He is a musical missionary
MGP-general, Per Sundnes, is impressed by Alexander Rybak
Author: Elisabeth Norheim. Photo: Linn de Lange. Published on www.side2.no 13.04.09
Translation by Marianne Saietz Article revised by Anni Jowett
– “Alexander is very smart. At many of the concerts he starts by playing a Norwegian folk-tune, before he sets in with the monster-hit “Fairytale”. He is very cunning in that way. He challenges people with new stuff, instead of making them feel, he forces stuff upon them”,- NRK programme leader Per Sundnes, explains. He has made the portrait of the MGP-winner.
Carries the musical heritage.
In the portrait, the viewers get to know the artist Alexander Rybak better. We learn more about his background and the road to participation in Eurovision Song Contest 2009 in Moscow in May. Sundnes can not praise the young artist enough: – ” He is a musical missionary, who wants to take care, of both the Norwegian and the Russian musical heritage. Therefore he wishes, among other things, to use his own position to bring attention to his fellow-students at Barratt Due Institute of Music. Stefan Barratt Due points out, himself, how important, Alexander is to the school”- Per tells.
In the programme, Alexander is followed during the time, after he won the Norwegian final of MGP in February. He has not been lazy. The young man has toured all around the country with Elisabeth Andreassen, worked on his debut-album in the record-studio and managed to practise some hours on fiddle and vocal-skills.
The documentary also shows film-clips from the childhood in Nesodden and what a musical family Alexander comes from. His Belorussian parents have a classical background and that has definitely marked Alexander. -“It was touching, to watch the interaction in the family and how the parents inspire him. That he grew up, with such a “not-Norwegian” music-culture and discipline, has given him a unique ballast.” – Per says.
“Among other things, we will hear some early songs, written by Alexander and his father. And we will see how he composes on the piano. Alexander also tells about how all the other nerds in school played in a band, while he was bullied, because he studied the classical music” – Per reveals. Sundnes emphasises, that Alexander doesn’t feel sorry for himself at all. But precisely this oddity, Rybak has used to win the audience. – “You could ask, what he has done for Norwegian folk-music? Now, “halling” is suddenly the coolest thing in town. Who would have thought that? Now, he has become their face to the world ” – Sundnes says.
In spite of his young age, Alexander Rybak has drawn attention to himself in several ways as musician, actor and artist. In the portrait, you can see funny flashbacks, on his already colourful career.
– ” He has walked from house to house and played for food and lodging ” – Per jokes and refers to Alexanders journey from Idol 2004 via Kjempesjansen on NRK in 2006 to MGP in 2009.
The portrait also gives an insight in the classical training and musical ballast of Alexander. According to the MGP-general, many people think Alexander is only a pop-artist, but the documentary shows how Stefan Barratt Due makes it clear that Alexander is a very good classical violinist, who could easily make a living by that musical-genre…
– ” So it is not as some think, that he just plays around with that fiddle. He could just as well be a soloist in an orchestra, but Alexander wants to entertain. Alexander knows his violin!” – Sundnes states
Cares a lot.
The NRK programme leader has met many international superstars, but says, he has never met anyone like Alexander. – “He understands completely how well he has done, but he doesn’t get carried away by it. He cares about the other students and does not draw attention to himself. And even though, he has lots to do, he sits himself and personally answers all the letters from fans. Alexander does not forget, where he comes from” – Per points out.
– ” Alexander is not only a super talent. He is a powerful and skilled musician. In addition, he is a joker, a charmer and a mood-lifter, who willingly takes that role upon him. Alexander is no snob. He understands the game and is young and old in the same time” – Per praises.
Rybak won the Norwegian MGP-final with the song “Fairytale”, and that will follow him, for the rest of his life, according to the NRK programme leader. – ” You should not underestimate that song. It will be his personal virus. He will have to write many good songs, before he writes such a monster hit again. But saying that, he has his pockets full of good songs, in addition to a classical repertoire, which could blow everyone away.”
And the MGP-general thinks, for sure, that Alexander is much more than a MGP phenomenon.. – ” Alexander is no may fly. In spite of the fact, that he is young, he has actually been doing this for a long time and he will continue to be in the spotlight. His timing and his maturity will make him last long” – Sundnes predicts.
Link to the posting, where you can watch the documentary of Per Sundnes about Alexander Rybak from 2009:
This post is also available in Norsk.