Tag Archives: Norwegian music

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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Artist Profiles: Johan Sara Jr.

Johan Sara Jr.

Johan Sara Jr. was born in 1963. He is one of the leading artists in the Sami music area. His musical activities range over a wide field. In addition to his work as a performing artist, he composes, arranges and produces music.

He has composed works of great complexity for orchestra, and has been involved in theater, film and television projects. In his performances he combines the traditional joik technique with other musical genres.

His album “Ovcci vuomi ovtta veaiggis” is an experimental fusion of Afro rhythms, jazz, rock and folk music. In another project, Sami joik meets Andalusian flamenco to the accompaniment of Indian tabla.

Sara is devoted to the traditional joik as a travelling partner along the way, and maintains an open mind to other musical forms.

Discography

Ovcci vuomi ovtta veaiggis – Nine Valleys in one dusk (DATCD 20, 1995)
Calbmeliiba (DATCD 29, 1999)
Boska (DAT, 2003)
Orvos (DAT, 2009)
Transmission – Rievdadus (DAT, 2015)

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Artist Profiles: Johan A. Andersen

Johan A. Andersen

Johan Andreas Andersen was born in 1938. He preserves the traditional music of Unjárga/Nesseby in county Finnmark. He has collected a number of songs and joiks from the Varanger area. The Nesseby songs are more melodic than the songs in the inland regions in Finnmark. They sometimes include long texts, often about nature, animals people.

Andersen learned most of these joiks from his father, Anders Persen, who was a well-known traditional joik singer in Nesseby, but he also composes his own joiks. He has toured several times for the Norwegian Concert Institute, and has participated in various international cultural exchanges and conferences for indigenous peoples.

On his debut CD in 1999, he presented joiks with simple arrangements by Fred Endresen.

Johan A. Andersen has a special ability to imitate the sounds of animals and birds. He has worked as a sailor, hunter, fjord fisherman, cook and Sami handcrafts.

The album Unnengukká viežžak contains traditional songs as well as two originals.

Discography

Hoi Hoi mun lávlestan (Idut ICD 991, 1999)
Unnengukká viežžak (Idut, 2009)

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Artist Profiles: Jan Garbarek

Jan Garbarek

Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek adopted the sounds of jazz, classical and world music at a very early age. He has collaborated with artists from various folk traditions, including India and Brazil, as well as age-old European traditions, including his remarkable partnership with the Hilliard Ensemble.

Jan Garbarek was born March 4, 1947, in Mysen, Norway. At the age of 14, he heard John Coltrane on the radio and experienced a kind of epiphany. He immediately bought himself a saxophone instruction book and learned fingering positions, even before he had bought a horn.

Knowledge of Coltrane’s interest in Ravi Shankar, brought Garbarek to an awareness of Indian music as early as 1963. From the Coltrane Quartet, the young Norwegian learned about the dynamics of the band, and the internal relationship of the instruments. Coltrane’s endorsement of the freest spirits of the New Thing fired Garbarek’s appreciation of Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp and especially Albert Ayler.

Scandinavia at that time was a haven for American musicians. Garbarek grasped opportunities to hear, and learn from, Dexter Gordon, Ben Webster and Johnny Griffin. In 1964, he had a chance to play with Don Cherry, whose embracing of world folk traditions in his unique variety of free jazz was another significant influence. Most important in this formative period was the association with American composer and pianist George Russell.

In 1967 he joined the Scandinavian orchestra led by US avant-garde composer George Russell, and in 1970 worked in the USA for a while under such leaders as Keith Jarrett and Don Cherry.

In 1969 Manfred Eicher, in the process of establishing ECM Records, invited Garbarek to record for his new label. The album Afric Pepperbird was taped in Oslo in 1970 and effectively put the young saxophonist on the map, along with his fellow band members. This was the start of a exceptional relationship between Garbarek and ECM which continues to this day.

