Tag Archives: fiddle

Artist Profiles: Mats Eden

Mats Edén

Mats Edén was born October 30, 1957 in Södertälje, Sweden. has his roots in the rich soil of Värmland. A member of acclaimed Swedish folk ensemble Groupa since its inception in 1980, he also writes the majority of the band’s material.

Having studied composition at Norway’s Musikkskole in Oslo, it comes as no surprise to those familiar with Mats’ playing that he is a nationally recognized master accordionist, having earned the distinguished title of ‘Riksspelman’ (master musician).

His violin work is at once elegant and jagged and distinguishes the band’s sound with his own combination of the sounds of Värmland and of Norway. Mats’ third solo album Milvus (with Jonas Simonson) was released on the ECM label. He has also toured the United States of America and Europe with Ale Moller and Lena Willemark in the ECM project Nordan.

Discography

* Unga Värmlandsspelmän (Caprice, 1977)
* Lika många fötter i taket som på golvet, Oktober (1978, Amigo)
* Höppesving (Amigo, 1980)
* Av bara farten, with Groupa (Amigo, 1983)
* Vildhonung, with Groupa (Amigo, 1985)
* Utan Sans, with Groupa (Amigo, 1988)
* Månskratt, with Groupa (Amigo, 1990)
* Struling (Amigo, 1992)
* Imeland, with Groupa (Amigo, 1995)
* Nordan (ECM, 1996)
* Agram, with Nordan (ECM, 1997)
* Läckerbiten (Amigo, 1998)
* Milvus (ECM, 1999)
* Tokpolskan, with Ellika Frisell (Giga, 1999)
* Lavalek, with Groupa (Xource, 1999)
* Avtryck (Amigo, 2001)
* Träd, with Niss Kerstin Mattsson (Amigo, 2001)
* Fjalar, with Groupa (Xource, 2003)
* Vägen In, with Tina Quartey (Amigo, 2004)
* Crane Dance, with Jonas Simonson m.fl. (Nordic Tradition, 2006)
* Milvus (ECM, 2008)
* Frost, with Groupa (Footprint, 2008)
* Apple Blossom (2015)

web site: http://www.matseden.se

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Artist profiles: Majorstuen

Majorstuen in 2009

Majorstuen is an ensemble of virtuoso fiddlers who play Norwegian roots music. All of them play the fiddle (violin), although they occasionally will use the cello or viola. There are no other instruments and the sound is completely acoustic.

Majorstuen has released three albums, and was awarded the top Norwegian music award, the Spellemannprisen, for their debut album. In 2005 they won the Hilmar Alexandersen Music Prize.

Since 2001, Majorstuen has been touring Norway, Germany, France, Spain, Slovenia, Azerbaijan, Israel and Canada, including performances at Førde International Folk Music Festival, Bergen International Festival, Festival d’Ile de France, Celtic Colours and TFF Rudolstadt.

Majorstuen at WOMEX 2008 trade fair hall – Photo by Angel Romero

The line-up in 2009-2010: Andreas Ljones: fiddle, viola; Gjermund Larsen: fiddle, viola and cello; Jorun Marie Kvernberg: fiddle; Synnøve S. Bjørset: fiddle and viola; and Tove Dalbakk: fiddle and cello. A sixth musician, Ragnhild Furebotten: fiddle, went on leave in 2007.

The lineup in 2015 included Jorun Marie Kvernberg on fiddle; Andreas Ljones on fiddle; Synnøve S. Bjørset on fiddle; Anders Löfberg on fiddle and cello; and Tove P. Hagen on fiddle and cello.

Discography

* Majorstuen (2L, 2002)
* Jorun Jogga (MFC, 2004)
* Juledrøm (MFC, 2006)
* Skir (Majorstuen Fiddlers Company, 2010)
* Les Boréales compilation (Buda Musique, 2012)
* Live in Concert (Majorstuen Fiddlers Company, 2012)
* Kvitre (Majorstuen Fiddlers Company, 2015)

Web site: www.majorstuen.biz

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Artist Profiles: Leif Rygg

Leif Rygg

Leif Rygg was born in 1940 in Voss, in western Norway. He’s one of Norway’s leading Hardanger fiddle players.

