The shimmering beauty of the combined voices of Anna Maria Friman, Linn Andrea Fuglseth, and Torunn Østrem Ossum sometimes floats in an ethereal realm of crystalline precision. Their harmonies are so exquisite that it's tempting to call them angelic. But there's also an earthiness that's essentially soulful about the Scandinavian group's music, grounded in Ossum's lower register notes and a necessarily contemporary context that finds common ground among ancient and new music, and a spontaneous spirit akin to jazz. Formed in Oslo in 1997, the trio has long juggled early music—often liturgical material never intended to be sung by women—and material written by modern composers specifically for their breathtaking voices. But their new album, Folk Songs (ECM), applies their stunning technique to Norwegian traditional tunes the women all grew up with, each given an exquisite melodicism. The trio's soaring voices are further rooted by the percussion of Birger Mistereggan, giving an almost tribal, throbbing pulse to this celestial chorus.
Sat., Nov. 24, 8 p.m., 2007