Afric Pepperbird was the first of many ECM recordings to be produced in Oslo. It was the beginning of the creative alliance between Eicher and sound engineer Jan Erik Kongshaug.

In the 1980s Garbarek created several groups, which included bassist Eberhard Weber, John Abercrombie and at various times guitarists Bill Frisell and David Torn. During that decade he began a series of world music collaborations. In 1984, Garbarek recorded with Ravi Shankar on Song For Everyone.

The landmark album Rosensfole came out in 1991. This now legendary ECM album features Garbarek together with Norwegian folk singer Agnes Buen Garn?s. The international collaborations continued with Ragas & Sagas (1993), where Garbarek collaborated with the Pakistani Qawwali singer, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. That same year, Garbarek recorded Twelve Moons, which focused, yet again on Scandinavian folk melodies.

Officium, released in 1993, features Jan Garbarek and the Hilliard Ensemble, with a musical concept that simultaneously reached up into the Jazz, Classical, and Pop charts. In 1998, five years after the recording of “Officium”, the Hilliard Ensemble and Jan Garbarek returned to the monastery of St Gerold to renew, in the words of singer John Potter, their “encounter with the unknown.”

The result was a very beautiful double album, Mnemosyne. It was wider in scope than its predecessor, and the improvised component of the music was expanded. The repertoire spanned 22 centuries, from the “Delphic Paean” of Athenaeus to the “Estonian Lullaby” of Veljo Tormis, via folk song fragments from North and South America and Spain, freely developed, as well as pieces by Tallis, Dufay, Brumel, Hildegard von Bingen, Jan Garbarek, a Russian psalm, a Scottish ballad of the 16th century, and much more. “We did it for each other in the absence of an audience, and these are complete one-off performances which will never sound the same again.”

In 1998 Jan Garbarek released another double album entitled Rites. It suggested initiations, rituals, the archaic, the magical, but also “rites of passage”, and the Norwegian saxophonist reflected, in his choice of material, upon pivotal episodes and influences in his own life and those of his associates.

Pieces included a tribute to Don Cherry and reworkings of the Garbarek classics “It’s OK to listen to the gray voice” and “So mild the wind, so meek the water”. There were abundant references to scattered musics of the world, from Norway to India, as well as a setting – for voices and saxophone – of a Native American poem, and the surprise inclusion of Jansug Kakhidze’s “The moon over Mtatsminda”, sung by its composer with the Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra. In total, this was the most comprehensive recording Jan Garbarek had made to date.

Garbarek compiled a double album of Selected Recordings for ECM’s :rarum anthology series in 2001. “This retrospective compilation represents 30 wonderful years of my life…. I hope as you listen that you will, in some measure, hear the joy I’ve had making each of these recordings.”

Garbarek’s double album traces the growth of his own groups, his collaborations with a wide range of musicians – from Keith Jarrett to the Hilliard Ensemble – and his investigations of Nordic and other folk traditions.

In 2003 Garbarek appeared, alongside Chick Corea, Jack DeJohnette and John McLaughlin, on Miroslav Vitous’s widely-acclaimed Universal Syncopations.

In 2004, Garbarek played with Kim Kashkashian on Tigran Mansurian’s Monodia, a recording that also features Leonidas Kavakos, the Hilliard Ensemble, and the Munich Chamber Orchestra under Christoph Poppen.

On the album In Praise of Dreams (2004) , Garbarek emphasized his capacity as composer, orchestrator and arranger, proposing new colors and textures in its blending of acoustic and electronic elements. “I think more in terms of evolution than revolution,” Jan Garbarek says, “the changes in the music taking place slowly over time, but there are some surprises here.”

Although the trio heard on the disc is unprecedented, there is also a logic to the unorthodox line-up. In Praise of Dreams features two musicians with whom Jan Garbarek has some history – American-Armenian violist Kim Kashkashian and African-French drummer Manu Katch?.

