Torun Eriksen made her debut with the album Glittercard on the well renowned label Jazzland Recordings in 2003. Since then, she has made her mark as a characteristic voice, with an ever-increasing audience on the Norwegian and international music stage.
Torun’s musical adolescence was spent in various gospel choirs, where she was given the chance to extend her potential as a singer and soloist from early childhood on. With a background in soul and gospel, her first introduction to jazz was as a music student in high school in her hometown Skien. Her encounter with The Real Book and jazz standards introduced a new world. Teacher and pianist Roger Jeffs spotted Torun’s talent, and encouraged her to write English lyrics to one of his melodies. The foundation for a career in song writing had been laid.
When she in 1998 moved to Oslo and enrolled into the Norwegian Institute for Stage and Studio (NISS), she was already well under way with her composing. She made an impression as a soul and pop singer in various cover bands on several of the city’s stages, but her own material was still unknown to her surroundings. At this point in time she had begun working with bass player Kjetil Dalland, who is still today considered to be one of her closest musical partners, and along with a couple of others they formed a band and recorded a demo with three of Torun’s songs.
By a coincidence the demo was overheard by Bugge Wesseltoft, who became very excited about the song Glittercard and offered Torun to release a record on his label Jazzland Recordings. She then gathered the musicians who have since contributed to feature the acoustic image of her music: David Wallumrød (piano), Kjetil Dalland (bass), Torstein Lofthus (percussion) and Frøydis Grorud (flute/saxophone). Along with Bugge Wesseltoft as their producer they made the album Glittercard, which was released internationally in the spring of 2004.
In 2006 the sequel Prayers and Observations was released - this too produced by Wesseltoft – and in April of 2010 her third record Passage came out. This record was produced by Anders Engen, and with the addition of guitarist Kjetil Steensnæs, the acoustic image became more string oriented. After Passage, Torun decided to take some time off from her own material. She asked the acclaimed Swedish producer Tobias Frøberg (Ane Brun, Merit Hemnningson) to join her, and together with David Wallumrød (Hammond/piano/analogue synthesizers), Audun Erlien (el bass) and Ola Hultgren (drums) Visits was released in 2013. A cover album, showing new sides of Torun’s musicality in Frøberg’s production, but first and foremost reminding us of her abilities as a storyteller.
Visits gave the inspiration Torun needed to find back to her own music and stories. She realized she wanted to produce herself. She got her musical companion from the time before the debut album Glittercard, bass player Kjetil Dalland, back on board as co-producer. The result was Grand White Silk (2016). An album in which Torun for the first time lets electronic elements meet and blend with the organic and acoustic soundscapes of her previous albums.
As a lyricist, Torun has written in English up until November 2010, when she and Frøydis Grorud released the Christmas album Sanger Om Glede Og Fred (Songs Of Joy And Peace), Jazzland Recordings. On this album we find Torun’s first song with Norwegian lyrics Vente på Jul (Waiting for Christmas), along with Elv (River), which is her translation of Joni Mitchell’s River.
She har collaborated with artists like Nils Wülker, Susan Weinert, Julia Hülsmann, and Ensemble Denada, and has contributed to a number of records as a featured artist and lyricist. Her music has been arranged for chamber orchestras, big bands and choirs. The collaboration with German Jazzchor Freiburg started in 2007, and they have toured with their project in Japan, Korea, Germany and France. Together they also recorded an a cappella version of the song In Person (Glittercard 2003), which can be found on the choir’s album A Cappella from 2010.
This fall Torun released «Luxury and Waste» on Jazzland Rec/Edel, a duo album with her long time musical partner, co-producer and bassist, Kjetil Dalland. The album received accolades in the Norwegian and German press, with critics describing it as «A fabulous album» (Die Digitale Jazz-Zeitung), «The most successful variation of melancholy this year» (Na Dann Münster Week 35), «A musical gem» (Jazz Podium October 2018), and «A masterpiece, where exquisite playing and heavenly vocal work together» (Vårt Land).