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“Fartein Valen is the key figure within newer Norwegian music. Not by way of being more popular than other younger composers, but because he aims at things higher, which he is fully confident of being able to reach since he commands all techniques. But there is a price to pay for reaching above the ordinary, and there is a price to pay for demanding more than the ordinary from the listeners. This is something Valen has experienced”.
For almost three thousand years Tjernagelshaugen (the Tjernagel cairn) has lain as a landmark at the Bømlo fjord. The poet Torarin mentions the cairn in his account of Knut the Mighty, who in the year of 1028 sailed from Denmark to Nidaros: “And in front of the old cairn at Tjernagel sailed soldiers sharp with peace”.
At the bottom of Vargavågen on Halhjem lies Grødalshaug, a 30 metres high rocky outcrop between the bay and a moist valley cleft. On the south side of the rock is a steep rock cliff facing the valley, the bog and the stream. On this rock face we find rock carvings from the Bronze Age.
Lysøen, this fairytale castle with its Russian-inspired onion dome on the corner turret, stands as a reminder of the diversity of the period called Historicism and a monument to a versatile artist; a key figure in the Norwegian National Romanticism.