Our Band

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When we formed our band we had three issues that were important for us –

First of all, we were looking for players with a broad musical interest and a wide experience. We wanted to develop our own style of music and we needed a band that could be part of that development. We needed players with a musical confidence, strong enough to see the music from a Secret Garden perspective and see their role as part of a musical concept.

Secondly, we wanted players who could be part of a long-time musical commitment. Around the time we started, I worked with a lot of the most sought-after players in Norway. In a way it could have been tempting to choose from these top players, but I was hesitant going down that road. I discussed this with Fionnuala, and we agreed that working with a band of popular session players, and players involved in many other popular projects, would only create difficulties for our selves at some point. We wanted to form a band where Secret Garden would be the main priority; musicians who could would regard Secret Garden as an important career opportunity.

Third, and not the least important point: we wanted a group of players that could blend socially, be friends on tour on- and off-stage, and work and travel together without any big egos or friction. When you work with top players, musically and technically, it’s not always easy to find your position inside the group of talented people. There can be a lot of individual concerns upsetting a perfect musical and social balance, especially when all the players are artists in their own right. To have a band without conflicting interests was so important.

We were blessed to find our band members very soon; they fell into place in a very natural way.

Rhtyhm Section

Rolf Kristensen

Rolf Kristensen

band_rolf_kThe most consistent part of the group is our rhythm section. Our guitar player Rolf Kristensen has been there since the very first concert in 1995. Apart from a temporary teaching commitment as an Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California, he has played every concert with us. In fact, when he was gone for 6 months, we chose to tour without replacing him. It would be too complicated to sub for him. When he is not touring with Secret Garden, he’s an Associate Professor at the University of Agder (UIA) in Kristiansand, teaching guitar.

He’s a very versatile player with jazz and contemporary music as his forte. He can also do a great classical acoustic guitar arrangement, but he is more confident on stage when he can strap up his Fender Stratocaster and step on his pedal rack.

It took a few years before he let out his artistic talent. In the beginning, he was very happy taking a back position on stage, almost a little shy. Later, he blossomed and became more confident as an artist, taking a front position whenever it’s needed.

In a funny way, he combines these practical and organized characteristics with an astonishing absent-mindedness. In fact, we always joke when we do our count to check if everybody’s onboard the bus: “Is Roofy here?” If the answer is ‘yes’, we know that everybody else is too.

The logistics of a tour, practical details and information can totally pass him by, but on the stage he’s solid as a rock.

Singers

Tracey Campbell

Tracey Campbell

Tracey was the original singer, along with Brian Kennedy, on our recording of ‘You Raise Me Up’ in 2001. After we brought her back with us, she’s been part of our regular touring group. It was great to have her onboard for the promotion of ‘You Raise Me Up’, but her great talent didn’t really come to fruition before we gave her a bigger role in the concerts by singing songs from Inside I’m Singing in 2007. We discovered Tracey’s divine talent when she stepped down from the bleachers of the London Gospel Community Choir and auditioned for the female verse of ‘You Raise Me Up’. We’d never imagined that our music, paired with a gospel singer, would work so well. When we heard Tracey, we just cried. She was perfect for the song and she made it into something more – something magical we could never plan for or expect.

Whatever song she performs with us she’s turning into a personal statement. She has this God-given talent that she’s doesn’t sing a song; the song sings her. Whether it’s ‘Simply You’, ‘The Things You Are To Me’, ‘Powered By Nature’, ‘Sometimes A Prayer Will Do’ or ‘You Raise Me Up’ she’s making it into a powerful spiritual moment. She says she always thinks about God when she sings. When I’m recording in the studio with her it’s actually hard to produce her because I’m so emotionally receptive to her performance I can’t concentrate on technical issues.

On tour she’s a mess, often late for the bus in the morning and always the last to check out of the hotel room. She’s able to miss flights and lose her tickets. It’s a regular part of the tour leader’s job to give her two wake-up calls in the morning. But she’s worth it! She is a genuine world-class talent, and we feel blessed that we’re able to work with her and regard her part of our Secret Garden ensemble.

