About Handan Stjørnurnar
“Handan stjørnurnar” (Beyond The Stars) is, despite ELIN BRIMHEIM HEINESEN’s long music career, her debut album as a soloist.
ELIN BRIMHEIM HEINESEN is a Faroese singer-songwriter who has been active on the Faroese music scene since the mid-70’s. Elin is perhaps best known as one half of the duo NALJA, which in the late 80’s released a cassette tape with very popular songs like “Á, Tann deiliga Havn”, “Sjeikurin” and “Eitt dýpi av dýrari tíð”.
Debut album as a soloist Although Elin has been active for a long time as a musician, she has only released two albums: NALJA together with Kári Linderoth Jacobsen in 1988, where they wrote five tracks each and then the album “Yndisløg – Ein ferð aftur í farnar tíðir” (Treasured songs – a trip down memory lane) along with Ad Libitum, released in 2010, with different well-known evergreens.
Elin has been dreaming of publishing an album only with her own music, since NALJA was released in 1988, but has not succeeded – not until now. The album “Handan stjørnurnar” is a selection of 12 TUTL Records, Niels Finsens gøta 9C, FO-100 Tórshavn, Faroe Islands, [email protected] songs never published before. Elin has chosen the songs among all the many songs she has written since she started writing songs as a young teenager.
Elin says about the album, “I’ve sung a lot but have just released two albums in my life: NALJA, where half of the tracks were mine, and then “Yndisløg”, which weren’t my own songs. So I’ve been dreaming of publishing my own album only with my own music.” The question is so why she waited so long. “I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t afford it and have also been busy with so much else, so the music was always prioritized last. But”, Elin says, and continues: “Two years ago, I thought to myself: You are almost 60 years old now, so if you really want it to happen, it must happen now! It’s not okay to leave everything in the drawer where nobody has any use of it.”
Saved money for the project
After many supportive encouragements from friends and musicians she has played concerts with in recent years, the thought grew stronger that her music was worth publishing. She promised herself to publish an album on her 60th birthday at the latest. “I found some of my songs, which I think most likely will be able to stand the test of times, and then I started to save money to have enough to pay for the music recordings.”
Now that she finally took the initiative, Elin wanted an album with everything she had dreamed of – choirs, strings, wind instruments, etc., so she knew that the music would be expensive to produce.
Good cooperation with Finnur Hansen
About half a year ago she estimated that she had saved enough money, so she called Finnur Hansen to make an appointment in his studio. “It’s about time,” he replied,” says Elin, laughing. “Finnur and I have worked together earlier. Among
other things, Finnur has played concerts with NALJA, he was a sound engineer on the symphonic version of “Eitt dýpi av dýrari tíð” and was also a sound engineer / producer on the album “Yndisløg” and we were always great at working together.”
They made an agreement to begin the first recordings in February this year with Finnur as sound engineer and co-producer. In addition, they have both taken turns to make arrangements for various instruments on the album. “I wanted to produce my own album as much as possible and make arrangements for backing vocals, strings, wind instruments, etc.” says Elin. “But at the same time I knew that Finnur has so much more experience with music production than I have, so of course I wanted to listen to his good advice as well. And besides, he is also an extraordinary musician as well, so I would be stupid if I didn’t accept his creative input. We found a good work balance, I think, so we have made everything in full agreement. Finnur has been a fantastic contributor and a true music magician.
Great respect for the musicians
Elin also contacted other talented musicians, many of whom knew some of her songs in advance because they have played concerts together in recent years. They were immediately willing to participate in the project. And then they started recording the basic instruments – drums, bass, guitar and keyboard. Then several layers were laid on top, such as lead and backing vocals, strings and wind instruments, etc. Part of the music is arranged and recorded based on scores while other parts are improvised. Elin explained what style she wanted the musicians to try to aim for, and then the musicians were given freedom to make their own interpretations with their own instruments. “I have huge respect for these very talented musicians, so of course I allowed them to play the way they do best – so much better than I could ever do, so I’ve been very excited for all the musical gifts they have given me this way. But I wanted to have the last word in terms of the more general things, such as chord selection, style, rhythm, tempo, sound, etc. Finnur and the other musicians are extremely professional, all together, and have been really good at hitting the style and the atmosphere that I wanted.”
Found the same image for the album cover
“I made a suggestion for an album cover myself with a drawing made by some New Zealenders, who were in the Faroe Islands last year, drawing pictures. I contacted the graphic designer Hans Juul Hansen, whom I wanted to do the artwork. The strange thing was that before I showed Hans Juul my suggestion, he went after a drawing which he thought would fit the cover well. I was completely astonished when I saw that this was exactly the same drawing I had used in my suggestion – without him knowing it! So it was probably meant to be that this drawing had to be on the cover.”
“Everyone that I have contacted and asked to contribute has been really positive and has committed a 100% to the project so it has been a pleasure to work with them all, and with the album as a whole throughout. I am extremely pleased that I can finally present the result – an album with the title “Handan stjørnurnar” (Beyond The Stars) with 12 of my own songs.
Read more about Elin Brimheim Heinesen here: http://heinesen.fo
Follow Elin here: https://www.facebook.com/ElinBrimheimHeinesen/
Elin sings on the big stage at the G! Festival in 2016 (© Alessio Mesiano)
Contributors to “Handan stjørnurnar”
Elin Brimheim Heinesen wrote all the songs and all the lyrics. One particular song, “Kemur tú aftur”, was made together with Árni Jóhannesson, known as the lead singer of the band Punjab. Elin produced all the songs together with Finnur Hansen, in addition to making arrangements for different instruments, singing all the songs, playing guitar and singing backing vocals.
Finnur Hansen was sound engineer and mixed and produced with Elin and made arrangements for various instruments, in addition to playing keyboard, guitar, accordion, percussion and singing backing vocals.
Jan Eliasson frá Audioplanet ApS did the mastering.
Arnold Ludvig played bass and made the arrangement for wind instruments on “Søti mín”, Rógvi á Rógvu played drums and different percussions, and Rúni Eysturlíð and Leivur Thomsen played guitars of different kinds.
Angelika Nielsen and Jón Festirstein played violin and bratch and Tóri Restorff Jacobsen played cello.
Hentze Horns played on “Søti mín” – Johan Hentze played 1st trumpet, Rúni Hentze 2nd trumpet, Mortan Zachariassen played saxophone and Elspa Samuelsen played trombone.
Ólavur Olsen played horns, Ole Himmelstrup played saxophone and Andrea Hendriksdóttir played cross flute on other tracks.
In addition to Finnur and Elin, Malan Thomsen, Anna Maria Olsen, Kim Hansen and Karl Martin Samuelsen also sang backing vocals.
Hans Juul Hansen was responsible for the cover artwork. And Tim and Zoe from “31 Days In” in New Zealand, supplied the drawing of Bryggjubakki / Vágsbotn in Tórshavn on the album cover, while the Italian photographer Alessio Mesiano took the photo of Elin.
1. Tú vart altíð har
2. Søti mín
3. Landið handan stjørnurnar
6. Sprettandi vár
8. Vit liva saman
9. Hann keddur er
10. Kemur tú aftur
11. Náttarsangur mammunar
12. Mín varði
Released on the following formats:
CD. See purchase button below.
Digitally as stream and download. See the player below, where you can listen to snippets of the tracks.