Artist Profiles: John Ole Morken

John Ole Morken

John Ole Morken, born in 1979, is a native of Holtålen County in the region of Røndelag, Norway. Holtålen, located south of Trondheim and bordering on Røros, has rich music and dance traditions whose history dates back more than 200 years.

In the 1990s, at a time when many feared for these traditions, an eager young fiddler named John Ole Morken turned up, with a burning interest in visiting old-timers to learn their tunes and tales.

John Ole showed unusual energy and spontaneity in his fiddling, and he comprehended the old playing style. Many welcomed his interest. He quickly became an active participant at local and regional fiddle gatherings, concerts and competitions.

Prizes and scholarships from national, regional and local cultural administration and organizations rewarded his talent and provided encouragement.

Since the late 1990’s, Morken has had the endorsement of Bjørn Aksdal of the Rff-Center (Center for the Norwegian Council for Folk Music and Folk Dance) in Trondheim. He has cooperated with Aksdal and the Center in a number of research projects and productions focused on traditional music and dance history in Norway, especially the Holtålen/Røros/Gauldalen region.

John Ole Morken

In his home community, Morken’s work has resulted in revival of old tunes and stories that had nearly been forgotten. His knowledge, enthusiasm and participation in various music and history clubs have stimulated interest in local, traditional culture among young and old.

Morken has also put in time as a student: He has earned a Bachelors degree in music from the University of Trondheim (NTNU) and has completed fiddle-studies at the Spelemannsskulen at Ole Bull Academy in Voss.

{{ :john_ole_morken_2-250.jpg|}}Excellent results at Norwegian folk music competitions – as solo fiddler, as member (and generator) of a multitude of groups and as leader for several fiddler clubs – attest to young Morkens’ quality and development as a fiddler and as a musician over
the years.

John Ole is often seen sharing the stage with Hardanger-fiddler Lajla Renate Buer Storli, with whom he lives in Lofthus, Hardanger.

John Ole Morken

On John Ole Morken’s debut, Slåtter fra Hessdalen, Haltdalen og Ålen, we meet an experienced, philosophical 28-year-old in late summer, 2007. He invited musician friends – Jørgen Nyrønning, Olav Mjelva, Tore Reppe, Ivar Schjølberg – and producer Bjørn Aksdal to participate in recording sessions at Bent Jacobsen’s log-cabin studio in Os, south of Røros.

John Ole has been a teacher in fiddle and guitar since 2000. He has also presented workshops in folk music and rock.

John Ole has several musical projects: the folk rock group Morka, a group called Rim, JoJo and Lajla-John Ole project.

Discography

* Slåtter fra Hessdalen, Haltdalen og Ålen – Traditional Norwegian Fiddle Tunes from Sor-Trondelag (2008)

===== Web site =====

www.johnole.no

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.

Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

three × four =