Rygg began playing the fiddle at age of nine. He was inspired and motivated by his teachers: Lars Skjervheim, Sigbjørn Bernhoft Osa Anders Kjerland.

Leif Rygg won the first prize at the National Contest for Traditional Music four times between 1977 and 1996. He has performed in concerts in Norway and abroad, and has participated on a number of recordings, both under the auspices of his own music publishing house, “Spelarhaugen Folkemusikk,” and on other labels.

Rygg holds the position of county-employed musician in Hordaland, and is connected with Ole Bull Academy Voss. He also teaches international hardanger fiddle workshops.

Discography

* Bjølleslåtten, with Knut Buen and Kåre Nordstoga (Buen Kulturverkstad BKCD 6, 1994)
* Høgdepunkt frå Landskappleiken (Grappa Musikkforlag HCD 7103, 1994)
* Lengt (Spelarhaugen Folkemusikk SFCD 1, 1995)
* Norsk Folkemusikk 7 (Folkemusikk frå Rogaland og Hordaland) (Grappa Musikkforlag GRCD 4067, 1995)
* Nøringen, with Knut Hamre ‎(Heilo HO 7005, 1980)
* Meisterspel, with various artists (Grappa Musikkforlag HCD 7132, 1997)
* Vossaspel (Talik TA160CD, 2017)

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Artist Profiles: Lars Underdal

Lars Underdal

Lars Underdal was born in 1971 in Vinje in Telemark (Norway), has studied with several fiddlers and at the renowned Ole Bull Academy in Voss. He has performed at a number of folk music competitions and at concerts in Norway and abroad. His performance style is vibrant and emotional.

His album “Gullfakse” is a fine selection of fiddle tunes from Telemark, in the tradition of such legendary fiddlers as Myllarguten and Gibøen.

Lars Underdal also performs folk music as a member of the groups Fire Feler (Four Fiddles) and Blåmann Blåmann.

Discography

Fjøllmanntonar, with various artists (Grappa Musikkforlag HCD 7083, 1993)
Gullfakse (NOR-CD 9827, 1998)
Brudlaupsgarden
Fjøllmanntonar
I boks

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Artist Profiles: Knut Hamre

Knut Hamre

Knut Hamre was born in 1952 in Granvin, in Hardanger. He is one of Norway’s leading Hardanger fiddlers, and has created a distinctive mode of expression. His fiddle playing was influenced primarily by two teachers: Anders Kjerland from Granvin and Eivind Mo from Telemark.

Hamre himself has also been involved in teaching young fiddlers for many years, in addition to pursuing an active career as a performing artist, with solo concerts in Norway and abroad.

He won the first prize at the National Contest for Traditional Music for the first time in 1974, and has since won several more times. He is the only person to win that many first prizes in modern times. He was also awarded the King’s Trophy in 1981. His powerful and lyrical interpretations of fiddle tunes have made him a central figure in the West Coast tradition, and in addition to the awards already mentioned, he has received a number of grants.

In 2000 Knut Hamre received the Anders Kjerland Memorial Prize. In 2017 he was appointed commander of the Order of St. Olav for his oustanding work in Norwegian folk music.

