Written by Inger Lise Hammerstrøm. Photo: Inger Lise Hammerstrøm.
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Translation to english by Laila Ulvseth
Vacation on Otterøya. For Alexander Rybak, half a day of vacation is more than enough. This week, he had one-and-a-half day at Otterøya with the girlfriend, Maria Strøm Slyngstad and her family.
On cabin-vacation with his girlfriend.
OTTERØYA: Thursday night, a tired, but obliging Alexander Rybak landed on Namsos airport. A press corps and his girlfriend Maria Strøm Slyngstad were there to greet the popular fiddler.
– As a matter of fact, I don’t want so much focus on love, and that Maria is my girlfriend. I don’t want to expose her to all the hatemail and messages some of my fans are sending.
Nevertheless, they invite Namdalsavisa to come along to the cabin on Otterøya, where the fiddler and his girlfriend will spend a few days before new concerts and signings awaits.
Half a day of vacation is enough
– Don’t you ever get tired?
– No, because I use my energy correctly. Besides, I have my best friend as manager, and get a lot of support and help to make the right choices there.
Like: Not exposing his love life in media, be brave enough to release an album that breaks with the mythical popstar, and meet people on a shoppingmall signing tour. It’s been a lot of that recently, but Rybak doesn’t miss lazy days on the beach.
– As long as I have half a day off, it’s vacation good enough for me. I don’t cope, with being on the beach with my buddies and sunbathe and play ball a whole day. I don’t get anything artistic out of that. If so, I have to windsurf, watch a movie or a tv-series. Something that gives me something, or just being here with Maria and the family.
– Namdalen’s greatest poet, Olav Duun, moved out of here when he was 25, but he continued writing about the local nature. Do you have a place you return to when you are writing music?
– Yes, to Belarus and the dark, melancholic forests there. That’s where my melancholy comes from, and then I add some of the Norwegian optimism.
The optimism that we Norwegians in the wake of July 22. have benefitted so well from. Rybak himself needed to let some of his melancholy out, and wrote an elegy to the ones left behind.
– Music is also a kind of therapy.
Personally he is very happy to have Maria, who with her trønderske (*see note to another article about trøndere*here) security keeps him stabile. While studying medicin, she was also Rybak’s chorist, violinist and supporter when the ESC-circus was hitting the roof. – How she managed her studies during that tour is beyond my comprehension!
– She might have got some of your Russian self-discipline then, just like she has given you her trønderske security.
– Yes, he he – perhaps so!..