OUT NOW | Violinist Mari Samuelsen's New Album "Lys"

Samuelson's newest release presents music by thirteen female composers

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Released on Deutsche Grammophon, Norwegian violinist Mari Samuelson was inspired by the subtle and transformative qualities of light, which is translated in Norwegian as "lys."

The works chosen were all written by female composers, from pop icon Beyoncé to twelfth-century Benedictine philosopher and composer Hildegard of Bingen. Composers such as Hania Rani, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Anna Meredith, and Laura Masotto were also highlighted.

Samuelson explains the inspiration behind this album came to her while waiting to board a long-delayed flight during the summer of 2019. “Waiting for that plane gave me space to think about the ways in which music connects to light, shade and darkness,” Samuelson recalls. Her initial thoughts evolved with time and began to connect as metaphors of light and her own personal memories of childhood days spent in the winter darkness of rural Norway.

“I’m immensely grateful to have had this chance to create an album where I could work so closely with the composers,” Samuelson says. “They’re all very different personalities. It gave me a new dimension as a performer, because I could ask them about the meaning of their music. It’s both exciting and a little risky to put together pieces that come from various times, places and genres, but these are the projects that fascinate me most.

"I want people to experience Lys as a whole story rather than a collection of ‘sentences’ or impressions by different composers. There’s a larger picture here that I hope will take listeners on a journey into light and the atmosphere it creates as it shifts and changes."

To listen to and purchase the album, click here.