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Tine Thing Helseth — “Magical Memories” (LAWO Classics, 2021)


Tine Thing Helseth talks to Trumpet Magazine about her new album, Magical Memories, which is out on May 28 — listen to some singles here!

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ISSN: 2792-8349

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International Journal of Music

The music community is looking forward to your upcoming album, Magical Memories. What can you tell us about it?

It was recorded during the pandemic in Autumn last year. It’s basically a lot of nice tunes. I have really fond memories of a lot of them, from when I was a child, and my mum played in the local church with the organist. This was way before iPads and iPods, so I had to draw to pass the time. I would lay very close to the organ on the floor of the organ loft, feeling the vibrations. I remember this very clearly, and it is a very special memory to me. I have also included tunes that are popular in Norway that I have heard since I was a child. Then there are some lovely Baroque pieces on the album.

The reason behind the title Magical Memories is that it is an album that holds a lot of memories with the tunes that I have included. For example, a lot of the Norwegian music in the album is often used for special occasions — weddings or funerals, or similar events. My goal was to make an album that, in turn, creates its own memories and becomes a part of occasions that are very special to us. So it will be a mix of mine and my audience’s memories.

Is it a mix of Norwegian folk music?

Yes, there are a couple of very Norwegian folk wedding marches and some more well-known Norwegian music from Edward Grieg. But we also have some Baroque — music by Bach and Telemann, among others. And then also some Scandinavian folk songs and some American tunes.

Did the pandemic help in some ways to focus more on recording your album? And where did you record it?

We recorded the album in Oslo, in the main cathedral. It was made late into the evening and a bit during the night, which was special. It was nice to have a project over the lockdown, and we managed to put it together quite fast because everyone’s schedules were suddenly easier to manage. It was far easier than usual for myself and the organist to get together. And yes, I actually did another recording just a few weeks ago for an album coming out next year, so this is really the perfect time to do recordings before everything goes back to the new normal!

You are best known for your trumpet playing, but you also have an album from 2017 where you wrote and sang all the songs. What inspired you to write, sing and record an album?

Firstly, I am a pop music child at heart. Spice Girls was the biggest thing for me growing up. I am very much a fan of good music, no matter the genre, and I love mixing things up. I think that the nature of the trumpet is very versatile at its core — people assume that you can do a jazz tune because of the strong associations with that genre. And it is often heard in many other genres too. During my wind band days, we played everything from big band music to Mozart, but also ABBA, Queen, and marches. The trumpet is such a diverse instrument.

From a very early age, I have also written many songs, the only difference being that I wrote them for myself. I have begun to sing more and more in later years, and I count myself fortunate enough to have had some great opportunities to do that. Just the other day, I spoke to someone else in a similar interview on Zoom, and she asked me what I would do if I didn’t play the trumpet; what would my instrument be? I would definitely be a jazz singer. That would be my dream if I didn’t play the trumpet: I would love to be a jazz singer.

Going back to the album, when I was thirty years old, there was this Norwegian record label that gave me a gift of recording whatever I wanted. We didn’t know in the beginning when we got into the studio that the producer would be a really nice, famous jazz trumpeter Mathias Eick. He heard a couple of songs that I had written and asked why I didn’t write more, so I did! We ended up recording them with the band, and the album evolved into basically my own music. We did a little bit of trumpet at the end, so yes, I did play a bit too. Overall, it was an amazing experience and very therapeutic as well for me to be able to write my own music. I am very happy that I got to do it, and I am proud of what it became. It is something worlds apart from the trumpet and organ album!

Tine’s album Magical Memories is out on LAWO Classics on 28 May 2021.

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