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Track listing

1. Ár var alda 2:19
2. Hagal 7:40
3. Bjarkan 5:53
4. Løyndomsriss 3:15
5. Heimta Thurs 4:18
6. Thurs 1:16
7. Jara 5:02
8. Laukr 4:05
9. Kauna 2:34
10. Algir - Stien klarnar 4:17
11. Algir - Tognatale 5:39
12. Dagr 5:38

Released: 19 January 2009.
Label: Indie Recordings, under exclusive license from Fimbulljóð Productions.


Runaljod – gap var Ginnunga was written and arranged by Kvitrafn.

Lindy Fay Hella: Vocals.
Gaahl: Vocals.
Hallvard Kleiveland: Hardanger fiddle (7 and 10).
Kvitrafn: Vocals and all other instruments and sounds.

Recorded and engineered by Kvitrafn at Fimbulljóð studio and various outdoor locations, 2003-2008. Mixed by Kvitrafn and Herbrand Larsen at Fimbulljóð studio. Mastered by Kvitrafn and Morten Lund at Masterhuset.


These pictures documents some aspects of the creation process behind this album.

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Runaljod – gap var Ginnunga


Ever since the first runemasters started to carve their ‘charged’ signs thousands of years ago, the runes has had a strong symbolic value and has also gone hand in hand with knowledge and insights of some sort, often esoteric. Besides being a writing system the Norse mythology speaks of the runes as knowledge of divine origin – reginkunnr. In Hávamál, Odin – the god of wisdom – tells how he sacrificed himself to himself, hung from the world tree Yggdrasil, while pierced by his own spear Gungnir for nine whole nights. In this death-transcending state of mind, at one with the great gap (Ginnungagap), he found the runes and learned their meanings. According to the mythology Odin shared his knowledge to both gods and humans, and thus the runes came to our ancestors use.

Recommended literature:

Hávamál and Sigrdrífumál (Edda).
The Norwegian, Icelandic and Anglo-Saxon rune poems.


After many years of working with and studying runes and the ancient and ever young Norse pagan beliefs, the need for me to do a musical project like Wardruna became inevitable. In early 2003 I began doing the first recordings. From then on the concept and methods has slowly evolved and fallen into place. Wardruna search in the scattered ruins of Norse history and use the runes as a tool to understand and evoke the depths of the old nordic pagan beliefs. Musically, the main focus is on recreating the Norse cultic musical language and the near forgotten arts of galder and seidr, as well as the daily acts of life. This is mixed with impulses from Norwegian/Nordic folk music and music from other indigenous cultures.

Runaljod – gap var Ginnunga is the first part in the Runaljod trilogy. Each album features eight runes of the Elder Futhark, but not in accordance with the order of the three aettirs (families), which is most common when working with this futhark. Many of the recordings have taken place outdoors at locations relevant to the different runes. We have primarily used old, historical instruments such as self-made frame drums and ceremonial drums, mouth harp, tagelharpe (‘viking fiddle’), flutes, goat horns, tongue horns and Hardanger fiddle. Also more unconventional inputs like trees, stones, bones, water, fire etc. are employed to enhance the nature of the rune being ‘portrayed’.

Keeping in mind that there will always be a certain room for disagreement and discussion when working with the runes, I would like to emphasize that in my songs it is not necessarily a goal for me to approach the respective rune from every conceivable angle, nor to unravel all the different aspects of it. My approach is both of runologic and mystic nature, but I concentrate on the core of each rune and the qualities that serve the whole concept and purpose of Wardruna best: sowing new seeds and strengthening old roots!

Einar Kvitrafn