Artist Profiles: Bukkene Bruse

Bukkene Bruse

Bukkene Bruse is an influential Norwegian contemporary folk music band. Bukkene Bruse were appointed as official Olympic Musicians for the 1994 Winter Games at Lillehammer, Norway. Following an international tour, they took part in the closing ceremonies thath were broadcast around the world.

The group plays a mix of traditional and modern instruments. Their repertoire draws from many areas of Norway, combining regional traditions with a number of original compositions.

As a group, Bukkene Bruse have existed since 1988, and through the years have given a great many concerts and performances both at home and abroad. Their repertory consists of a wide and exciting range of Norwegian traditional music, and also of their own compositions.

Bukkene (their name is taken from the folk tale of the three Billy Goats Gruff, who outsmarted and destroyed a big troll on their way to summer pastures) make their own arrangements, elaborating and emphasizing the special style of folk music.

The debut-CD came out in August 1993, and received very good reviews. The second CD, Åre (1995), further developed the musical ideas from the first, but also was heightened by the inspiration and experiences the musicians had gathered in the course of a number of tours.

The Stone Chair followed, breaking new ground. This time all four members contributed with new compositions, while at the same time they kept the traditional music foundation. This is a powerful, mature record, featuringtraditional and modern instruments. The American NorthSide edition includes seven tracks from the first two CDs, making a very special presentation of the group’s music.

In 1992, two years before the Olympic Games in Lillehammer, the Olympic Games Organizing Committee chose Bukkene Bruse as official Olympic musicians. This commission brought them to the USA, Japan, Spain and Germany. In the autumn of 1994 the band represented Norway in China at the celebrations of the 40 years of cooperation between Norway and China. Besides giving a big concert in the Haidian Theatre, they worked together with leading Chinese folk musicians, appearing before the leaders of Chinese government and the Norwegian Foreign Minister.

December 1998 brought Bukkene Bruse to a special holiday concert “Norwegian Visions” at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, appearing with new age performers Secret Garden. They also went to Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and South Africa as ambassadors for the relief organization “Save the Children.” There they spent two weeks traveling, performing concerts and collaborating with local musicians.

Bukkene Bruse Musicians:

* Annbjørg Lien: Hardanger fiddle, nyckelharpa, vocals

* Arve Moen Bergset: vocals, Hardanger fiddle

* Steinar Ofsdal: flutes, jew’s harp, vocals

* Bjørn Ole Rasch: keyboards


Bukkene Bruse (Grappa Musikkforlag GRCD 4053, 1993)
Åre (Grappa Musikkforlag GRCD 4100, 1995)
Steinstolen/ The Stone Chair (Grappa Musikkforlag HCD 7145/Northside, 1998)
Den Fagraste Rosa / The Loveliest Rose (Grappa/NorthSide NSD6067, 2002)
Spel (Grappa Musikkforlag, 2004)

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV 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 albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.


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