Gåte at Rockefeller Music Hall, Oslo, in 2005.
Nordic folk music
Gåte was a band from Trøndelag, Norway playing Norwegian folk music bred with metal and electronica. Their style has been referred to as progressive folk-rock. The band was put together by Sveinung Sundli (violin, keyboards) in 2000 and originally consisted of his little sister Gunnhild Sundli (vocals), Gjermund Landrø (bass, backing vocals), Martin Langlie (drums) and Magnus Robot Børmark (guitar, keyboards). Martin Langlie was replaced by Kenneth Kapstad in 2004. The band's name is the Norwegian word for riddle.
The band released their first EP ("Gåte") in 2000, and rapidly gained popularity. A second EP, also self-titled, was released in 2002. Their first album, "Jygri", released the same year proved to be their commercial breakthrough both in Norway and abroad, particularly in Scandinavia and Germany. They also gained a lot of media attention, particularly the distinctive voice of Gunnhild Sundli caught the interest of music journalists, who immediately started to speculate on her departure in order to establish a solo career. After the release of another EP, "Statt Opp (Maggeduliadei)" in 2003 and their second album, "Iselilja" in 2004, the band did indeed announce that they were taking a break. In their press release, issued September 6, one of the reasons cited was that Gunnhild wanted to devote time to other pursuits. Nevertheless, their record company Warner Music Norway issued a live album ("Liva") in 2006 which had been recorded at the Rockefeller Music Hall the previous year, and with bonus material from their concert at the Roskilde festival in 2003. This was Gåte's final release.
During their short career they toured extensively and played almost every popular music festival in Norway, as well as the major international festival Roskilde festival in Denmark. The band reunited for one concert in 2009, but then decided to follow this up with a mini-tour of Norway consisting of five concerts in 2010. The fifth concert was held at the roof of the Oslo Opera House, and the band stated that this would be their final farewell.
Many of Gåte's songs are rearranged versions of traditional Norwegian folk tunes, such as "Sjå Attende" (the title translates to "Look Back"), and "Knut Liten og Sylvelin" ("Little-Knut and Sylvelin"). Another main source of Gåte songs are poems by the Norwegian poet Astrid Krogh Halse with added music by Sveinung Sundli, such as "Følgje" ("Company") and "Stengd Dør" ("Closed Door").
Gunnhild Sundli – vocals
Gunnhild Sundli born 1985, is the band's lead vocalist and joined the band in 1999. She was born and grew up in Orkdal, and currently resides in Trondheim. She began to sing when she was 9 years old, and has since been singing in both classical and jazz music. She has a degree in singing from Heimdal high school ("Heimdal videregående skole").
Sveinung Sundli – fiddle, keyboards
Sveinung was born 1979, and is Gunnhild's older brother. He began learning to play the fiddle at an early age, and studied music in high school. Sveinung first persuaded Gunnhild to start singing in front of an audience, and he was the one who put Gåte together. He was taught to play keyboards/synth by Thomas Henriksen. In Gåte he plays keyboards/synths, the acoustic fiddle and electric Zeta-fiddle. He has written some of the melodies in Gåte: a "pols" called "Storås" and "Ola I", and he has set to music some of Astrid Krogh Halse's poems: "Fredlysning", "Du som er ung" and "Sjåaren". He recently formed a band which has "Råte"(meaning "rot") as its working title. In 2003 he got the idea for a big music festival in Norway, which became a reality in 2004 as Storåsfestivalen (The Storåsfestival).
Gjermund Landrø – vocals, bass
Gjermund was born 1980. His main role in Gåte’s music is as bassist, but he has also contributed backing vocals.
Magnus Robot Børmark – guitar, synth-guitar, synth
Magnus Robot Børmark born 1982. From Trondheim. Learned to play guitar and piano from his older brother. He has played in popular rock bands, such as Torch, before joining Gåte in December 2000. He plays a Fender Telecaster, Robotcaster and Les Robot, the last two being made by Frank Stavem. He now plays guitar in the band 22.
EP's and Singles
- Gåte EP (2000) (aka Gammel)
- Gåte EP (2002) (aka Grusomme skjebne)
- Statt opp (Maggeduliadei) (EP) (2003)
- Sjå attende (single) (2004)
According to the Gåte homepage, the two first EPs are self-titled, and contain different tracks.