Northern Stars & Northern Lights ~ music for long nights

Northern Stars & Northern Lights ~ music for long nights

~ seeking help for misfiring brain cells…

No, I’m going to avoid using ‘Scandinavian’, we’ve all seen what happens when the term ‘Celtic’ is bantered about. I have several times had in my possession some pretty impressive collections of music from these northern climes, primarily from Norway, Sweden, Finland ~ and ~ The Faroe Isles. Before marriage I was generous and after amassing such audio joys ~ as prized as the ear candy from these ‘Celtic’ ( Oops! 😉 ) realms ~ I gave them to deserving organization, and I hope the adjective was right.

Anyway, I’d love to reacquaint my ears with the lovely melodies of these climes, not forgetting Denmark, Greenland and Iceland too while I’m at it. It is mostly dance music I’m interested in, but my musical joys aren’t limited to that.

There was one particular group I’d made friends, and I can’t remember the name, but they were fiddles and a reed organ for the half dozen recordings the band made back in the 70s and 80s. I’d also learned some tunes from them, a lovely bunch. Another few mad people were reviving the pipes in the music, and I even got to meed a group or two who also used a harp. Another friend makes them… And there was a young competition winning fiddler who I wrestled to the ground (haven’t that ability anymore) when he was considering giving up his naturally acquired tradition for Irish fiddling… 😀

So, pleeeaaase ~ recommendations of recordings from our cousins under the northern lights, maybe when you have some free time on a long night, and from the rest of us too, as I know there are many of us here who have grown to appreciate this music, some of that music already a valued part of this database. Sources would be welcome too, where we might be able to purchase them?

SPECIFIC NEED! ~ a recording from the 80s, with the most amazing waltz on it, as a friend describes it ~ "gorgeous, drop dead!" ~ possibly it’s the band’s name? ~ not sure, as the brain cells are being particularly uncooperative from lost sleep ~ but I’ve no doubt a good number of you would equally appreciate this waltz, only half-baked in our friends mind and just tickling the tips of his fingers and his bow arm aching with the need to move… So, wanting to find this if at all possible, and more, as I’m greedy ~ here’s that half remembered scramble of vocalization that represents the album’s name, or that of the band ~ 😏

"Gjensynglede "

Help?! ~ Please… I won’t give them away this time, my wife won’t let me…

Re: Northern Stars & Northern Lights ~ music for long nights

Oiling the process a little ~

Just a few of past appreciations coming to mind:

Magnus Thörnblad / Mats Berglund:
"Pä Gränsen" (80s) ~ etc…
These are some of the musicians whose recordings I’d like to have and hear again…

Andrea Hoag, N. American fiddler with a gift and passion for this music

Värttinä ~ (Finnish-esque) if leaning more toward vocals and the east than dance and the north, just try to think past the silly bleached blond ABBA-esque look…too much slivovic…maybe they’ll grow out of it as their ages are showing through the burnt white hair?ärttinä

Re: Northern Stars & Northern Lights ~ music for long nights

JPP is one group that’s close to your description, ‘c’, but they didn’t record until the 80’s. They’ve come through Vermont a few times.

My first choice for Northern lights watching music—-From Finland, Tapani Varis’ 1998 NorthSide cd, "Jews Harp".

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Re: Northern Stars & Northern Lights ~ music for long nights

Very interesting, thanks Laitch, no, they’re not the group, but always glad to have my musical horizons stretched…& I’m fond of the maltrommel (jaw/Jew’s harp) too… 😉

Re: Northern Stars & Northern Lights ~ music for long nights

We’re still hoping to head for Sweden over Easter, fingers and toes crosses, so any ‘must haves’ as far as music from that realm would also be much appreciated…

Re: Northern Stars & Northern Lights ~ music for long nights

If you want something to clear a room quickly, keep cats off your flowerbeds or disperse loitering youths, get an album devoted to recreating the sounds of prehistoric music that I listened to in a shop in Sweden. I don’t know its name but it shouldn’t be hard to find it or a similar one.

Re: Northern Stars & Northern Lights ~ music for long nights

I like Hedningarna:

Similar artist ( to Hedningarna) according to the Wikipedia:

* Garmarna
* Gjallarhorn
* Hoven Droven
* Sanna Kurki-Suonio
* Loituma
* Anders Norudde
* Triakel
* Värttinä
* Väsen

Re: Northern Stars & Northern Lights ~ music for long nights

It turned out that "Gjensynglede" is actually a Norwegian word.
Gjensyn: reunion.
Glede: joy, delight, enjoyment

Re: Northern Stars & Northern Lights ~ music for long nights

Uhrbrand, Lydom & Cahill - [ spot the Irishman ! ]. Danish traditional music - and as good as anything I’ve ever come across. First CD was the best I thought. They brought in a couple of jazz players for the 2nd and 3rd, and lost the way a bit, IMHO. All very good players - fiddle, accordion, mouth organ and bouzouki. Liam O’Flynn was a guest on the 2nd.

