There are times when we hear the glorious talent of a youthful voice that we know it could have only been given by God. As the young person grows, the voice changes and he or she may go on to other pursuits. Yet, while they are able, they bring to us as close to the voice of angels that a human voice can give.
Today I share with you the voice of Aksel Rykkvin from Norway.
This video was recorded in 2016. A short bio of his young life:
Aksel began singing in the Oslo Cathedral Boys’ Choir and continued as a member throughout his soprano career. At age ten he joined the Children’s Chorus of the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet. As a member of the Oslo Cathedral Boys’ Choir, he received vocal training beginning at the age of five from the voice teacher Helene Haarr. Since age ten he has studied voice with Marianne Willumsen Lewis, his current principal teacher. Rykkvin has achieved a good reputation internationally…
- He was nominated for newcomer of the year at the 2016 Spellemannprisen for Arias By Bach, Händel & Mozart.
- In January 2017 he was named “The Musician of the Year” during the national part of the Youth Music Championship 2016-2017.
- In addition to performing in operas, he sang with the Oslo Philharmonic orchestra and has also performed for the Prime Minister and Norwegian royal family.
For your enjoyment, Boyer Writes presents Aksel Rykkvin.
In 2016, I wrote my first historical novel. This was available online as a blog and then published as a paperback. More recently, I renewed this book called The Seeds and the updated version is now available on Amazon.
What is this book about? A brief summary is below:
After World War II, a number of high-ranking officers fled to places like Argentina. This question seemed to be of great interest to my blog readers. Some readers wrote emails that they knew where General Kammler had lived. One even said the General was an uncle who was elderly and had escaped prosecution.
General Kammler, as portrayed in this book, is entirely fiction. However, the accounts of him, are based on historical facts. From 1944, General Kammler was head of advanced weapons development in Nazi Germany, including the Me-262 jets, the V-2 rockets and perhaps even the exotic Bell Project. The enormous interest in General Kammler led me to explore the thoughts of where he might be hiding and exciting portrayal of him in The Seeds novel evolved.
Locations as described in this novel, such as the World Seed Vault in Norway…sometimes referred to as the “Doomsday Seed Vault”… are actual places that are active today. For many readers, other locations, people and culture of the Middle East are generally not understood by people around the world. The story involvement in the Middle East only increases the mystery behind the writing of this historical fiction. Link to The Seeds
It has been a few years since I strolled through the Fall leaves and sites of Japan. The Japanese maples were at their most brilliant colors. It has been my hope to return someday and see the glorious Spring in Japan when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. I may have to wait and see them in Washington, D.C. These cherry trees were given in 1910 as a gift from Japan to the United States, in happier times before World War II.
History of the Cherry Trees in Washington you may not know:
- In 1885, Eliza Scidmore returned from her first trip to Japan and approached the U.S. Army Superintendent of the Office of Public Buildings and Grounds with the idea of planting cherry trees along the reclaimed waterfront of the Potomac River.
- Mrs Scidmore, who was the first female board member of the National Geographic Society, was rebuffed, though she would continue proposing the idea to every Superintendent for the next 24 years!.
- Through persistence and some help from Mrs. Taft, the First Lady at the time, in 1909 the Embassy of Japan informed the U.S. Dept of State, the city of Tokyo intended to donate 2000 cherry trees to the United States to be planted along the Potomac.
- The first batch of 2,000 trees arrived diseased in 1910.
- Japanese chemist, Takamine, who discovered adrenaline, was in Washington with Mr. Midzuno, the Japanese consul to New York. Takamine asked if Mrs. Taft would accept an additional, healthy 2000 trees and she did. The first trees were planted.
The Japanese Lantern is a stone statue in West Potomac Park. It is lighted during the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival. A pair of lanterns were created in 1651, to mark the death of Tokugawa Iemitsu, who was the third shōgun of the Tokugawa dynasty. The lantern was formerly located at the Tosho-gu temple, in Ureno Park, where its twin remains today. The lantern was given, by the governor of Tokyo, to the people of the United States, and was dedicated on March 30, 1954. (Click here to see a panoramic view of the Tosho-gu temple in Ureno Park, Japan)
History of Washington cherry trees continued:
- The first “Cherry Blossom Festival” was held in late 1934 under joint sponsorship by numerous civic groups, becoming an annual event. The cherry trees had by this point become an established part of the nation’s capital.
