12 O'Clock Track: Giovanna Pessi and Susanna Wallumrød, "The Plaint" | Bleader

12 O'Clock Track: Giovanna Pessi and Susanna Wallumrød, "The Plaint"

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Giovanna Pessi and Susanna Wallumrod
  • Giovanna Pessi and Susanna Wallumrod
Norwegian singer Susanna Wallumrød has a voice that's refined, clear, and ethereal, but also assertive and strong; she's deftly mixed original songs and imaginative covers as a solo artist and as the front person for Susanna & the Magical Orchestra (with Morten Qvenild of In the Country). A few years ago she met Swiss baroque harp player Giovanna Pessi when Pessi was in Oslo rehearsing with Wallumrød's brother, pianist and bandleader Christian Wallumrød. They hit it off, and Susanna enlisted Pessi to play on her song "Hangout," which appeared on the 2007 album Sonata Mix Dwarf Cosmos (Rune Grammofon).

On If Grief Could Wait, their first full-length collaboration, "Hangout" appears again, amid an unlikely mix of songs by Leonard Cohen, Nick Drake, and 17th-century baroque composer Henry Purcell. Pessi's baroque harp meshes beautifully with Marco Ambrosini's nyckelharp (a Swedish keyed fiddle) and Jane Achtman's viola da gamba, but those early-music instruments don't tie the music to a particular era: Wallumrød's gorgeous singing hints at traditional British folk and keeps the focus on the timeless melodies. Below you can check out their adaptation of Purcell's "The Plaint."

photo: Andreas Ulvo

Giovanna Pessi and Susanna Wallumrød, "The Plaint"

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