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Re: Northern Stars & Northern Lights ~ music for long nights

Troka is a great Finnish band - members of JPP I believe. One of my all-time favorite CDs is this one (released in 1998, but there is a lovely waltz on it):

Re: Northern Stars & Northern Lights ~ music for long nights

Nice to see the contributions flowing in, and the help with the mystery album / band ~ Norwegian ~ "Gjensynglede"… I hope someone remembers it and can give us more.

My wife is particularly fond of the nycklharpa, so any recommended listens there would also be welcome…

Re: Northern Stars & Northern Lights ~ music for long nights

Although mentioned above, let me highlight a band that was my introduction to nyckelharpa — Väsen. Wonderful stuff, and they’re also responsible for giving us the very beautiful Josefins Dopvals .

Re: Northern Stars & Northern Lights ~ music for long nights

& the CD ~
Pris kr 165,00(+ frakt/eksp.)

Yes TradLad, I think that is it, thanks a load. This was in part started for an absent friend. I’m now awaiting an answer to see if this was the recording with the waltz he had to remember and play…

So, that solved, what listening pleasures from your realms would you recommend?

Re: Northern Stars & Northern Lights ~ music for long nights

Olav Vittfarne ~ Välkommen!!! Thanks for the useful link and news ~ 🙂

Nordic Tradition! ~ Välkommen!!! ~ new label! great news!!! (English)

We are proud to present the newest record label in Sweden devoted entirely to Nordic roots music. So far our webshop is only in Swedish and can only take domestic orders, but the good news is that all our CDs are available worldwide through distribution with CDA and their excellent webshop Swedish Music Shop:

For American customers, we recommend our partner cdRoots who have a special page with all our CDs currently available in the US:

Some CDs (Dråm and Svanevit) are licensed in Germany, Great Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands by Westpark Music in Germany who also take orders via their website:

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us:
erik - ‘at’ - nordictradition - ‘dot’ - com

Re: Northern Stars & Northern Lights ~ music for long nights

I think the one band I was trying to remember, who toured and produced maybe half a dozen albums, and I remember at least 3, and they may have just been I ~ II ~ III, with the name of the group, was, I think, at least 3 fiddlers and a reed organ… I am pretty sure they were Swedish and it was very much focused on the dance music… They produced these recordings, as I’m remembering it, in the 80s? ~ maybe as early as the 70s? They sometimes also toured with dance teachers, I think sometimes with a couple who had won some national Pols competition there?

While I’d love to be reminded of this, any lovely recordings from these northern climes would be very welcome. There was also a recording I purchased at least twice, and gave away, of the dance music of the Faroes, and there were several beautiful ‘langdans’ on that particular vinyl.

Interesting, I thought I’d actually contributed a couple of langdans here but can’t find them. Maybe ~ one especially, as I was recently asked about it by a couple of people and sent them transcriptions… Maybe I can sneak one in, one that wouldn’t be out of place in a session of course… 😉

Re: Northern Stars & Northern Lights ~ music for long nights

nicholas ~ it probably won’t surprise you, I think we have the vinyl of that one. It features, among other things various ‘flutes’ ~ willow whistles, and one without finger holes, where you change the pitch with a finger on the end of the pipa / pipe. There were a slew of curious ‘folk’ instruments featured… You want worse, "I had a friend" who also played a number of the items featured, including the previously mentioned ‘finger-whistle’ and including other pocket noise makers… Fortunately we hadn’t and haven’t any cats or dogs, and we were select about who else was invited when he came to visit…

Re: Northern Stars & Northern Lights ~ music for long nights

Hi C.

Been up in the mountains over the weekend, so didn’t see your msg before now. Where you thinking of Gard?


Re: Northern Stars & Northern Lights ~ music for long nights

When it comes to norwegian traditional dance music really two types. Gammaldans/rundans - wich the recording above - gjensynsglede - as a good example. This kind of dance music got increasingly popular after the introduction to the accordion in norwegian music from the secon half of 1800’s on further on. The dance types are typically waltz, mazurka, polka, reinlender which all a hails from the european continent, but have a norwegian flavour. If it’s band playing this kind of music you’re after good band would be. Dalakopa, Sven Nyhus kvartett, småviltlaget, askerladden and more.

