Sondre Ferstad
Sondre Ferstad plays his commission Pieces of Wood at Trykkeriet on Friday 10 May. Photo/design: Lasse Berre/Stig Arve Wærnes

Interview with Sondre Ferstad



The multi-instrumentalist Sondre Ferstad took his exam at NTNU Jazzlinja in 2017, with harmonica as the main instrument. Since then he has done a lot of exciting things, including two releases under his own name with the Sondre Ferstad Ensemble and his small quirky Snirkelsongar band. For Jazzfest he brings an audiovisual work with phenomenal musicians and artists. The work is a tribute to the joy of creation. He says: "In a society where we can pay our way out of most problems, we have stopped making things ourselves. I want to show how beautiful creation can be. That's why we stand on stage this day and create something together, musicians and artists. Music and wood sculpture. Making music in the moment and improvisation in the woodcarving.

What are you most looking forward to during this year's Jazzfest, apart from performing your own concert?
- Many exciting concerts to look forward to! The evening at Havet with Øyunn and The Wang will be great, I would also like to see Eirik Hegdal's Eklektisk Samband, but we have to practice for our own concert that evening.

What have you been up to since the last time Trondheim's audience heard you?
- Have moved to Molde to take fiddle lessons with Jasminka Penjin (old teacher of Ola Kvernberg). Started playing the fiddle after Jazzfest asked me to write the order, was eager to learn a bit to write better for strings. Also, it probably just got worse, it got a bit crazy!

And speaking of which, after NTNU Jazzlinja you visited the psychology course. Why did you jump off there?
- Have had many different, funny and strange whims throughout. Learning to play the harmonica is one of them, becoming a psychologist is another. I also tried my hand as a freelance carpenter a couple of years ago. I think it's fun to dive into things I'm passionate about; something becomes something lasting, the other passes away. Psychology probably belongs to the latter, I eventually realized that it was mostly a plan B to ensure a stable income. Glad I found out, and the temporary career change made me realize how privileged you are as a musician! Long live curiosity!

How have you worked out the material and what will the audience hear?
- The music has been played and played for an infinite number of times! The best ideas and melodies have also been left at the end. Last summer I took out some sketches I hadn't heard in half a year and got a real kick! Time not only heals wounds, it also breaks melodic skepticism! The work is played continuously in its entirety, and has some key ideas that recur. The idea is that people will identify some of the motifs over time, creating a common thread. The music will also merge with some exciting stuff that Tore Reisch and Oscar Udbye will cook up, it will be live spiking, say no more, people just have to come and hear and see.

How do you think the way forward for the work?
- I hope the work has big, strong legs to stand on! If there are any booking people reading this, just call me, 91867806.

Do you have any advice for the many young talents?
- Have faith! Trust that the tiny piece of melody you've created can turn into something big! And just play and have as much fun as possible with the music!

What are you listening to most at the moment?
- Listening to Fay Wildhagen's new album, "Let's keep it in the family" on repeat, it hits me.