Discography

* Nøringen, with Leif Rygg (Grappa Musikkforlag (MC) HK 7005, 1980)
* Norwegian Folk Songs Grieg Op. 66 &72, with Geir Botnen and Reidun Horvei (Simax PSC 1102, 1993)
* Fargespel (Grappa Musikkforlag HCD 7092, 1993)
* Høgdepunkt frå Landskappleiken (Grappa Musikkforlag HCD 7103, 1994)
* Norsk Folkemusikk 7 (Rogaland og Hordaland) (Grappa Musikkforlag GRCD 4067, 1995)
* Meisterspel, with various artists (Grappa Musikkforlag HCD 7132, 1997)
* Devil’s Tune, with various artists (Grappa Musikkforlag HCD 7139, 1998)
* Toneflaum, with Bjarne Herrefoss and Hallvard T. Bjørgum (Sylvartun SYLVCD 6, 1998)
* Å, with Steve Tibbetts and guest artists Turid Spildo, Marc Anderson and Anthony Cox (Hannibal/Rykodisc HNCD 1438, 1999)
* Håstabøslåttar, together with Åse Teigland and Frank Rolland (1999)
* Rosa – Botnen, with Benedicte Maurseth (Heilo, 2006)

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Artist Profiles: Knut Buen

Knut Buen

Knut Buen, born in 1948, is one of Norway’s most outstanding Hardanger fiddle players. He has composed many new dance tunes and been instrumental in introducing the into contexts. Buen’s artistry achieves its peak of expression when he plays dance tunes, where he is inspired by the interplay between player and dancer.

Under his record label, Buen Kulturverkstad, he has been responsible for releasing over 100 recordings of and books on Norwegian folk music. Among these are recordings in the traditions of Myllarguten, Mosafinn and Fykerud.

He manages the concert hall Tuddal Amfi and the Tonehallen exhibition hall, located in his home town of Tuddal in Telemark. He also does folk art and paints in the rosemaling style.

Buen Kulturverkstad has one of the largest collections recorded folklore and folk music in Norway. Buen received numerous honors, including first prize at National Contest for Traditional 1983 1986, a lifetime grant from Norwegian Government, Royal Order St. Olav, Knight Class, 1999.

Discography

* Bjarnekvad og Knuteslåttar, with B. Øverbø (Buen Kulturverkstad MC 10, 1976)
* Sebyggje og teledøl, with Torleiv H. Bjørgum (Buen Kulturverkstad MC 007, 1979)
* Telemarkspel (Buen Kulturverkstad MC 11, 1981)
* Slåttesull og Fanitull (Buen Kulturverkstad KBMC 1, 1986)
* Imellom fjelli blå, with Bjarne Øverbø (Buen Kulturverkstad (MC) RUPE 02, 1983)
* Nordafjølls, with Agnes Buen Garnås (Buen Kulturverkstad (MC) RUPE 03, 1983)
* Jul med Rupesekken (Buen Kulturverkstad (MC) RUPE 7, 1095)
* På orgel og hardingfele, with Kåre Nordstoga (Buen Kulturverkstad (MC) BKMC 1, 1985)
* På gamle tufter. with S. Bratland, K. Nordstoga, G. Guttormsen, A. Buen Garnås, H. Håkanes, W. Carlstrøm and F. Kvalem ( Buen Kulturverkstad (MC) BKMC 2, 1985)
* Stem våre understrengjer, with Agnes Buen Garnås, Kåre Nordstoga, Erik Stenstadvold and Guttorm Guttormsen (Buen Kulturverkstad (MC) BKMC 22, 1988)
* Grieg Slåtter Op.72 with Einar Steen Nøkleberg (Simax Classics PSC 1040, 1988)
* Spel til dans 2 (Buen Kulturverkstad (MC) BKMC 30, 1989)
* Spel til dans 4 (Buen Kulturverkstad (MC) BKMC 32, 1989)
* Det spelar og syng i familien Buen (Buen Kulturverkstad (MC) BKMC 44a, 1991)
* Myllarfela, with Hauk Buen (Buen Kulturverkstad (MC) BKMC 41, 1991)
* Myllargutens minne, with Hauk Buen (Buen Kulturverkstad BKCD 2, 1992)
* Håvards draum (Buen Kulturverkstad BKCD 3, 1992)
* Fykerud’n (Buen Kulturverkstad BKCD 4, 1992)
* Høyversdagen (Buen Kulturverkstad (MC) BKMC 55, 1992)
* Bjølleslåtten, with Leif Rygg and Kåre Nordstoga (Buen Kulturverkstad BKCD 6, 1994)
* Attersyn (Buen Kulturverkstad BKCD 11, 1995) Samspel (Buen Kulturverkstad BKCD 12, 1995)
* Spel til dans (Buen Kulturverkstad BKCD 10, 1995)
* Stev og slått, with Agnes Buen Garnås (Buen Kulturverkstad BKCD 15, 1996)
* Huldrejenta (Sogespel 1) (Buen Kulturverkstad BKCD 17, 1996)
* Myllarfyken (Nottespel 1) (Buen Kulturverkstad BKCD 18, 1996)
* Langt inn i hugheimen, with Knut A.U. Snøås (BKCD 19, 1996) Fjelltrampen (Nottespel 2) (Buen Kulturverkstad BKCD 20, 1997)
* Ljos og skugge/Slått og Raga, with Guttorm Guttormsen and Shri Lal Sahajpal (Buen Kulturverkstad BKCD 21, 1997)
* Der og da (There and Then) (Buen Kulturverkstad BKCD 23, 1999)
* Spelemannsprøva, recordings from 1965 to 1976 (2001)
* Myllargutens draum, draumen om det store spelet, recordings from 1972-1997 (2001)
* Hjartekvad, text and tone poems (2005)
* Hardingrock – Grimen, with Vegard Sverre Tveitan and Heidi Solberg Tveitan (2007)

