Lukk Opp Kirkens Dører - A Selection Of Norwegian Christian Jazz, Psych, Funk & Folk 1970-1980
This compilation documents the Norwegian progressive Christian music scene that grew out of the Ten Sing-movement (Teenage Singing) and Jesus revolution at the end of the 1960s. Within a few years the Christian music industry in Norway became almost as powerful as the secular, with the rise of new labels, festivals and fan clubs. With a wish to throw open the church’s doors to new cultural expressions, Christian youth all over Norway created a now forgotten catalogue of albums with jazz, psychedelic, beat, funk and folk mixed with a Christian message. Twenty nuggets from this obscure music catalogue are now gathered on this release.
It took a while for the Norwegian church to ask itself the question: why should the devil have all the good music? If one search through the massive heaps of Norwegian EPs released on the Christian record companies Ansgar. ETON and Klango before 1970, you will find hours of congregation house quartets and choirs. But with the great transformations within youth and popular culture in the 1960's there also came a great renewal within Norwegian church music.
In 1967 the writer of psalms and priest, Olaf Hillestad (1923 - 1974), founded Forum Experimentale, an organization that promised in its statutes to: “boldly work for a renewal in service life, church music and church art.” Hillestad acquired premises in Bogstadveien 49c, which served both as a chapel and youth club where young Christians could worship their God with poetry recitals, art, acid rock and theatre. That same year the Teenage Singing revolution came to Norway. Kjell Grønner was hired as a youth priest in the Bergen YMCA in 1965 and quickly reasoned that something had to be done in order to get the youth to attend church. Inspired by the American Christian show Up With People! he started Norway's first Ten Sing choir. Finally, young people came to the churches and thoroughly refurbished Norwegian psalms with rock'n'roll, beats, jazz and protest singing. A few years later the Jesus movement swept over Norway, a Christian 68-revolt that grew strongly during the 1970s. This led to the rise of Norwegian fractions like Ung Visjon (Young Vision), Jesu Glede (Jesus' Joy) and the collective Guds Fred (The Peace of God) which all used music in a very active manner to spread the gospel.
As this revival spread across Norway, a Christian record industry grew in its wake. The Norwegian Lutheran Inner Missionary Society started the Luther Foundation's Music Department (LUMI), The Pentecostal church started a youth label JOY for their label KLANGO and Forum Experimentale went on to become the record company Kirkelig Kulturverkested (The Churches Cultural Workshop). Here one finds a hidden and fantastic catalogue of progressive and experimental Christian music. From the gritty fusion funk and electric jazz of Good News and That`s Why to progressive folk by singer songwriters such as Grete Salomonsen and Kari Hansa and Gregers Hes. Also unearthed are the psychedelic sounds of Crossing and KERYX to rock-musicals by Arnold Børud and Angelos. If one wonders what the Christian people danced to late at night just isten to disco, beat and funk gems by Heralds, Joyful Singers Soli Deo, Reflex and Presens.