Skip to main content

Woodstock-based independent record label Our Silent Canvas is thrilled to unveil “Ra Rising Sun,” the debut single from Gabbarein. Gabbarein is the ethereal Nordic folk duo of Norwegian vocalist and sound healer Cecilie Hafstad and American composer-producer Christopher Bono. “Ra Rising Sun” sonically captures the awe-inducing landscapes and emotional depths realized during Gabbarein’s one-of-a-kind Arctic Circle recording sessions. The single is accompanied by a sensually-captivating music video produced and directed by Ragnarok Films in Trondheim, Norway.

Gabbarein’s self-titled, full-length debut is scheduled to release on April 8, 2024, via digital and limited 2LP, featuring full project notes, recording session photos and a vinyl etching. Pre-order available from Our Silent Canvas webstore now The album is built on emotive improvised vocals framed by sensitive, sparse textures and arrangements and a variety of instrumentation including synths, mandolin, kalimba, guitars, flute, violin, mixed percussion, and local nature samples. Most of the tracks have a calming and transcendent aura, while some channel an ancient Scandinavian intensity through pounding rhythms and indigenous melodies.  As a whole, Gabbarein is a moving and powerful listening experience that transports audiences to the sublime Arctic setting of Norway’s Northern Territory, where the mystical appearance of a White Reindeer served as a spiritual guide during the recording process.

“Ra Rising Sun,” was born from one of the first improvisational sessions on the Fjord in Lyngen, Norway. Christopher Bono reflects, “This track is probably my personal favorite on the album; it represents something ancient, something ancestral, something beyond words. In fact, I think it is the track that best reflects our style, displaying the arc of gentleness to intensity that is a defining character of the album.”

The duo’s creative process for “Ra Rising Sun” unfolded organically, with Christopher playing a simple theme on the Kalimba with Cecilie singing into the moment. Bono shares, “From a production standpoint, I’m still quite amazed that such a powerful track with so much dynamic size and impact came from such an intimate and simple shared musical moment.”

Cecilie Hafstad explains, “The track is sung in a channeled ‘language’ that I do not consciously understand but that made perfect sense to me when I sang and created the track.” She describes the lyrical themes of “Ra Rising Sun” as emphasizing the cyclical nature of life, the struggle for balance, and the profound significance of the sun as a symbol of birth, growth, and consciousness.

Accompanying the single release is a visually captivating music video produced and directed Ragnarok Film (Wardruna, Kalandra, Gåte) filmed on location in Trondheim, Norway. The video for “Ra Rising Sun” also offers viewers a stunning representation of the project themes exploring incredible nature sites including Trollkirka, aka Troll Church, a waterfall and natural pool in Elnesvågen, Norway.

Gabbarein’s self-titled debut album encapsulates the profound and personal journey undertaken by the duo during the week-long recording session. With emotive improvised vocals, sparse textures, and a diverse array of instruments, the album promises a moving and powerful listening experience—one that the world needs during these turbulent times.

The origins of Gabbarein trace back to 2011 when Cecilie Hafstad and Christopher Bono first met at a Shamanic sound-healing retreat in Vermont. Their shared exploration of sound deepened into a unique musical partnership, evolving through collaborations on projects like NOUS and Ghost Against Ghost. Gabbarein’s inception materialized during a transformative recording session in Lyngen, Norway, in June 2018, where the sublime Arctic setting and the unexpected appearance of a White Reindeer tapped deep into the culture of the Sámi people, who are native to the area, and became a core inspiration for the sessions.  They decided to call the project “Gabberein”, which means ‘holy reindeer’ in the Sámi language, with reverence to the reindeer’s presence.

The album’s themes delve into nature, collaboration, and the cathartic power of unearthing deeply buried emotions. With Cecilie singing in Norwegian, the language adds a profound layer of personal expression, allowing her to channel something deeply personal during the sessions.

Christopher Bono, reflecting on the creative process, emphasizes the intention of framing Cecilie’s voice as the primary focus, sharing, “I wanted to create a landscape solely to support the exploration of her voice. My primary projects involve writing and singing my own work, so framing someone else’s voice was never something I was inspired to do. But with Cecilie, it was different, as I cared about her like a sister.”

With the single “Ra Rising Sun” audiences are invited to immerse themselves in the ethereal soundscape crafted by Gabbarein, marking the beginning of a new and enchanting chapter in the musical exploration of these two remarkable artists.

(Our Silent Canvas)
April 8, 2024
Pre-order it HERE

Track List:

1_Ra Rising Sun
2_Kyss Meg
3_Cumash Canyon
4_ Så Stille
5_ Elsker
6_Kom Her
8_ Lyngen
9_ Jeg Hører Deg
10_ Yggdrasil
11_ Bjørke vise
12_ Alt en kan tenke seg
13_ Mamma