Went to the excellent Northern Streams weekend which is run by the Traditional Music and Song Association of Scotland (Edinburgh & Lothians Branch). It was a wonderful programme of three concerts and numerous workshops over three days.
I took full advantage and went to as many events as humanly possible over the weekend. We heard Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish song on Friday evening. FUNI - Bára Grímsdóttir and Chris Foster (Iceland/Britain) gave us a lot of information about Icelandic folk music and instruments. Lots of songs in lydian mode!! Karin Ericsson Back and Maria Misgeld (Sweden) sang a capella - beautiful.
Kim André Rysstad and Lajla Buer Storli played a mix of Norwegian song and hardanger fiddle. My partner wasted no time and was deep in conversation with Lajla about hardanger fiddles. He has just made one. Lajla was very friendly and interested to help. She has put us in contact with a Norwegian who look after her fiddles. She also told me about some hardanger summer schools.
On Saturday I took my hardanger to a Fiddle workshop with Lajla Buer Storli (Hardanger region, Norway). We learned, by ear, a great but difficult tune from the hardanger area of Norway. It wasn't that it was technically difficult, but the sequences and rhythms are so different from Scottish folk music it was difficult for any of us to get it quickly.
Next up was a workshop in Harmony in music with Daniel and Emma Reid (Sweden/Britain). Daniel plays saxophone and Emma is a truly fantastic fiddler. The tune was great and we learned some drones and rhythmic accompaniment.
Finally I learned Song & accompaniment, with Julie Hjetland (Denmark) and Jens Ulversand(Sweden) and also Annlaug Borsheim and Rannveig Djønne. The first half of the workshop saw us learning a Danish song about cabbage and gruel - it was a hard life!. Julie Hjetland showed us how she does body percussion - which involved hitting herself andlooked quite sore but was really effective! n the second half of the workshop Annlaug Borsheim and Rannveig Djønne (Norway) taught us a lovely tune and lullaby. Annlaug plays guitar and sings but she also plays the hardanger. She was very interested in mine too. I think its unusual to see one outside Norway.
On Saturday evening we went to the second concert. The highlights for me were the wonderful fiddling from Emma Reid - beautiful polskas (3/4/ tunes - stressing beats 1 and 3); great songs and interesting accompaniment using looping from Jullie Hjetland (Denmark) with Jens Ulversand (Sweden); and some really pretty accordion tunes and song from Annlaug Borsheim and Rannveig Djønne (Norway).
Saw them all again on Sunday in a finale concert. We also did Icelandic dancing and icelandic singing!
First time my hardanger has been out the house and Lajla and Annlaug gave us some great feedback on it. I came away feeling very motivated and learned a lot over the weekend.
Annlaug stayed on for a couple of days and so I also went out to Pathhead last night for a workshop with her. More great hardanger fiddle tunes and it was a good experience to meet the Pathhead fiddlers.