Tag Archives: Hardanger fiddle

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.


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

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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.


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),


Artist Profiles: Håkon Høgemo

Håkon Høgemo in 2010 – Photo by Angel Romero

Håkon Høgemo (born 1965), from Øvre Årdal in Sogn, has been described by fiddler Knut Buen as “the Crown Prince of the Hardanger fiddle”. His unique sound and technique have lifted the art of Hardanger fiddle playing to a higher level. In his collaboration with musicians from other genres, he has given fiddle tunes a new, modern mode of expression. Høgemo has won the first prize at the National Contest for Traditional Music twice, in 1989 and 1995.

He was the first recipient of the Osa Prize in 1992, and received the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation’s award for young folk musicians in the same year. He is one of very few Hardanger fiddlers to work on a freelance basis.

Høgemo has played on many CDs, and has toured in Norway, the USA, the UK, Germany, Japan and Belgium. He is a member of several folk music groups, including Slåttetrioen, Sogn and Utla.


Å fela ho let (Spelarhaugen Folkemusikk SFKMC 107, 1988)
Mellom vener (Spelarhaugen Folkemusikk SFKMC 108, 1988)
Rit, with Sogn-A-Song (NOR-CD 9410, 1994)
Juv, with Utla (NOR-CD 9309, 1993)
Norsk Folkemusikk 8 (Folkemusikk frå Sogn og Fjordane, Møre og Romsdal) (Grappa Musikkforlag GRCD 4068, 1995)
Brodd, with Utla (NOR-CD 9514, 1995) Meisterspel, with various artists (Grappa Musikkforlag HCD 7132, 1997)
Dans, with Utla (NOR-CD 9935, 1999)
Høgdepunkt Førde Folk Festival, with various artists (Grappa Musikkforlag HCD 7154, 1999)
Solo (NorCD, 2000)
Marylands (Heilo/Grappa, 2001)
Song, with Utla and Berit Opheim (NorCD, 2003)
Gamaltnymalt, with igrid Moldestad and Einar Mjølsnes (NorCD, 2005)


Artist Profiles: Anon Egeland

Ånon Egeland

Ånon Egeland was born in Oslo in 1954. He is one of the few musicians who plays traditional music from the county of Agder. He is first and foremost a Hardanger fiddler (the Norwegian fiddle with drone strings, as heard on Devil’s Tune) but he also plays jew’s harp and two kinds of Norwegian flute.

After many years of collaboration on other musicians’ projects, this multi-instrumentalist finally released his first solo CD “Ånon” in 1999. The music on the CD is based on the Agder tradition, and Ånon Egeland conveys this message through his own unique “Ånon sound”.

Accompanying Ånon on his tours is Leiv Solberg on mandola and guitar. Leiv has been playing with Ånon for over 20 years, so their work together is nearly telepathic.


* I heitaste slåtten , with Per Midtstigen (Grappa Musikkforlag HCD 7071, 1977. Reissued on CD in 1999)
* Norske strøk, with Per Midtstigen (Grappa Musikkforlag HK 7014, 1982)
* For borgere og bønder, with Hans Olav Gorset (Norsk Kulturråd/Polygram NKFCD 50025-2, 1989)
* Höök, with Magnus Gustavsson, Mikael Marin, Susanne Rosenberg and Mads Olovsson (Drone DROCD007, 1995)
* Folk Music from Norway, with various artists (Grappa Musikkforlag HCD 7078, 1993)
* Musikk fra Christopher Hammers tid, with L. Klevstrand, Knut Johannesen, L. Solberg and others (Included with the book “Christopher Hammer Norsk Kogebog 1793” (Hroar Dege Landbruksforlaget, 1994)
* Segner Syng with Ragnhild Furholt (Grappa Musikkforlag HCD 7128, 1997)
* Norsk Folkemusikk 2 (Agder) (Grappa Musikkforlag GRCD4062, 1997)
* Skjemt og sjanti, with Frode Nyvold (Grappa Musikkforlag HCD 7137, 1998)
* Ånon (Grappa Musikkforlag HCD 7136, 1999 / USA: NorthSide NSD6037, 1999)