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Sunleif Rasmussen

Born: 1961

Nationality: Danish

Publisher: Edition Wilhelm Hansen

Photo © Lars Skaaning


The Faroese composer Sunleif Rasmussen was born on Sandoy in 1961. The Faroe Islands and the North Atlantic nature are key factors in his music, which bears indelible traces of wind, dunes, lyme grass and the ever-present Atlantic Ocean. He studied in Norway and at the Royal Danish Academy of Music with Ib Nørholm and Ivar Frounberg. 

Rasmussen’s music may not seem inherently Faroese, but deep within the musical structure, traces of accumulated Faroese folk songs linger, reborn in new forms. His compositions have a natural complexity, combining jazz with the rich Faroese folk tradition as well as with electroacoustic and spectral music. The result is highly evocative, beautiful, and not difficult to listen to. 

The power and complexity of his music often reflects nature, shimmering with energy and movement, as is evident in titles like Symphony no. 1: Oceanic Days (1995) and Vogelstimmung (2011).

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