- In 1938, plans to cut down the cherry trees to clear ground for the Jefferson Memorial prompted a group of women to chain themselves together at the site in protest. “This is the worst desecration of beauty in the capital since the burning of the White House by the British,” a woman chained to a tree proclaimed. Roosevelt, who was President at the time, remained unmoved by the protests. If the activists didn’t remove themselves, he said, “…the cherry trees, the women and their chains would be gently but firmly transplanted in some other part of Potomac Park.” The women finally left and the particular trees were taken out in the middle of the night to be transplanted in another place.
- A compromise was reached where more trees would be planted along the south side of the Basin to frame the Memorial. These women would be happy to know that there are today 2,750 cherry trees in Washington, D.C.
- However, World War II brought some problems. On December 11, 1941, four trees were cut down. It is suspected that this was retaliation for the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan four days earlier.
- In hopes of dissuading people from further attacks upon the trees during the war, they were referred to as “Oriental” flowering cherry trees for the war’s duration.
- Suspended during World War II, the festival resumed in 1947 with the support of the Washington, D.C., Board of Trade and the D.C. Commissioners and has been an annual event since then. (credit: National Cherry Blossom Festival, Wikipedia and Stacy Conradt)
Japanese Cherry Trees in Japan:
For my reader’s pleasure, the music you are about to hear has been composed by Peter Helland of Norway. His purpose was to help the listener to slow down, relax, and enjoy the peacefulness of his music. Thank you, Peter, for we all need a rest in our often trying world. We also thank you for including the beautiful cherry trees in your video. (It would be my suggestion to use this music, in its entirety, as background music for rest or something you can do while relaxing. Enjoy!)
Music and pictures for “slowing down” and relaxation
Video (Turn up sound)
THE VOICE….A GIFT FROM GOD
Boyer Writes presents to you the voice, in concert, of a young man that you will know has been given a great gift. Below is a bio of this young musical talent.
Aksel Rykkvin was Born April 11, 2003 in Norway
The Norwegian boy soprano (treble), Aksel Rykkvin, has received singing lessons since he was 8 years old …He is a classically trained treble from the Children’s Chorus of the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet and Oslo Cathedral Boys’ Choir. He is in high demand as a soloist in operas, concerts and music festivals all across Norway. In March 2016 he received international acclaim for his role as ‘the boy’ in Rolf Wallin’s new opera Elysium. …In January 2016, Aksel Rykkvin recorded his debut album in London, with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, directed by Nigel Short.
Aksel Rykkvin has held very well attended solo concerts in Oslo and Nidaros Cathedrals, as well as solo church and house concerts. At several official functions, he has sung for the Prime Minister of Norway, the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Norway, and also for the Secretary General of NATO. In November 2015 he sang with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra for a full Oslo Concert Hall. For summer 2016, he was booked for multiple performances at the chamber music festivals in Risør and Oslo. In June 2015 he was invited by Assistant Director of Music Ben Parry to sing a solo program in King’s College Chapel, Cambridge. (Taken from Bach Cantatas Website)
Laudate Dominum, from Vesperae solennes de confessore (K. 339) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Sung by Aksel Rykkvin (treble)
Thanks to an excellent story presented by 60 Minutes, . Gary Fowler of Tennessee is interviewed about his dream to build the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, better known as the “Doomsday Vault. Mr. Fowler, head of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, gives a tour and explains the reason for building the vault. The government of Norway built the facility; the UN guves some help, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation pays for the transport of the seeds.
An amazing part of his data research tells us that in the 1800’s in America there were 7,100 types of named apples. Today 6,800 of those are extinct. The saving of various varieties of foods in a seed bank of this type may keep the world from starvation in the event of a crisis.
Enjoy now an episode explaining the life work of the founder, Gary Fowler. Click here to view.