is a Norwegian vocal quartet composed of the singers Kristin
Eidhamar Næss, Anne Birte Bjørdal Hanken, Ingvild
Drønnen and Gunhild Marie Roald. They all come from
Ålesund, but are based in Oslo, Trondheim and Levanger.
Their numerous performances in churches, theatres and on various
festival scenes have appealed to a wide audience. Many people
have been impressed by the four voices, with strong personal
characters, but still worked together into a homogenous unity.
Smyr's first album, "St. Sunniva", was
released in april 2003. This project is based on the legend
of Sunniva, the Norwegian saint. According to the legend,
St. Sunniva was an Irish princess of the Viking ages. As her
kingdom was threatened by a Viking who wanted to marry her,
she escaped by boat with her Christian friends. After a dramatic
passage, they finally reached the island of Selje at the west
coast of Norway. They lived there for a while in peace and
prayer until the Viking regent of the area came along the
coast to kill them. They then prayed to God and beseeched
him for an honourable death, and in the same moment, the mountain
collapsed and they were buried under the rocks. Some years
later, a column of heavenly light shone upon the island. Sunniva`s
body was found unimpaired, as if she had only been sleeping.
She became the first and the only female Norwegian saint.
Inspired by this legend, and by the amazing nature in the
surroundings of Selje, Smyr tries to recreate the atmosphere
that has touched them. The lyrics describe agonizing storms
and divine sunsets, dancing around the fire and intense prayers.
The music is described as a cross-over with elements of jazz,
Norwegian folk music and Gregorian chant.
Smyr now works on a project in collaboration
with the trumpet player and programmer Steinar Værnes.
Kristin Eidhamar Næss is educated an organist
and a choir conductor at the music academy of Oslo. In addition
to her classical education, she has studied folk music by
Sondre Bratland at the Rauland academy. She now works as an
organist in Levanger.
Anne Birte Bjørdal Hanken is educated
as a production designer and a teacher. She has been a member
of the chamber choir and the soloist choir of Ålesund,
together with the vocal group Ginungagap in Oslo. She works
as a teacher in Oslo.
Ingvild Drønnen is experienced within
both the classical and the jazz vocal tradition. She is educated
from the music high school in Ålesund and Viken school
of performing arts. She works as a seller in Trondheim.
Gunhild Marie Roald has a master degree
from the pedagogical institute of NTNU in Trondheim. She is
a social worker in the ideal organisation “Kirkens Bymisjon”.
She has travelled for two years with the one-woman-performance
"Irish journey", and has been a member of the choir
Skruk. She is the vocalist of the jazz duo "To møre”.
Smyr is a Norwegian vocal quartet composed of the singers
Kristin Eidhamar, Anne Birte Bjørdal Hanken, Ingvild
Drønnen Storsten and Gunhild Marie Roald.