The composer and guitarist Audun Aschim Steffensen released his work on Greek and Roman mythological characters earlier this year.
One of the first concerts I reviewed for Permafrost was the Italian-Norwegian percussionist Paolo Vinaccia under Oslo Jazz Festival back in 2015. «Dommedag Ifølge Paulus» (Judgement Day According to Paulus) was a strong emotionally piece of music dedicated to individuals who had received fatal diagnoses, himself included. Paolo left us earlier this year, but his contribution to the Norwegian music since his arrival in Norway in 1979 cannot be praised high enough, participating on over 300 records, with musicians like Morten Harket (a-ha), and Eurovision 1985-winners Bobbysocks, and more familiar artist on the Norwegian music scene like Ole Paus, Lillebjørn Nilsen and Maj Britt Andersen. His co-writer on «Dommedag Ifølge Paulus» was Audun Aschim Steffensen.
In September of this year Steffensen released his album debut, with the vinyl version coming in mid-January 2020. On Mythos he explores characters taken from Greek and Roman mythology. Among these thirteen godly personifications, there are the wine god Bacchus, Apollo, god of music and dance, and the half-human half-bird Harpyia.
To help him create his music, he receives support from the German harp player Hanna Rabe, and Axel Skalstad on drums, percussion and ocean harp. The guitar and harp reflect the lyrical themes, while the drum’s function is to fill the depth’s frequencies. The multidimensional characteristics of these creatures individuality is painted by the compositions content and dramaturgy, where the purpose is to “initiate deeper into the mysteries”. The album not only uses the soundscape of Nordic jazz, but draw influences from French and German harp music, ideas from avant-garde theater, and atmosphere inspired by movie soundtracks.
Even though this is his debut as a record artist, he has written works that has been performed by various artists. In 2018 he wrote a piece for solo percussion, premiered by KORK-drummer Christian Lundqvist, and in October of this year Nils Petter Molvær and Catharina Chen presented his latest work, Anastasis.