The use of loops and samples had only occasionally appeared on earlier Garbarek albums (“All Those Born With Wings”, “Visible World”), although they are a hallmark of music Garbarek has written for film, theatre and ballet.

The most striking aspect of In Praise of Dreams, however, is the interweaving melodies of saxophone and viola. “I was really overwhelmed by the life and the depth that Kim brought to the lines that I presented to her…The way she plays the viola, the sensibility of the phrasing, all the subtleties and nuances of her sound production, it’s very close to the way I’d like to play saxophone. There seems to be a very good connection between our timbres, too, which was even more than I had hoped for. The richness in her sound brings the music to another level and gives me something to reach for, in my improvisations. It was inspiring to work with her.”

Describing Kim Kashkashian as “a very powerful new agent in my music-making“, Garbarek added that “her strong sound had come to define the viola in a new way for me. I’d had many opportunities to listen to her music on ECM recordings through the years, in chamber music or orchestral contexts.”

Jan Garbarek first became aware of African-French drummer Manu Katche after hearing his sparse, unorthodox beat propelling the most striking tracks on Robbie Robertson’s 1987 solo album. Producer Manfred Eicher put Garbarek and Katche in touch with each other.

Katche, it transpired, had long been a follower of Garbarek’s music (“his records filled my adolescence”). Manu Katche joined ECM’s 20th Anniversary concerts in Paris, played in trio with Garbarek and Indian violinist Shankar (saxophone, strings, drums – not so far from the In Praise of Dreams concept ) at La Cigale in October 1989, and joined the Jan Garbarek Group for several tours. He appeared on four subsequent albums with Jan – I Took Up The Runes, Ragas and Sagas, Twelve Moons and Visible World, prior to In Praise of Dreams.

Manu has many qualities as a player. He can do many things, but much of his playing is pattern oriented. He’s looking for just the right drum pattern to fit a piece of music and he’ll stay with that, but vary it in minimalistic ways with dynamics and attack. Rather than breaking loose to play soloistically, he maintains the ambience he’s created. Now, I love all the old jazz drummers, like Jo Jones, for example, or Gene Krupa, and they were also more pattern oriented rather than freely expressive in the way that most contemporary jazz drummers are. And it’s something I’ve missed. Manu has that quality in his approach, but also a very elegant sophistication, a poetic sensitivity.”

Garbarek attributes the overall shape of the album to its producer. “When it comes to organizing the pieces as a whole, that’s difficult for me, because I’m bound up in the details of each individual tune. The best ideas for that usually come from Manfred Eicher. Hearing these pieces during the mix he very quickly had an idea about the dramaturgy. He sees the whole more spontaneously, and I trust him 100 % in this. I’d tried all kinds of way to put these pieces together, but once Manfred suggested an order, everything fell into place – not for the first time.”

The album’s title was borrowed from the poem “In Praise of Dreams” by Wislawa Syzmborska, which begins, in the English translation, “In my dreams/I paint like Vermeer van Delft.

