Since 2011 I have been composing and developing music for Hunderfossen Familiepark, gradually evolving into a complete musical profile for the park’s own fairytale universe, with different themes and songs for the characters Espen Askeladd, Trolle, Galder, the King, the Princess and the Witch. These characters both appear in both big and small plays and installations which are performed at different venues in the park during different seasons – but the characters also appear around the park itself. And almost every year we add something entirely new to the whole mix. Musically we are staying true to the Norwegian fairytale tradition, keeping with an expectedly “trollish” musical score, but not without adding a few modern twists and susprises…
NOTE: Although these are lots of separate projects for the different stages and areas of Hunderfossen Familiepark, they all belong together in such a fashion that it really only made sense to group it together as one ultra big project page – 5 years and counting..!
My work began with the score and songs for the 2011 musical play TROLLSVERDET, with an original script by Morten Hovland. I composed three main songs; “Bli med på eventyr”, “Trolletrill, trolletrall” and the instant hit “Heksefest”. All three songs have character estabilishing melodies and themes which also echo all through the underscore parts, and in the grandioso Overture. “Bli med på eventyr” also features the main fanfare theme and the adventure/friendship theme, which also echo in the overture. Themes all around!
I continued to make small adjustments the two following years – but the next big batch of new music came in 2014, when the new play ASKELADDEN OG GALDER SOM STJAL SOLA premiered as the main part of the park’s very popular Trollnatt concept, with a new script by Mathias Calmeyer. Here three crucial new main themes were added, the Princess theme and song (“Evig tro til Dovre faller”), the epic troll metal of “Galderrock”, and the King’s (instrumental only) theme. Lyrics for the new songs were written by Janne Langaas, who also added new lyrics to several of the already established theme songs from 2011. The big and rather dumb troll Galder’s new theme was used heavily in the new production, with dramatic score and battle versions in addition to the full blown “Galderrock” rendition. The same year I also composed two songs for the play GULL AV GRÅSTEIN; “Gull av gråstein” and “Hvem er tøffest”, with lyrics by Bjørn Helge Warud. I also made a quirky “troll orchestra” opening ceremony for the park entrance, and more…
In 2015’s winter park concept in February, there was a great “Trance Party of the Trolls”, which meant I had to find out what troll trance was supposed to sound like. Later, in the summer season, yet another new play was set up as the main attraction of Trollnatt, called ASKELADDEN OG KAMPEN OM TRONEN. Like the previous year, the new production had a script by Mathias Calmeyer and song lyrics by Janne Langaas. Two new main songs were created, the all new Askeladden fiddle-based theme, with the full song “Jeg vinner til sist”. The King also needed a big song number this year, and as I already had composed a small theme for the King the previous year, this actually mutated and transformed into a big, comical song number, which can only be described as “baroque reggae”. New score music was also created this year, especially for the “reality show” parts of the new play, in which the King hosts a competition, where the main prize is – you guessed it – the Princess and half the kingdom… This meant we also had to dive into the cliches of bad reality TV music, which was immensely good fun!
For the 2016 winter park concept, the next addition to the Hunderfossen song universe was added: A new “fairytale duet” between the Princess and her mother, the Queen.
Even though the sound of the Hunderfossen music is symphonic and somewhat “big”, I did not want it to sound Hans Zimmer big. It should not lose the warmth and intimacy of the Norwegian fairytale world, which is why I have wanted the music to maintain a more “dry” feel of a smaller ensemble, rather than a full blown orchestra. And although a considerable deal of the instruments come from sample libraries rather than live musicians (at least in its current version), I have purposely stayed away from using the big ensemble patches, and focused largely on solo instruments.
Since Hunderfossen was pretty much my favourite place in the world as a kid, it makes me really happy to give something back to the new generation of kids who feel the same way today.
Music from the stageplays TROLLSVERDET (2011), ASKELADDEN OG GALDER SOM STJAL SOLA (2014), ASKELADDEN OG KAMPEN OM TRONEN (2015) and other stage concepts under the TROLLNATT banner.
Music by Eirik Myhr
Lyrics by Janne Langaas/Morten Hovland
LEAD VOCALS “Bli med på eventyr” and “Trolletrill, trolletrall”: Rebekka Opdal Christiansen
LEAD VOCALS “Heksefest” and “Galderrock”: Marius Havik
LEAD VOCALS “Evig tro til Dovre faller”: Stine Robin Berg Hansen
LEAD VOCALS “Jeg vinner til sist”: Jonas Strand Gravli
LEAD VOCALS “Kongens reggae”: Jonas Kippersund
VOCALS “Eventyrstemning”: Anne Mari Eikenæs
HORN: Lene Aadalen Skomedal
FIDDLE: Erlend Viken
ELECTRIC GUITAR “Trolletrill, trolletrall”: Øyvind Vormeland Salte
ALL OTHER INSTRUMENTS AND PROGRAMMING: Eirik Myhr
All photos by Espen Haakenstad, © Hunderfossen
Client: Hunderfossen Familiepark
Directors: Gard B. Eidsvold, Bjørn Helge Warud, Marius Havik