Trine Opsahl: The Songbird with a Harp


Trine Opsahl is a lawyer turned musician who describes first picking up the harp at age 30, as “Simply wonderful!”  Trine transitioned easily from courtroom to music hall and now finds solace in being able to express the eclectic music inside of her and focus on her musical career full time.

A legal career was never in the cards when she was a little girl dreaming of her future. Like a lot of kids, she wanted to be a doctor, as well as a musician. Now, although she isn’t prescribing medicine, she has found a nice balance between the disciplines.

“I am both a musician and also a Certified Therapeutic Harp Practitioner, and work at two different hospices. Playing music at the bedside doesn’t do exactly what medicine can do. But it brings a lot of healing, light and peace to the dying and their relatives. My music is actually very well-known for its healing capacity.”

Surviving as a full-time recording artist is difficult, and Trine doubted whether or not she would make it. She used music as her escape, not as her career. Dissatisfied with playing music inside her house she decided to branch out.  “I loved music but I also realized that music was so much more than simply being the best. I was looking for something more.”

Something more meant making music for a living and not just for show. She started to compose and record and along the way, started working with her daughter, Josefine. A mother of two, Trine’s children both showed signs of musical appreciation growing up, but being a good parent – she didn’t force them into anything. Her son enjoys music today for fun, but is happy studying psychology while Josefine is happiest when she’s recording with her mom.

Together they’ve put out a few records and have shown no signs of ending that dynamic anytime soon. Trine composes the music and Josefine jumps in with the cello to find her own arrangement. However, that was not always the case. Trine recalls, “A few times we made a piece of music together. We did that with the piece called ‘I Am Your Moon and Your Moonlight Too.’ This piece was made for a funeral. The man was a former part-time cellist, so there had to be a lot of focus on the cello. We simply sat down and I introduced some chords and Josefine began to play a melody that fit the chords. Out of this came this very beautiful tune.”

Working with your daughter may be a dream come true for some, but a difficulty for others.  For Trine – it’s always a good time and even the worst parts aren’t really that bad. They know one another well and can predict each other’s reactions. That knowing translates into the best parts of the work environment and promotes an atmosphere of safety.  Being safe is what most artists seek. Making music is a personal experience and you can’t bare yourself (your soul) if you can’t trust the people in the room.

The rich Nordic-Celtic heritage of Trine’s homeland, as well as inspiration from the spiritual realm are very much the inspiration that she builds her sound on. She describes her music as, “notes coming out of silence.” With a harp in her hands she takes on the spirit of a tiny sparrow noting they are, “…very beautiful and clear voiced. Even the smallest bird can have a voice of great clarity and volume and is capable of expressing itself so profoundly through the voice. Sometimes as though it is a question of singing the very last tune that has ever been sung.”

That’s the sound she’ll be taking with her as she heads into the studio to record her next album. Trine also has a number of concerts in the coming months — dates may be found on her website.  As for the present, she’s focused on promoting her and Josefine’s album “Unbroken Dreams.”

Trine Opsahl is a songbird with a harp who quit dishing out the law to take on music full time, sometimes solo and also alongside her daughter, Josefine. She’s creating music that touches the soul on a spiritual level, just like she set out to do.  Trine is a true artist in every sense of the word and is touching the world in its deepest parts.

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