1988 - February 10.
Article in Arbeiderbladet, Friday February 12. 1988
Translation article, by Dag Sirnes:
Silje on the leap
Half running on semi-high heels, breathless and seven minutes late, Silje Nergaard comes to interview at the Filmkafeen. She listens to Walkman, she listens to herself and Pat Metheny. A demo from yesterday's work in studio.
''Would you like to hear? It's Pat that plays.'' Silje draws and tells the guitar riff. Metheny sounds unmistakably Metheny. Metheny and Siljes sucking voice.
''Only nonsense song, preliminary," she wraps. ''Pat was completely in love with my song."
The last four years, the American guitarist Pat Metheny has been Silje's great source of inspiration. Metheny and Steely Dan.
''I gave him a tape in October last year. He responded very nice to it. Heard that it was as written for him, that it is just he who could play it the way I wanted. I was very happy when he said yes to play in a song on my record.''
Debuted at Molde
Record ... For several years, we have been waiting for the debut record of Silje Nergaard. Since we heard her singing in Oslo's smoke-filled 'heating room' hot house. Jazz for aging 68s and other homeless people. Then she was 16 years old.
At Hot House she stood and sold her single record - ''One of These Mornings'' with ''My Funny Valentine" on the B side, but before this, she had seduced a pampered jazz audience. Not an eye was dry, wrote Klassekampen paper's cultural editor Roald Helgheim.
Next time she appeared was in the Grand Prix in 1985. Invited to write song, she weared the Alpe-hat and 50's skirt and recreated my childhood image of (the child book author) Torbjørn Egner's Aunt Sofie (in his Cardamom City). Round-cheeked and nice, she sang her own song ''Say it, say it'', and Bobbysocks won.
Silje has been 21 years old. No age for an artist, but it has been made such great expectations for Silje that she has felt the pressure on the shoulders who are constantly more elegant.
''When will your record come? Will it not be out soon?'' Everyone asks and urges. Silje smiles.
"Actually, it should have come last year, but then we did not get good support from the record label, me and my band. We must get a contract with a company that takes care of our stuff and who thinks long-term. I have not intended to quit soon.''
''I don't want to send out something unfinished either, but I feel like I'm ready to give out a record now. Get it out and finish it. Think it is necessary for being able to open for something new. Artist life is not a life you can have forever, but I have enough energy still.''
Silje Nergaard is in the choir on ''Vertigo'', the last record of Bjørn Eidsvåg. Her dark, distinctive guttural voice leaves no doubt of the origin.
''Don't really fit for choiring. My voice is not anonymous enough, but Bjørn knew what he wanted. Had been looking for me long without success. Finally, he picked me up on the street and drove me right in the studio for recording.''
A three quarter's conversation with Silje Nergaard runs high and low, here and there. From New York to Molde, Hamar and Oslo. To the lightning hit in the apartment, the tram she always comes one minute too late to reach, the concert with Eidsvåg in Oslo Konserthus tonight, her new-cut, freshly striped hair, the last Metheny concert (''So sorry you were on the first !''), worn by booking the jobs herself, always thinking three months ahead, TONO income for songs she has written, ''Hæla i taket'' - recording, club environment in Oslo, all the male musicians.
The mysterious road
''The Mysterious Road Is a Beautiful One,'' She says suddenly. We're talking about music. The need to learn music, master techniques. The plan was to study music when she came from Hamar to Oslo after high school. But Silje's head was tired of book lessons and filled with music, so - after some lectures where the words disappeared faster out of the ear than they came in, she chose to listen to his own voice.
''I don't suffer even though I can't write scores. I know enough do what I need at the moment and learn a lot of others who can. I compose, write, play piano. Have a small home studio but rarely use it. A song can get in the head when I go a trip. The more equipment, worse and worse it gets.''
''The music takes all my time, requires everything of me. I get so filled with it. I hear lots of other people's music, go to concerts and let me inspire. Now, when I have been in the studio, I have had to cut out the most. Must try to take care of the little thing that is mine. Musically, I have developed me from being a jazz vocalist to make easier things. Pop songs influenced by jazz are more descriptive.''
''The lyrics? What are you writing about?''
''When I hear through this record, I discover that many are about love - relationships that do not work. But also about interpersonal relationships, everyday things. I work thoroughly with the text. For me, it is more important to create a whole of text and music than that the text can stand for itself - alone - like poetry.''
''Politics? No, don't ask me about politics. I am concerned about people, to connect with people. Therefore, I love to stand on the stage, that's what I want. It's singing I can.''
The main picture: World-famous Pat Metheny fell in love with a demo Silje Nergaard sent him and said yes to play guitar on one of the tracks on her upcoming debut-lp. (Photo: Mimsy Møller)
Pictures at the bottom left:
Silje Nergaard at Hot House in 1983. So full of music .... (Photo: Roald Helgheim)
Silje Nergaard when she sang in the Grand Prix in 1985. (Photo: Terje Akerhaug)
Silje Nergaard at Waterfront in 1986. (Photo: Roald Helgheim)