Susanna and the Magical Orchestra is the moniker of singer Susanna Karolina Wallumrød (1979-), and keyboard player Morten Qvenild (1978-). Their style of music can be described as quiet, slow pop mixed with elements from electronica and jazz. Susanna has a very distinct, clear and cool voice that stands much on its own, only accompanied by Morten on various keyboard instruments such as acoustic piano, synthesizers and even harpsichord and church organ. The duo is mostly known for their highly personal interpretations of well known songs such as Dolly Parton's Jolene and Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah.
Morten is also a member in many other bands, including The National Bank, Solveig Slettahjell's Slow Motion Orchestra and his own piano trio In the Country. He is a former member of the bands Jaga Jazzist and Shining. Susanna is the sister of the pianist Christian Wallumrød and has a another musical project that goes under the name Susanna.
The duo released their debut album, "List of Lights and Buoys", on the label Rune Grammofon in 2004, though work on the album began as early as 2000. The album was produced by Jaga Jazzist percussionist Andreas Mjøs, and Wallumrød's husband, prominent Norwegian producer and composer Helge Sten who has also produced albums for bands such as Deathprod, Motorpsycho and Supersilent.
Their latest album "Melody Mountain" was released September 2006, and contains slow, low-key cover versions of songs by various artists such as Leonard Cohen, Prince, Bob Dylan, Joy Division, AC/DC and KISS.
The german rock band Fury in the Slaughterhouse uses Susanna's AC/DC-cover of "It´s a long way to the top if you wanna rock´n roll" as intro and the Joy-Division-cover "Love Will Tear Us Apart" as Outro on their "Farewell & Goodbye Tour 2008".
The band has also contributed on the following compilations:
Susanna has also contributed as vocalist on:
CULTURE: Slow is the new quick; JAZZ REVIEW Susanna and the Magical Orchestra Tys Tys Glee Club ****.(Features)
Oct 11, 2006; Byline: Peter Bacon In the e-fuelled club world of the 1990s there was some optimum speed for the music, measured in beats per...
CULTURE: Norway's Enigmatic Trick; Velimir Pavle Ilic Meets Susanna and Her Magical Orchestra, a Troupe Putting Norway on the Musical Map
Jun 27, 2005; Byline: Velimir Pavle Ilic You might associate Norway with Eurovision and 'nil points', but today's cutting edge Norwegian music...