One year after the release of their critically acclaimed 5th studio album Kvitravn, Legendary Norwegian world folk music outfit, WARDRUNA, are set to release Kvitravn – First Flight Of The White Raven, a fully immersive audio experience, on April 22 via By Norse Music/Sony Music/Columbia Germany on multiple formats.
An immersive audio arrangement that underscores the experiential paradigm shift and masterful musicianship of their superlative and boundary-pushing virtual live experience First Flight of the White Raven of March 26th 2021. This new release captures their special set list consisting of songs from Kvitravn and a selection of favourites from the discography, and will be released on a 2LP, as well as 2CD that also features the original studio album track listing. To mark the event’s exceptional impact, it will also be available as a limited Boxset Edition including 2LP (black), 2CD, DVD with livestream performance and bonus documentary material and three videos (only available in the boxed set), flag of the CD album cover, certificate of authenticity for the box and an exclusive autographed card signed by Einar Selvik. Tracklisting and credits below. Pre-orders are available HERE.
“Kvitravn – First Flight of the White Raven is an audio-visual ‘live-in-studio’ recording that was broadcasted online, as the release show of the Kvitravn album. It was recorded in a time when it was not allowed to perform in front of an audience, which made it very important for me that the recording itself truly captured the energy of a live performance. What you hear is what we performed in that moment in that room. No re-recordings or autotune was done in the afterwork. Just like for a regular concert, the set list was carefully put together with a selection of songs from all our albums, including a handful of songs from the new album, which we performed for the very first time. On the day of recording, we all stood together in the same room for the first time in over a year. Everyone came focused and well prepared and the energy felt like no time had passed. I hope you will agree!” – Einar Selvik
To celebrate the announcement, Wardruna are also sharing the track and virtual live performance video for “Solringen” about which Einar Selvik says;“Solringen is a song originally released on the album Runaljod – Yggdrasil (2013). Even though it quickly became a popular track amongst our listeners, it wasn’t until late 2019 we first got around to performing it live. When taking the song from the studio to the stage, I really felt it needed a slightly different approach, more specifically adapted for the concert format”
Selvik continues; “In earlier tradition the women of the household on a farm had the task of going out into the fields around midsummer and wake up the elves dwelling there with rhymes and songs to encourage them to ensure growth and good crops. These songs and traditions have now mostly passed into oblivion. The initial idea behind “Solringen” is that new songs might wake them once again.”
Originally released on January 22, 2021, Kvitravn scored numerous international chart entries, such as #1 in Austria, #1 in Canada (World Music), #2 in Germany, #2 in Switzerland, #3 in USA (Americana/Folk), #8 in Poland, #11 in Norway and #12 in Sweden, among many more.
Kvitravn translates as “white raven” which, as Einar puts it, is also his artist name. “The raven is an animal I have a totemic relationship with, which is why I chose that for myself,” he explains. “But although this album is in a sense more personal and more down to earth than before, it is also quite obscure. I delve into the philosophical, the esoteric, the Nordic myths and how these old traditions define human nature and nature itself. So the white raven was not chosen as the title because of my name, but more due to the ideas which inspired me to take that name in the first place.”
Wardruna have carved a rich, polyphonic and dramatic musical landscape that honours the ancient past without gimmick, whilst simultaneously illuminating meaningful expressions of Norse tradition through intrinsically detailed contemporary composition.
While nothing is necessarily obvious with Wardruna, the years since 2009’s debut album Runaljod – gap var Ginnunga have seen increasing international success. Runaljod – Yggdrasil came in 2013 and was followed in 2016 by Runaljod – Ragnarok. The latter climbed to the top spot in America on Billboard’s World Music charts, and did so in Canada too. In 2018, the low key, live-in-the-studio Skald was released. For Wardruna’s fourth album, Einar had taken a similar approach to his solo shows with a stripped-back, intimate sound.
The combination of Einar’s deep knowledge – he has lectured in academic settings on the old Norse world and its music – and his hands-on approach attracted the attention of the creators of the History Channel’s TV series Vikings. From its second series, in 2014, Einar came on board as co-composer alongside the show’s main composer Trevor Morris and worked on the programme up to its fifth series, which aired in 2019. He even appeared on-screen in a couple of episodes.
Ever-busy, there was also 2016’s Skuggsjá – A Piece for Mind & Mirror where Einar and Ivar Bjørnson of Enslaved fashioned a chronicle of Norway for the anniversary of its constitution and, the next year, the intense Snake Pit Poetry release, credited as an Einar Selvik solo project.
Einar has contributed music for the official soundtrack of the game franchise Assassin’s Creed Valhalla® alongside the BAFTA Award-winning Danish composer Jesper Kyd (Assassin’s Creed, Ezio Trilogy) and American composer Sarah Schachner (Assassin’s Creed Origins), released worldwide on November 17, 2020 by Lakeshore Records in partnership with Ubisoft, followed by numerous collections of unreleased music and acoustic tracks from Einar Selvik in connection with Assassin’s Creed Valhalla® (also released by Lakeshore Records in partnership with Ubisoft) between November 2020 and December 2021.
Kvitravn – First Flight of the White Raven audio track list (2022):
Kvitravn (White Raven)
Fylgjutal (Speech of the Fylgja)
Kvit hjort (White Stag)
Vindavlarljod (Song of the wind-bred)
Andvevarljod (Song of the Spirit-weavers)
Kvitravn – First Flight of the White Raven track list for audio capture of the virtual live performance (2022):
Rotlaust Tre Fell
Kvitravn – First Flight of the White Raven tracklist for DVD capture of the virtual live performance (2022):
Rotlaust Tre Fell
Behind the Scenes
Kvitravn – First Flight Of The White Raven will be released on April 22 in the following formats:
Limited Wooden Box Set (Wardruna webstore exclusive)
2CD jewel case with slipcase and 28-pages booklet
Royal Blue gatefold 2LP
Milky clear w/black marble effect gatefold 2LP (Wardruna webstore exclusive),
Royal Blue w/ black orb gatefold 2LP (By Norse webstore exclusive)
Silver gatefold 2LP (Sony Exclusive)
Black gatefold 2LP
All vinyl editions feature an 8 pages-booklet.
Wardruna “Kvitravn” Tour Dates & Ticket Links: