Article Den sommeren det skjedde for Silje /
The summer it happened for Silje

Article in the Norwegian newspaper'Østlendingen' - 10. August 1983




Translation by Dag Sirnes:

The summer it happened for Silje

By: Tor-Henning Støldal

Here is no Carola we are going to present. Here is no father who counts numbers and starts a fan club. Dad does like most fathers - he mows the lawn. And mom cleans strawberries. We do not even know if Silje has a boyfriend.

Still, we still hear about Siilje Nergaard. The rumors come seeping from all sides, we are dealing with a singing talent, while Silje knows that in a few days she will be in the second high school class at Ajer Videregående skole ....

- - -

But it started with Melodi Grand Prix for Silje too. Well - it was actually Dad who played the guitar - and she sang with him and with her sister and with her mother.

"I thought it was a lot of fun with pop songs. I was looking forward to the Grand Prix for several months, it was the highlight of the year. Recorded the program on tape and fully digged it. Walked around the house and sang "Save the Kisses for Me"".

Last summer, Silje signed up for the Ten-Sing seminar in Gjøvik. She is a member and soloist in the Praising Choir for the second year now, a somewhat special member, we can say. And during the Gjøvik seminar she got to sing solo with a choir of 200 behind her. Actually, she was there to learn how to arrange.

''After that solo, I was very excited. In the autumn, I signed up for a jazz seminar here in Hamar. It was the first time I sang jazz - and was very excited about THAT. And I'm still, very curious.''

At Christmas time, she became a vocalist in HamJam, which has brought her a number of gigs.

'' It's educational to play with a band, but boring to carry equipment in the middle of the night. Equality.

Molde in tent and rain

Silje wanted to learn more jazz, so there was a new jazz seminar this summer, this time on Inderøya north of Trondheim.

''I had a very good teacher from the United States. And Egil Kapstad was my group teacher.''

Via detours, we have been told that Kapstad thinks Silje is one of the greatest singing talents he has heard. But Silje did not know that when she went to the jazz festival in Molde with her good friend Hege.

''We lived in tents and it rained the first few days, but I had decided on Molde for several months in advance. I find jazz exciting, a little challenging because that's where I think I can find my own style. Besides, you have so many possibilities with your voice, such as in improvisation that I would like to use. But then you have to be willing to take some chances, even if it sounds a little ugly sometimes, And who says that a vocalist should not be able to sing a little ugly - like a saxophonist is allowed to hammer loose - blo-lu-lu -lu-lubb!''

And so Silje ended up at a jam session. ''And it was just luck. There I got the urge to sing after attending a concert with Jaco Pastorius, the world's best bassist, and later only receiving music at a club. I tingled after singing. At the jam session, Delmar Brown, Pastorius' pianist, sat and played and sang. He sang about "peace & war" and improvised. And since I was in a great mood to sing about "peace & war", I thought - why not join his theme?''

And she did. And in the room sat Randi Hultin, Dagbladet's jazz employee.

Crystal clean and accurate

The next day it was read over an entire page in Dagbladet: ''Suddenly Silje was standing there with the microphone in her hand. Not hesitant, but glowing. Crystal clean and accurately, she meddled in the singing improvisations of Jaco Pastorius '' pianist.''

It was a something of a feedback to get from a respected reviewer. "Can I say something nice about her?" Silje asks. ''I have had very good contact with her. I am grateful for the support she has given me. A very nice person.''

''Musicians are not known for bragging so much about each other, but in Molde they came over to Silje and thanked. Jon Balke too. She was SO natural and professional'', says Randi Hultin.

And three days later Silje got to sing to Jon Balke's (piano) accompaniment.

''I have no dream, but it was a wish to sing My Funny Valentine with Jon Balke, my best experience up there. I loved that song before, but in Molde I heard Ricky Lee Jones' version and it was great'', says Silje and points out Al Jarreau, Joni Mitchell and Radka Toneff as the artists she has listened to the most.

It became very quiet

Silje participated in a talent competition in Hamar in April. She won it and the winner was promised in advance to sing in a record.

''Yes, I was promised to make a single. Then it became very quiet, I do not think I was commercial enough. After Molde, I received a letter stating that they should set aside time in the studio. For me, there is no hurry, but they could contact me anyway. I would like to make a single, but I do not allow myself to be prostituted.''

''So, it's too early to talk about an entire album?''

''Yes, I would not sing an LP yet, because - one is never fully developed - right now I notice that I am learning more and more every day and I am (on track to) finding a style. The day I have found a style I know I like, then I can imagine doing it.''

It is eleven days to the Kalvøya festival. There Silje will sing with HamJam.

''I have no thoughts about it, I'm not looking forward. We'll play after Joe Cocker, that's not a good thing. I'm probably not getting anything out of his concert. I can only close my eyes and think that there are only a few people there.''

For those who do not get to see and hear Silje on Kalvøya, can do so on TV in October. Next month, Music-Flimra will come to Hamar to make recordings with her and the group Profil, probably in the Hedmark auditorium at Domkirkeodden.

Caption big photo: Silje Nergaard takes the microphone during a jam session in Molde. To the left pianist Delmar Brown (Photo: Randi Hultin)

Caption small photo: Silje for the first time on Kalvøya. She's back next weekend. (Photo: Tor-Henning Støldal)