The Scotsman Sessions #199: Edvard Adde

Welcome to the award-winning Scotsman Sessions. With performing arts activity curtailed for the foreseeable future, we are commissioning a series of short video performances from artists all around the country and releasing them on scotsman.com, with introductions from our critics. Here, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland student Edvard Adde performs Grieg’s melancholy En svane (A swan), based on the poem by Henrik Ibsen

Put yourself in Edvard Adde’s shoes. He’s a young tenor from Oslo, who arrived in Glasgow last September to study singing at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He was looking forward to discovering new friends and musical adventures, but like every other first year student away from home he’s ended up spending most of his time cocooned in his flat.

It hasn’t stopped him making a name for himself on social media, however. When lockdown hit last March he was still in Norway, eking out a gap year after initial studies at the Norwegian Academy of Music failed to meet his expectations. “The walls were too tight,” he says. “I decided to freelance for a year, but suddenly the gigs just stopped. I was sitting in my flat and had to find reasons to get up and be creative.”

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He started an Instagram band called The Isolation Band, which was, inevitably, himself playing all the instruments and singing the vocals, issuing daily covers on Instagram and YouTube. Since coming to Glasgow he’s kept it going, adapting hits by Stevie Wonder, David Bowie and Harry Nilsson, among others.

Edvard Adde
Edvard Adde

He was attracted to an RCS course that offered the scope he wanted, with classes in film and dance running alongside singing. “I definitely want to pursue an opera career, but I also long for the artistic freedom that allows me to experiment.”

Such open-mindedness and self-sufficiency led to him adapting Edvard Grieg’s melancholy Ibsen song, En svane (A swan). “We still have college performance classes online, but that poses the problem of how do you provide an accompaniment? Grieg’s chord-based piano writing seemed perfect for the guitar, so I adapted it. It’s a song about death, which is sadly resonant.”

Adde has more Classical adaptations in mind. And a voice to express them.

Edvard Adde is on Instagram @edvardadde and on Soundcloud at https://soundcloud.com/edvard-adde

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