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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

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O’Connor Band Wins Best Bluegrass Album Grammy Award

O’Connor Band With Mark O’Connor – Coming Home

The album Coming Home (Rounder Records) by O’Connor Band With Mark O’Connor is the winner of Best Bluegrass Album at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards.

The other finalists were:

Original Traditional – Blue Highway (Rounder Records)
Burden Bearer – Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver (Mountain Home Music Company)
The Hazel And Alice Sessions – Laurie Lewis & The Right Hands (Spruce And Maple Music)
North By South – Claire Lynch (Compass Records)

Buy Coming Home in the Americas

Buy Coming Home in Europe

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Artist Profiles: Ian Hardie

Ian Hardie

Born in Edinburgh (Scotland), Ian Hardie lived in Nairn (northeast of Inverness). Ian Hardie earned a great reputation not only as an exceptional fiddle player but also as a creative composer and bassist. He was a member of notable Scottish bands such as Jock Tamson’s Bairns and Highland Connection.

Ian was well-known as a composer with several albums and three tune books of own composition since 1986. Numerous other artists play and have recorded his tunes.

Ian Hardie was editor of The Nineties Collection, a signature volume of new traditional-style composition in Scotland in the 1990s, Ian Hardie was also integral to the two recordings featuring tunes from the Collection as well as touring the music with the five-piece version of The Ghillies.

Inspired by his exposure to Appalachian music and dance while performing at the 2003 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Ian Hardie traveled extensively to The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Virginia in 2005 and 2006 to immerse himself in the music and culture of the old time community. The result is an album titled Westringing that features newly composed melodies as well as tunes from Shetland, the Highland bagpipe repertoire and his own fiddle pibroch.

Westringing was a significant, new direction for Ian Hardie after over 35 years of involvement in the Scottish Folk scene.

For many years, Ian Hardie combined music with full time (then part time) practice as a lawyer but in 2001 he became exclusively involved in music and enjoyment of the many benefits of life in the Scottish Highlands from his seaside home in Nairn.

During his last years, he was mostly involved in playing for dance with top Edinburgh ceilidh band The Occasionals and Highland reels and ceilidh trio The Ghillies – with Duncan MacGillivray and Andy Thorburn – plus some duo work with Duncan.

Ian Hardie passed away in October 2012 from a brain tumor.

