Culture: Masterminds of Medieval Material; Anna Maria Friman, Part of a Trio of Norwegian Singers, Talks to Christopher Morley about Their Kind of Music We Didn't Know If the Sound We Were Making Was Something That People Would like, So We Gathered Our Friends for a Little Concert. and They Liked It Anna Maria Friman
Byline: Christopher Morley
Formed as recently as 1997, Norway-based Trio Medieval has rapidly established itself as a performing force to be reckoned with.
It was at Cambridge in 1998 at the prestigious Hilliard Summer Festival that John Potter of the world-renowned Hilliard Ensemble heard the all-soprano trio and realised their potential.
'After half a year of rehearsals we didn't know if the sound we were making was something that people would like or not, and we gathered our friends for a little concert. And they liked it,' said Anna Maria Friman.
'And the people at the Hilliard Summer Festival were very supportive, from the first minute they heard us really. That's been fantastic for us.'
Coming on the heels of such groups as the Medieval Baebes and Anonymous 4, is there a problem of image, all glamour and no substance, which Trio Medieval has to surmount?
'That's something very, very different,' declares Friman. 'I think what Medieval Baebes are doing, they're having a great time. They're just doing the right thing which is right for them, and that's the way it should be; and we're doing what is right for us. They're doing something different, and I don't want to say that that is not good or anything like that, it's just something else.
'I have some of their recordings, and I quite enjoy listening to it, because it's different. What we try to do, though, we want to be ourselves, and wear clothes that we think look nice. For some things we do quite a bit of styling, actually, like when we sang at a government dinner for the wedding of the Prince of Norway, and things like a relief concert, and so on.'
How much research into original manuscripts do the members of Trio Medieval undertake? …