Memorial words, Morten Omelde | Words in memory of Morten Omeled

Memorial words, Morten Omelde |  Words in memory of Morten Omeled

It is with great sadness that we received the news of the death of our colleague, musician and teacher Morten Omeled.

Morten was born on June 7, 1961. He grew up in a family consisting of a mother, father and sister in Notodden. He was a pupil at Centrum Primary School and Notodden High School and gained an arts degree from Notodden Gymnasium in 1980.

He married his childhood sweetheart Trine Johansen in the summer of 1986. They had two children, Line and Ricky. Trine died in 2017. Morten was Marie and Ida’s grandfather.

Morten worked at the ironworks of Tinfo, Norsk Hydro and Fibo-Trespo AS in Notodden.

He was pivotal in establishing the Norwegian Blues Union, which he led from 1997 to 2007.

He has taught children and young people for over 30 years as a music teacher for Notodden Municipality at Tinsmoen School, Ely School and Hedale Youth School. He has been employed at Notodden Kulturskole as a guitar and band teacher since 2007. He has been a supervisor and teacher at Little Stevens Blues School, and a producer and supervisor of the Notodden Bluesfestival Notodden Talents Project. Morten has also organized Ungdommens Kulturmønstring since 2019, on behalf of Notodden Cultural School. He sat on the Notodden Bluesfestival Program Committee and was actively involved in the running of the Juke Joint Studio, as well as being active in the Notodden Blues Club.

He has worked in primary school teacher training at the University of South-Eastern Norway and in the subject of music technology, rhythmic music and studio work at Campus Notodden since 2014. He was involved in starting USN’s Blues Study in 2018 and worked there until his death. .

Morton’s musical, educational, and life’s work is of great significance – of local, regional and national significance. His work had major ripple effects on the Norwegian blues community in particular. Musician and NRK presenter Knut Ryrsrud says of Morten that he was the backbone of Norwegian traditional blues music, and perhaps most importantly, also because of his work as a teacher and teacher.

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for example; Morten was the guitar teacher of Christopher Lund Andersens – known by his stage name Kid Andersson. Lund Andersen has lived in the USA since 2001. He has received 5 Blues Music Awards nominations in the Guitar Chategory category – most recently in 2023, has released 4 solo albums, and is considered one of the most influential blues guitarists and record producers. In the USA today.

Christopher went regularly, with his parents, from the Herre in Bamble to Tinnesmoen in Notodden, to take lessons with Morten.

He thinks; A 12-year-old boy receives training and instruction on Muddy Waters and Otis Rush songs, instruction and guidance on playing guitar for BB-King and Buddy Guy, and learns how to accompany a singer or harmonica player in the traditional manner.

Lund gives Andersen Morten a lot of credit for his musical development and current life as a musician.

Morten has taught countless children and young people at the beginner level, but at the same time he has also been a teacher and supervisor of advanced students and professional musicians.

It is as if Morten’s guiding qualities were characterized by clarity, security, warmth, and not least safety. Morten was interested in mastering the basic and simple – this was the most important educational outcome for Morten exactly Simple, basic, and paradoxically the most complex and difficult part of being a good musician.

When a pupil or student receives a Morton assessment or feedback; “This was well done or resolved”, “I achieved this” – we know as colleagues over many years of teaching collaboration that this had enormous resonance and significance for the pupils and students it touched – regardless of age or level, and that it was the building blocks of Building a mission in later life for the person concerned.

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A student two years ago said with a small sigh; “There should have been a Morten Omlid app.” This is well said. You can ask Morten, he knows. It was simple he Who knows.

Morton was a true methodologist who was interested in history and genealogy, but at the same time he was keenly aware of the way in which music and the blues had undergone processes of musical and cultural change, both nationally and internationally.

He was analytically and academically alert, and had great academic talent, which the USN Blues benefited from greatly. He also had a natural relationship with teaching and pedagogy methods, which fit Campus Notodden’s comprehensive, practice-oriented identity very well. He had complete control over the teaching and each individual student.

Morten began playing guitar in his early teens, and has said many times that he sought to learn and discover music on his own as a young boy. Morten was a guitar student at Kåre Virud, and was also a student at the Ljosland Guitar School. He was a member of a number of local bands as a teenager and young adult, joining Diesel in 1980.

In 1985, one of the most popular Norwegian blues bands started; Rhythm and Blues Express. A band that represented something new in Norway, and reflected the zeitgeist of young American blues music. The band has toured throughout Scandinavia for nearly 15 years. Morten also became a member of the Backbone Band, along with Rita Engedalen, Jens Olav Haugen and Arne Fostvedt, later the Rita Engedalen Band, and formed the band Spoonful of Blues with Jostein Forsberg and Jens Haugen. Morten was also a permanent guitarist in the duo Woman in Blues/Damer i Blues, composed of Engedalen and Margit Bakken. These groups were and still are setting the tone within Norwegian blues music. With the Rita Engedalen Band he won the European Blues Challenge in 2012.

He has been a sought-after guitarist for many artists and musicians in Norway, and has played with legendary international artists such as Johnny Guitar Watson, David Honeyboy Edwards, Pinetop Perkins, Roy Gaines, Louisiana Red, Lazy Lister, Charlie Musselwhite and Soper. Chikan, Bernard Purdy, Kenny Brown etc. The list is long.

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Morten toured Europe and the USA for large parts of his career. He participated in several recordings that were nominated for the Spellemann Prize. He was also an in-demand producer from the Juke Joint Studio in Notodden. He was a producer on Rita Engedalen’s album Spellemannswinnende The Sky’s Not Ready for Me Yet (2006), and the last album he worked on was former blues student Trym Innleggen’s debut album, which will be released in 2024 on Grammofon. He also produced the Notodden Blues Band release “Sekund av evigheten” from 2023.

Morten died two days before the launch party of the new album of his group Spoonful of Blues – “Songs from Notodden Norway”.

He won the Blues Award at the Notodden Blues Festival in 2007, and was included in the Notodden Stars exhibition in the arena during the Notodden Blues Festival in 2020.

Morten was a musician, and had everything as a guitarist; Rich and unique music, a magical and emotional touch, impressive technical knowledge, professionalism, childishness and humor, and not least a musical dialectical understanding that is rarely developed.

In a world where hunting and striving to be a unique phenomenon had become so advanced, Morten blazed the trail by being the toughest of the best – he was authentic. It was from somewhere. It was somewhere. It’s out there somewhere, and it will be for all of us forever.

Thank you, dear Morten.

Bard Gunnar Moe, to colleagues at the University of South-Eastern Norway, Notodden Cultural School, and Little Stevens Blues School

Ashura Okorie

Ashura Okorie

"Infuriatingly humble web fan. Writer. Alcohol geek. Passionate explorer. Evil problem solver. Incurable zombie expert."

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