Discography

* Sandy Bells Ceilidh, with Bell’s Big Ceilidh Band (1977)
* Jock Tamson’s Bairn, with Jock Tamson’s Bairn (1980)
* The Lasses Fashion, with Jock Tamson’s Bairn (1982)
* A Breath of Fresh Airs (Greentrax, 1986)
* A Breath of Fresher Airs (Greentrax, 1992)
* Gaining Ground, with Highland Connection (Greentrax, 1994)
* A’ Jock Tamson’s Bairns (Greentrax CDTRAX 112, 1996)
* Nineties Collection Vol. 2, with The Ghillies (1997)
* http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000062AK?ieUTF8&tag=musidelmund-20&linkCo=dexm2&camp1789&creativeASINB0000062AK | The Spider’s Web, with Andy Thorburn (1998)
* Live At the Music Hall, Aberdeen, with The Occasionals (1999)
* May you Never Lack a Scone, with Jock Tamson’s Bairns (2001)
* Reel of Four, with The Occasionals (2004)
* Rare, with Jock Tamson’s Bairns (2005)
* Down to the Hall, with The Occasionals (2006)
* Westringing (2007)
* Birling, with The Occasionals (2012)

Publications

* A Breath of Fresh Airs, 54 Original Tunes (1986)
* A Breath of Fresher Airs, 56 Original Tunes (1991)
* The Spider’s Web, 84 Original Tunes (1998)
* The Nineties Collection, as Editor (1995)

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Artist Profiles: Hallvard T. Bjørgum

Hallvard T. Bjørgum

Hallvard T. Bjørgum (born 1956) from Setesdal is a folk musician in the third generation of a well-known “folk music family”. He plays fiddle tunes from the Setesdal and Telemark districts, as well as stev and psalm melodies.

In addition to being a powerful and expressive fiddler, he is also a master story-teller. He combines these talents in his concerts. He has taught at universities and community music schools, and has instructed musicians from both Norway and abroad. Bjørgum won the first prize at the National Contest for Traditional Music in 1982 and 1988. In 1988 he also won the King’s Trophy. He is regarded as one of Norway’s most gifted Hardanger fiddle players.

In 1990 he took over the Sylvartun Silversmith and Cultural Center, which he had operated together with his father. This center houses the largest existing collection of Hardanger fiddles, and includes many instruments that belonged to legendary Norwegian performers. That same year he was awarded a lifetime grant from the Norwegian Government.

He has collaborated with a great many artists, including Kirsten Braten Berg, Lena Willemark, Mats Edén, Bjørgulv Straume, Eilert Hægeland and Arild Andersen.

He is exploring the similarities between the oldest fiddle music in Setesdal, known as “gorrlause rammeslåttene”, and the folk music of the Caucasus region. He plays along with Elshan Mansurov, one of Azerbaijan’s leading kamancha players.

Discography

Slinkombas (Grappa Musikkforlag (MC) HK 7001, 1979)
Slinkombas og bas igjen (Grappa Musikkforlag (MC) HK 7015, 1982)
Klunkaren, with Torleiv H. Bjørgum (Sylvartun SYLVCD 1, 1985/1998)
Dolkaren, with Torleiv H. Bjørgum (Sylvartun SYLVCD 3, 19
Skjoldm?yslaget, with Torleiv H. Bj?rgum (Sylvartun SYLVCD 2, 1990)(Eng. version: Fire of the Amazons Sylvartun SYLVCD 4)
Juletid, with Kirsten Braten Berg and Eilert Haegeland (Norsk Plateproduksjon IDCD 19, 1991)
Setesdal forteljetradisjon, with Olav B? (Sylvartun SYLVCD 5, 1995)
Meisterspel, with various artists (Grappa Musikkforlag HCD, 1 7132, 1998)
Toneflaum, with Bjarne Herrefoss and Knut Hamre (Sylvartun SYLVCD 6, 1998)
Runarstreng, with Kirsten Braten Berg (Grappa Musikkforlag GRCD 4157, 1999)
Bjørgumspel (2002)
Free Field (2003)
Peace Will Come (2009)
Sterke slag, with Gunnar Stubseid (2013)
Førnesbrunen Vol. 2, with Hauk Buen (2014),
Bjørgumspel Vol. II, with Daniel Sandén-Warg (2015),

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