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Growing up in Gudbrandsdalen, one of my favourite places in the world as a kid was Hunderfossen familiepark. A more intellectually stimulating and less hectic alternative to the traditional rollercoaster-filled amusement parks, Hunderfossen had a nice and quite calm atmosphere, and even though you could ride in small cars, they were so slow that even I could appreciate and enjoy them, year after year. Maybe best of all, the park was largely based on the animator/filmmaker genius of Ivo Caprino, and he himself was an active contributor to the park’s humble beginnings. The great thing is; the place still exists! And it still has that large troll too! Going inside it, watching all the Caprino characters in the wonderfully detailed environments with that trollishly magical music in the background, still gives me the chills.
Early 2011 I was approached by Hunderfossen, as they wanted me to compose the music for a new semi-length musical play (Trollsverdet) for the park’s theatre stage. Since then I’ve been back several times with new musical deliveries, gradually evolving into a complete musical profile for the park’s expanding fairytale universe… This is when all those memories and experiences at Hunderfossen from my own childhood come in handy. At the premiere of Trollsverdet in 2011, when I first heard this underscore track being played in the park’s entrance, I really felt I had done something right in capturing the spirit of the place. It was a strangely great feeling. I was right back there, in that same mood I had felt as a kid, but this time, I had helped creating it. (Although helped by the beautiful impro fiddling by Erlend Viken, horn by Lene Aadalen Skomedal and vocals by Anne Mari Eikenæs.)
This year I have been writing the biggest batch of new music since the original themes and songs from 2011. The results are the new musical plays Askeladden og Galder som stjal sola and Gull av gråstein, plus some underscore music for other areas of the park.
One of the highlights from the new music for Askeladden og Galder som stjal sola is the theme music for the show’s villain; the very big, and not too bright troll guy – Galder. His theme song might easily be categorized as “troll metal”. Very loud and very angry. It’s meant to stand out a bit from the rest of the songs and score. I’m trying to picture what the song’s reception will be like. Old grandmas and grandpas leaving the stage in protest. Some rock’n’roll dads with huge tattoos gently nodding their heads in approval. A couple of babies crying (impossible to hear, because Troll Metal). Well, we’ll just have to wait and see.
This weekend I’ve been hanging out in the park, observing the great ensemble of actors rehearsing some of the scenes and songs. Eating lots of unhealthy food. They actually have waffles with soft ice and blueberries!!! I can’t know that and not eat it. Not possible.
Askeladden og Galder som stjal sola is a part of the Trollnatt concept, which premieres July 12th. More information on Hunderfossen’s official website. The directors are Bjørn Warud (of Askeladden Friteater) and Marius Havik. Askeladden og trollet som stjal sola‘s script is written by Mathias Calmeyer with song lyrics by Janne Langaas (while some of the songs, originally from 2011’s Trollsverdet, have lyrics by Morten Hovland), while Gull av gråstein is a full Askeladden Friteater creation, written by Bjørn Warud and directed by Warud/Havik.
Actors Stine, Rebekka, Jonas and Marius rehearsing a scene.
Director Bjørn offering actress Stine a Fisherman’s Friend™.
Bjørn going over a scene with the actors.
Me as a 9-year old at Hunderfossen way back in 1991.