Top Lines

Hans Fredrik Jacobsen

Hans Fredrik Jacobsen

band_hans_fredrikOur first regular top line player is the Norwegian whistle player Hans Fredrik Jacobsen. He’s the only original member of the band who was on stage with us in Dublin when we won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1995. He’s done countless concerts with us all over the world, but he’s also been busy with his own musical projects, both touring and recording… which means that he’s been unavailable for us from time to time. One of his strengths as a player is his technical excellence. He has a master degree at the University of Oslo as a traditional recorder player, and he is also a versatile improviser of any whistle, which is a rare combination. This means that he’s as capable playing a classical tune with beautiful phrasing as he is improvising fills and creating effects on his instruments. He’s solid as a rock on stage, and he always delivers pure gold in every concert he’s performing with us.

Hans Fredrik enjoys a good meal, a great glass of wine, a good book or some great music. He can produce the most elegant and funny limericks on the spot. There is a story about him I can’t confirm because I wasn’t there, but Espen Andersen, our monitor-mixing engineer, can. On one of our tours he was watching a movie on the plane to China. A group of formal men in black suits was standing right next to his seat discussing something. Hans Fredrik was eventually annoyed by the disturbance they caused, and basically told them to get lost in his slightly ironic and not the most eloquent manner. It turned out that it was the Belgian Prime Minister he’d verbally annihilated.

Hans Fredrik is considered a leading traditional flute player in Norway. His list of recordings and concert projects is a study of Norwegian music history in itself.

Crew

Dag Stephen Solberg

Dag Stephen Solberg

crew_dag_stephenWe met Dag Stephen by coincidence at one of our first corporate events in Oslo. He was coincidentally assigned by the sound company who was hired to do the gig. He was young and inexperienced, but he had this incredible energy and enthusiasm that Fionnuala and I liked. He was ‘hungry’, at the beginning of his career and talented. We saw, in this combination, a perfect potential for us. By investing in his talent and by giving him professional experience along with our own growth as a group, we were confident that Dag Stephen was the right sound engineer for us. This was in 1996 before we started our international touring. When the opportunity came for international concerts, it was never a question of working with anyone else but Dag Stephen… even if he was a novice to the international market.

He is still with us, doing most of our concerts and tours. Needles to say, he’s embedded in our 20-year history, and we rely heavily on his experience and professionalism. Today, he is one of the most sought-after sound engineers in Norway, doing the biggest concerts and events for Norwegian and international top acts.

The sound is essential to a concert, and and there is nothing we can do to affect the sound other than how we play on stage. It’s all resting in the hands of the sound mixer. It could be a subtle detail in the arrangement or a delicate balance between two instruments, it could be the EQs in a difficult hall or it could be the right reverb on the violin. It’s all the small details that will decide how the audience eventually will perceive the music. Everywhere we go, we hear praise of Dag Stephen’s sound. It’s really a matter of trust. We’re very fortunate to have him with us for all these years. He knows our music back to front and still, after almost 2 decades, has this boyish energy and enthusiasm when we work with him.

During a sound check, I might occasionally walk out into the hall just to have a listen and get a feel for the sound. I might have opinions, but mostly I’ve learned to trust our highly qualified sound crew.

In times when Dag Stephen has been unavailable for us, we’ve worked with David Solheim. During the years, he has toured with us on numerous occasions, in Asia, Australia, USA and Europe. There are minor variations in the way they produce sound but they both possess the same ambition and sincerity in their work ethics. David is the calm rock and lets no stress bite even when there’s a storm around him. They’re different persons, but they both share a common understanding of our musical concept,  and they’ve both earned our full respect and confidence.