Partial Discography

* Esoteric Circle, with Terje Rypdal (Freedom FLP/CD 41031, 1969)
* Afric Pepperbird (ECM 1007, 1970)
* Sart, with Stenson and Rypdal (ECM 1015, 1971)
* Triptykon, with Arild Andersen and Edward Vesala (ECM 1029, 1972)
* Red Lanta, with Art Lande (ECM 1038, 1973)
* Witchi-Tai-To, with Bobo Stenson Quartet (ECM 1041, 1973)
* Luminessence, with Keith Jarrett (ECM 1049, 1974)
* Dansere, with Bobo Stenson Quartet (ECM 1075, 1975)
* Dis (ECM 1093, 1976)
* Places (ECM 1118, 1977)
* Photo with Blue Sky, White Cloud, Wires, Windows and a Red Roof (ECM 1135, 1978)
* Magico, with Charlie Haden and Egberto Gismonti (ECM 1151, 1979)
* Aftenland, with Kjell Johnsen (ECM 1169, 1979)
* Folk Song, with Charlie Haden and Egberto Gismonti (ECM 1170, 1979)
* Eventyr (ECM 1200, 1980)
* Paths: Prints (ECM 1223, 1981)
* Wayfarer (ECM 1259, 1983)
* It’s OK To Listen To The Gray Voice (ECM 1294, 1984)
* All Those Born With Wings (ECM 1324, 1986)
* Legend of The Seven Dreams (ECM 1381, 1988)
* Rosensfole, with Agnes Buen Garnas (ECM 1402, 1988)
* I Took Up The Runes (ECM 1419, 1990)
* Ragas and Sagas, with Ustad Fateh Ali Khan and musicians from Pakistan (ECM 1442, 1990)
* Star, with Miroslav Vitous and Erskine (ECM 1444, 1991)
* Atmos, with Miroslav Vitous (ECM 1475, 1992)
* Madar (ECM 1515, 1992)
* Twelve Moons (ECM 1500, 1992)
* Officium, with The Hilliard Ensemble (ECM 1525, 1993)
* Visible World (ECM 1585, 1995)
* Rites, 2-CD (ECM 1685/86, 1998)
* Mnemosyne, with The Hilliard Ensemble, 2-CD (ECM 1700/01, 1998)
* Rarum 2: Selected Recordings (ECM, 2002)
* In Praise of Dreams (ECM, 2004)
* Dresden (ECM Records, 2009)
* Officium Novum, with the Hilliard Ensemble (2010)
* Résumé, with Eberhard Weber (ECM, 2012)
* Magico: Carta de Amor, with Charlie Haden (ECM. 2012)
* Concert in Athens, with Eleni Karaindrou (ECM, 2013)

Web Site

www.garbarek.com

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Artist Profiles: Inga Juuso

Inga Juuso

Inga Juuso was born October 5, 1945, in Mosjøen, Norway. She started performing as a singer in 1972, and was one of the most experienced widely acclaimed joik performers in Norway. She mastered the traditional classical joik technique as well as more modern experimental and innovative styles.

Traditional joik operates with a pentatonic (5-note) scale, and Juuso was skilled at varying improvising within this limited range. She toured all over the world and participated in various projects as a singer and actress in the movie The Kautokeino Rebellion.

Throughout her career Inga Juuso recorded with many musicians, including Steinar Raknes, Håkon Mjåset Johansen, and Jørn Øien.

Inga Juuso died on August 23, 2014.

Discography

* Ravddas Ravdii (DATCD 9, 1991)
* Orbina, with Orbina (Idut ICD 931, 1993)
* Earth songs, with Anders Hagberg (Xource XOUCD 120, 1998)
* Calbmeliiba (DATCD29, 1999)
* Vaimmo Ivnnit – Where the rivers meet (DAT, 2008)
* Patterns of the heart (DAT, 2008)
* Bálggis (2011)

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Artist Profiles: Hauk Buen

Hauk Buen

Hauk Buen (born 1933) comes from Jondalen in Telemark (Norway). He belongs to a family of outstanding folk musicians, and is regarded as one the foremost Hardanger fiddle players.

He has performed in countless concerts, and has probably played abroad more frequently than any other contemporary Norwegian fiddler. He has participated in many radio and television programs.

Buen also adopted his family’s long tradition in Hardanger fiddle building. He has been a major source of inspiration and an important teacher for many young fiddlers. “Spel til dans”, recorded in 1995, is a selection of the best recordings of Hauk and his brother Knut Buen playing dance tunes.

In 2003 he won the Royal Merit award.

