFON and KRØYT, where her own compositions played a core role.

Kristin collaborates with piano player Tord Gustavsen (ECM). She has collaborated with the Malian singer Rokia Traore (2005). In 2010 Kristin toured in South Africa with the worldwide known accapella group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Together they did the Opening Concert at Molde Jazz Festival 2014, based on Kristin’s repertoire. Kristin received her formal musical education from the Jazz Department at the Trondheim Music Conservatory, Norway.


© 2022 - Kristin Asbjørnsen