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December 27th, 9:31 am

Dear Friends, we have a special project to share with you; a documentary about the making of "Sacred Night". This is the background story of the album, the writing process and the recording. Cathrine, Fionnuala and Rolf share their personal footage from the studio sessions linked with their own words.
You can watch the whole documentary on our YouTube channel: youtu.be/aD3Ni61O55Y

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This in my very favorite CD! I have all of yours, but this one is truly outstanding ! I play it all year round ! ❤️❤️❤️

The magic you always bring us assures that new Christmas music can indeed be written and warmly welcomed into the repertoire. The chemistry the three of you have is of pure heart and is always a blessing. ❤️

Thank you so much for sharing this very special documentary. I love it! Amazing to see how every puzzle piece was put together, especially with the difficult conditions we have had during this covid year with its lock downs and the necessity of keeping distance. Jeg må si at julesangene deres er et av de sterkeste lys som skinner i mørketiden i år! I feel much respect, gratitude and love for what you are doing. Each one of you is gifted with so much talent. I am very happy for you that «Sacred Night» was chosen the most beautiful Christmas album of the year in Norway! Take care, stay healthy and keep on making music for us!

This is my favorite Secret Garden recording. Christmas is over, but I can't stop listening to Sacred Night!

After a long time of waiting, the CD finally arrived home. It's a great job. And it would have been even better if a DVD had been included with the videos of the recordings and the documentary. I would have gladly bought it.

I like your musik, I am working on a filmproject about Th. Kittelsen. Why has he been neglected so much in Norwegian cultur history!?.. I have written a spillefilmmanus about him. He lived a difficult life, and I want to to tell his Story!… When i hear your music, i see Th, Mikkelsen! Can we work together?

Just an absolutely beautiful CD …every song is special & brings tears to my eyes …I just live Secret Garden !

It IS indeed possible to create new Christmas masterpieces when you are as talented as the entire Secret Garden group. Amazing music….always! Love from Denmark…

I'm awestruck by the amount of talent that went into the creation and production of this magnificent CD. It is a joy to listen to and will be played year round in my home. Thank you Secret Garden for this timeless masterpiece.

Beautiful, simply timeless . Thank you x

When is this going to be available in the UK from Amazon?

Nydelig sang 🌸🎵. Nydelig musikk 🌺🎵😀. Rolf, Fionnuala og hele gjengen 💌🎄🎵🎵🎵🎵🎵🎵🎵🎵

Apakah Anda masih khawatir tentang epidemi pengangguran ini?
Sekarang, selama Anda memiliki ponsel, Anda dapat bekerja paruh waktu
Pengoperasian sederhana, selama Anda dapat mengoperasikan telepon dan menonton video
Anda bisa mendapatkan Rp 18.000-Rp 300.000 setiap hari
Jika Anda tertarik, Anda dapat menambahkan saya whatsapp ‪+62 838‑5313‑8823‬

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December 22nd, 10:59 am

Two days left until Christmas! We hope our new album creates the perfect backdrop to your preparations. With warm greetings from both of us and Cathrine Iversen Official
Listen to "Sacred Night" here: SecretGarden.lnk.to/SacredNight_

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Two days left until Christmas! We hope our new album creates the perfect backdrop to your preparations. With warm greetings from both of us and Cathrine Iversen Official ❤ Listen to Sacred Night here: https://SecretGarden.lnk.to/SacredNight_

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Lovely album ! Thank you for this wonderful music. Cathrine has such a beautiful voice too ! ❤🌲🌠🙏

It certainly is, thank you arrived in time on Christmas Eve. It’s wonderful, simply beautiful. Thank you. ❤️

Amo as músicas de vocês. Venham para o Brasil.

Fikk den i postkassa idag..gleder meg til og høre på den.😊

Beautiful music, always! 🎶 My favorite music group! 🥰
😊 Holidays!
😊 & Healthy
New Year!

Sacred Night is the perfect Christmas gift thank you; Have a truly wonderful & safe Christmas. The worlds starts again next year.

It’s been sooo great for me that you released this when you did. Been working hard on my new album. You were recording Storyteller at the exact same I was recording Red Sky Prairie. As all things SG are my main influences, having Sacred Night with me now is the extra inspiration I needed ❤️❤️

I have all of their CDs. Thank you for your beautiful music and Catherine is my favorite soloist that sings with you. Just what the doctor ordered during these times of social distancing. God Bless you all & Merry Christmas

I listened to it driving to work – and back home again. Great album

The Album is wonderful !!! 🙏❣️🌟🎄 Merry Christmas! 🤗

Happy Holiday 🎅🤶🎄🎁

It would if I had it but still having no luck with Amazon UK. Maybe next Christmas?