Discography

* Konsert med Hauk Buen (Buen Kulturverkstad (MC) BKMC 8, 1984)
* Slåttesull og Fanitull ( Buen Kulturverkstad. (MC) KBMC 1, 1986)
* Spel til dans 3 (Buen Kulturverkstad (MC) BKMC 31, 1989)
* Spel til dans 4 (Buen Kulturverkstad (MC) BKMC 32, 1989)
* Myllarfela, with Knut Buen (Buen Kulturverkstad (MC) BKMC 41, 1991)
* Spelemannshelsing (Buen Kulturverkstad (MC) BKMC 56, 1992)
* Myllargutens minne, with Knut Buen (Buen Kulturverkstad BKCD 2, 1992)
* Fykerud’n (Buen Kulturverkstad BKCD 4, 1992)
* Spel til dans (Buen Kulturverkstad BKCD 10, 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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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.

Discography

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)

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Artist Profiles: Gjermund Larsen

Gjermund Larsen – Photo by Geir Dokken

Gjermund Larsen is a gifted violinist and composer. He also plays the cello. His music displays an unusually broad emotional range, from virtuosic brilliance to gentle tenderness. Gjermund takes a masterlful approach to the older tonalities while at the same time he enjoys exploring new styles and presenting remarkable improvisations.

He was awarded first prize in the elite Category A in the National Contest for Traditional Music in Norway for fiddle twice, and also received the King’s Trophy.

His 2008 release Ankomst won the Spellemannprisen award, the most prestigious music award in Norway.

in 2013, Larsen partiicpated in the album Lars Petter Hagen, along with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Rolf Gupta.

Gjermund Larsen’s trio during 2009-2016 included Andreas Utnem (grand piano and harmonium) and Sondre Meisfjord (bass).

Discography

Søttenpassingen (ta-lik), with Einar Olav Larsen (2004)
Brytningstid (Grappa/Heilo, 2006)
Ankomst (Grappa, 2008)
Går I Fjøs (Øra Fonogram, 2009)
Aurum (Heilo, 2010)
Reise (Heilo, 2013)
Lars Petter Hagen (Aurora, 2013)
Trønderbarokk (Øra Fonogram, 2014)
Salmeklang (Heilo, 2016)

As a member of fiddle group Majorstuen

Majorstuen (2L. 2002)
Jorun Jogga (Majorstuen Fiddlers Company, 2004)
Juledrøm (Majorstuen Fiddlers Company, 2006)
Skir (Majorstuen Fiddlers Company, 2010)
White Night – Impressions of Norwegian Folk Music (Majorstuen Fiddlers Company, 2011)
Live In Concert (Majorstuen Fiddlers Company, 2012)

Web site: www.gjermundlarsen.com

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Artist Profiles: Frigg

Frigg live in Norway in 2010 – Photo by Angel Romero

Frigg specializes in the rich folk heritage from Finland and Norway. The musicians combine elements of their respective folk traditions with touches of American Appalachian bluegrass and country & western music.

The seven-piece band contains three young Järvelä, two sons and a daughter of the most famous fiddle family in Finland, whose fathers and uncles founded JPP, and two Larsen brothers, members of a comparable Norwegian Hardanger fiddle clan. The traditional sounds are then boosted with innovative arrangements, and combined with mandola, cittern, double bass, guitar and dobro.

Frigg has been impressing festival audiences in Scandinavia and creating a phenomenal sensation among listeners and fellow musicians. Their debut CD, Frigg, was co-produced by Timo Alakotila.

With Oasis, the Finnish/Norwegian string band returned with a great new set of inventive tunes. Using traditional music as the starting point and their family ties to the great Finnish fiddle ensemble JPP, creating remarkable string music that incorporates elements of bluegrass and other American folk influences.

While a few compositions on their second CD, are given some expanded instrumentation, the highlight remains strong tunes, such as the hauntingly beautiful title track, and the crowd-pleasing “Fantomen,” that was very well received when the band appeared on the American public radio program “A Prairie Home Companion” on October 1, 2005.

Discography

* Frigg (2002)
* Keidas-Oasis-Oase (2005)
* Live (2007)
* Economy Class (2008)
* Grannen (Frigg Music, 2010)
* Timeline, compilation (2014)

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