This project began in 2014, when Nils Økland and Øyvind Skarbø were invited by New Dimensions to work with local musicians based at Coda Music Centre. Over the course of a year they collaborated with the Songs for Wild Horses Ensemble and Coda Community Singing Group to devise a new suite of music which was premiered on October 4th 2015.

Inspired by the landscape and stories of the New Forest and Norway, Songs for Wild Horses presented a contemporary response to the musical and oral traditions of these places. The piece included arrangements of traditional Norwegian music, and the ‘Songs for Wild Horses’ vocal composition written by Bob Burke. The sell-out performance took place in the beautiful setting of The Treehouses at Beaulieu, and audience members were taken on a musical journey through the forest.

Watch the Songs for Wild Horses documentary

Watch the Songs for Wild Horses performance

Nils Økland is an innovative violinist and Hardanger fiddle specialist who is creatively expanding the range of the traditional music of his homeland. He describes his own music as a 'hybrid between the poetry of folk music and the energy of punk.'

Øyvind Skarbø is a percussionist, composer and producer. Currently a member of several different bands, his musical interests cover everything from free jazz to traditional folk. ‘If I were to have a new band for every direction I wanted to explore, I would have 20 bands.’

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