Lovely album 👍

Nydeleg fin cd.God jul. 🌟👍🎅❤

Fabulous!

just got mine!

Merry Christmas 🎄

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December 20th, 11:21 am

Here’s a video about ‘I Know a Rose Tree’. We first recorded it in 1998 and then revived the recording of this 500year old song for this album. You can enjoy the whole song on our YouTube channel: shorturl.at/dvBU2
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I was listeing Song From A Secret Garden and Adagio. Thanks for theses two songs … thanks for exist.
It was like to be born again. (sorry my english)

This song is also in German. Not sure where it originated, but its name is: "Es ist ein Rose entsprungen." English: "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming." I remember this song very well from when I was in my high school's chorus and Madrigal singers. I sang the Alto part. 😀

Your new christmas album is fabulous. Thank you so much ❤️

Beautiful❤

Belíssima!

Vakkert.❤

Beautiful

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December 17th, 10:20 pm

Delivery problems.

For those of you who are frustrated about the CD delivery we can only apologise.
We have contacted our distributor in the US who is aware of the problem.
The problem lies with the postal services that seem to be slowed down.
Due to covid and US election many businesses have been disrupted.
We fully understand the frustration, but it seems that there is little we can do to alleviate the problem.

We really hope, for all of you who have ordered the “Sacred Night” CD, that this will be resolved as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, we hope you’ll listen to the new album digitally on Spotify or one of the other providers.

We’re so sorry!🙏🏼

Fionnuala & Rolf
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I purchased the CD in November and haven't received it yet.

Thanks, Trump!

Amazon UK dont have a delivery date at present☹

Alguien sabe donde puedo comprar uno? Con envío a México

Is this true of your book too? Mine was supposed to arrive 2 days ago and tracking just says delivery is delayed. I can’t wait to get it!!

Ordered three via Amazon and had them within a week, enjoying it very much.

It seems to accelerate. Scheduled for December 29th, the CD was delivered today.

I pre ordered it from Amazon UK and am wondering if I’ll get it in time for Christmas 2021.

Apakah Anda masih khawatir tentang epidemi pengangguran ini?
Sekarang, selama Anda memiliki ponsel, Anda dapat bekerja paruh waktu
Pengoperasian sederhana, selama Anda dapat mengoperasikan telepon dan menonton video
Anda bisa mendapatkan Rp 18.000-Rp 300.000 setiap hari
Jika Anda tertarik, Anda dapat menambahkan saya whatsapp ‪+62 838‑5313‑8823‬

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December 16th, 11:08 pm

CD signing for the Norwegian market today. Missed Fionnuala due to travel restrictions. Universal Music Norge, Platekompaniet, #sacrednight
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This is the best Christmas album of the year! Looping it for so many times, really beautiful!!!

Secret Garden: 🎶 my favorite musical group! 🥰

I love Secret Garden and I’m thrilled to hear you have a new Album.

I just love that song! "Es ist ein Rose entsprungen" ("Lo, how a rose e'er blooming") I sang that many years ago in my high school chorus and Madrigal singers. <3 <3 <3

UN SUPERBE TRAVAIL QUI RESUME DE VRAIS MOMENTS D'EMOTION.

Lucky you to all those that got this. Feel thoroughly let down as ordered CD on 26th Nov and estimated delivery time keeps changing and is now after Christmas. Really poor distribution. Had to cancel order. Disappointed ! 😕

How is it possible to get the CD in Europe?? I can only find delivery from the U.S. – that can't be true, can it? Been trying to get it for weeks 🙁

Eu quero kkkkk

Hi

Apakah Anda masih khawatir tentang epidemi pengangguran ini?
Sekarang, selama Anda memiliki ponsel, Anda dapat bekerja paruh waktu
Pengoperasian sederhana, selama Anda dapat mengoperasikan telepon dan menonton video
Anda bisa mendapatkan Rp 18.000-Rp 300.000 setiap hari
Jika Anda tertarik, Anda dapat menambahkan saya whatsapp ‪+62 838‑5313‑8823‬

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