Singer. Activist. Storyteller. If Pål Moddi Knutsen had grown up in the 70s, he might have been performing alongside the likes of Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger or Joan Baez. With contagious enthusiasm and captivating presence, the Norwegian singer/songwriter is one of the forerunners of the new generation of political folk singers, where riveting melodies go hand in hand with plain-spoken lyrics.
Moddi, or Pål Moddi Knutsen by his full name, has become one of the most noteworthy voices to emerge on the international folk scene within the last decade. Whether through the romantic radio hit "House by the Sea", the celebrated "Unsongs" project with censored music from five continents, or the award-winning "Kæm va du?" in his mother tongue, Moddi has shown a remarkable ability to reinvent his own music.
On his latest release "Like in 1968", Moddi has gathered inspiration from the year of 1968 – the "most historical year in history" as he calls it. The album is a tribute to the grassroots activists, the street protesters and those who work for a better future. The title track of "Like in 1968", a nine minutes long modern epic backed by the acclaimed string ensemble Trondheimsolistene, encapsulates the spirit of the whole album in one sentence: It's never too late to start dreaming again.
"The year of 1968 was the year when everything happened at once", says Moddi about the album. "Fifty years after, we seem to be living in times when anything can happen. Maybe we can learn from past mistakes, and at the same time revive some of the dreams that brought us the iconic music and social movements that were 1968?"
foto Moddi © Jørgen Nordby