The second type of dance music is that called bygdedans wich is of much more ancient origin and many of the dance types are typically norwegian like springar, gangar, halling (laus). This kind of music are mostly played on fiddles and hardangers, but also older instruments ofcourse like jew’s harp, futes, whistles, bagpipes etc. Now and then you can hear a accordion, but then often the "simpler" ones like one-row melodeon. This music often have complicated rythms two foreigners (and many norwegians aswell), but really great when you get used to it.

Other good bands playing both types of dance music is Bukkene bruse, kvarts, geitungen, gammalt nymalt, majorstuen and many more. If your’re really interessted I will recomend searching up some of these names on myspace and check out their friends list

Re: Northern Stars & Northern Lights ~ music for long nights

Yes snorre ~ Gard! I’ve since dropped him a line, but alas, no response.

Thanks TradLad, much appreciated.

"Gjensynglede" ~ I’ve just been informed "thanks but no cigar". Unfortunately that wasn’t the recording they were after. I think it might be a recording featuring the Hardanger?

I have a bit more information, first that it was an old cassette recording by the name given. It seems this mmemory shake started with a programme on the tele about Mairéad Ní Maonaigh going to Norway to pick up a Hardangar fiddle made for her ( which I’ve sadly missed 🙁 ), and in the programme there was a waltz (3/4) played which my friend was familiar with, and which had also been featured on this mystery recording they’d lost. As he was reacquainting himself with that waltz he was reminded of this other one from the same recording ~ the "drop dead gorgeous" one they’d set me the task of finding ~ the root to this discussion…

Re: Northern Stars & Northern Lights ~ music for long nights

I took a quick search on a norwgian site, and it turns out that "Gjensynglede" actually is a name of a waltz. I’ve never heard of a band with that name, it might be several recordings with that name.

But if you think it features hardanger there are probably not many recordings, because waltzes is not really common with hardangerfiddle.

I came across this recording with one of the great norwegian hardanger-fiddlers, Sigbjørn Bernhoft Osa. He is playing that waltz on track 11. It might not be the recording they’re after, but I can recomend it anyway.

Re: Northern Stars & Northern Lights ~ music for long nights

* ~ one of the great norwegian hardanger-fiddlers:

Sigbjørn Bernhoft Osa!!!

Who else would you add to that list of greats?

Re: Northern Stars & Northern Lights ~ music for long nights

Well there are ofcourse a bunch great ones in the pre-recording period and many less known master wich never have recorded, but these names listed under I know have recordings available, and I’m sure I have forgotten some important players, so feel free to supplement.

Vestlandet (West coast):
Knut Hamre
Leif Rygg
Anbjørg Lien
Åse Teigland
Nils Økland
Håkon Høgmo
Arne Sølvberg

Setesdal (south)
Hallvard T. Bjørgum
Torleiv H. Bjørgum
Gunnar Stubseid
Otto Furholt
Vidar Lande
Daniel Sanden Warg

Telemark (sout/east)
Gjermund Haugen
Eivind Mo
Hauk Buen
Knut Buen
Einar Løndal
Kjetil Løndal
Alf Tveit
Bjarne Herrefoss
Johannes Sundsvalen
Øystein Romtveit
Lars Underdal
Per Anders Buen Garnaas
Torgeir Straand

Numedal/Hallingdal/Valdres (east)
Odd Bakkerud
Truls Ørpen
Øyvind Brabandt
Knut Myrann
Torleiv Bolstad
Tore Bolstad
Jens A. Myro
Magne Myhren
Helge Myrheim
Jan Beitohaugen Granli

Re: Northern Stars & Northern Lights ~ music for long nights

Lovely TradLad, thanks again. I recognize only a few names… My must hear list is growing…

I’ve more information on that waltz / recording ~ "Gjensynglede"…

I’ve now had confirmed that no Hardanger was involved but that it was just fiddle, and very likely a trio of fiddlers… There is hope that the recording might be in the hands of one of their friends. If that information comes to light I’ll return and add it here… Better yet if someone beats us to that revelation… If we get a decent transcription of the waltz that too may find a place here, if I don’t get lynched for it… 😉

Re: Northern Stars & Northern Lights ~ music for long nights

It’s not much I do listen to Norwegian music, but a little, and in that case traditional.

Rammeslag (Daniel Sandén-Warg & Sigurd Brokke)

Sordølen (Vidar Lande & Gunnhild Tømmerås)

Those two are very good, for those who like the very traditional type.

Of more modern arranged type, there are:
Valkyrien Allstars

Else than that, Tradlad got a great list there. The Setesdal part is very recommended (I play mostly in that tradition, haha).

I have heard Ragnhild Furholt just have given out a CD, which has had very good response. Lån Meg Vengjene, it is called. I have not heard it yet though, but she is a great singer, so should be good.


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