Category Archives: Nordic traditional

Skrap-Ollas Polska

 

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I begin with apologies. It’s been a while since I last posted a tune – Christmas and work and a strained hand have driven a coach and horses through my blog schedule.

But though it’s a freezing January in the Northern hemisphere, here’s something to raise our heads, lighten our steps and give thanks for the glimmerings of longer days. Glorious Swedish duo Marin/Marin play Skrap-Ollas Polska on fiddle and viola – both 5-string instruments, in standard tuning CGDAE, (viola an octave lower).

I include two videos: the first shot at a festival with Swedish dancers; the second, a closer stage performance where some of the fingering is visible and the interplay/improvisation is right up front.

Keep warm, everyone – and enjoy!

 

Marin/Marin

Mia Marin (5-string fiddle), Mikael Marin (5-string viola)

With dancers Petra Eriksson and Anton Schneider, at the Korrö Festival, 2014. (The video starts mid-tune, comes round to the beginning again at 0:22.)

 

(‘Marin/Marin – Skrap-Ollas Polska’, YouTube video, 3:39. Published by BornLonesome, 2 Aug 2014. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-1Pb8j0Ios)

 

Marin/Marin

Performance at Studio 55 Marin, San Rafael, California in 2013.

 

(‘Marin/Marin (Mikael & Mia Marin) perform a Swedish Polska at Studio 55 Marin), YouTube video, 4:34. Published by Studio55Marin, 10 Dec 2013. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eASpnw9MX2M)

 

Marin/Marin: see Mia’s website

Mia Marin:  Facebook

Mikael Marin:  Facebook

Korro Festival:  website

 

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Filed under Nordic traditional, Scandinavian folk, Swedish traditional, Uncategorized

Slängpolska efter Byss-Kalle

 

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The Swedish 3/4 time slängpolska plays in some strangely danceable world between polka and waltz. This popular example was composed by Uppland herring fisherman, bargeman and renowned nyckelharpist Carl Ersson Bössa (1783-1847), known as Byss-Kalle (or Byss-Calle).

To non-Scandinavian ears, the rhythm is extraordinary: there’s an interesting discussion of slängpolska timing, along with details of Byss-Kalle’s life, at Banjo Hangout here.

 

Christer Häggmark (fiddle), Urban Andersson (accordion)

Lovely dance-speed rendering played on the hoof at the Delsbostämman festival, Delsbo, Sweden, July 2007.

(‘Slängpolska efter Byss-Kalle’, YouTube video, 2:35. Published by Scan Fiddle, 16 July 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjnSrDsUlcI)

 

Laurel Swift (fiddle)

Teaching video from Laurel’s West London Folk Band class.

(‘Swedish Polska’, YouTube video, 1:16. Published by Mary Doody, 16 Feb 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7tCRCyB3Iw)

 

Anahata (melodeon)

(‘Slängpolska efter Byss-Kalle’ – Anahata, melodeon, YouTube video, 2:48. Published by anahatamelodeon, 3 Apr 2016. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJMJpbMzAFQ)

 

Gig Alert!

Laurel Swift plays double bass and clog dances for ancient/modern folk dance band Gadarene – currently on an their second album launch tour. album_6panelmooncut_proof

Dates remaining:

Tuesday 25 Oct: Exeter
Friday 28 Oct: London
Friday 4 Nov: Watchet
Friday 25 Nov: Bristol

Details/booking here

 

Christer Häggmark:  Facebook

Urban Andersson:  Facebook

Laurel Swift:  website   Facebook

Laurel’s Ealing workshop videos and sheet music:  https://ealingsessions.wordpress.com/

Anahata:  website  YouTube

 

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Filed under European traditional, Nordic traditional, Swedish traditional, Uncategorized

Clark’s Hornpipe

 

First, a Stop Press Gig Alert! 

Tomorrow, Friday 3 June 2016, 7 pm

Alma-848x400ALMA    Emily Askew, John Dipper, Adrian Lever

CD launch at London’s historic and gorgeous Foundling Museum.

Tickets and details:  The Foundling Museum

And if we’re very lucky, they may play…

…Clark’s Hornpipe

In eighteenth-century England, the two John Walshes*, father and son, dominated music publishing. John Walsh Snr was printing engraved music on The Strand, London, by 1690, and later John Walsh Jnr won what we would now call ‘exclusive rights’ to Handel’s music. WalshHandelSonatas1732Cover

Clark’s was first published in the Walshes’ 1730 tunes collection, under the snappy title The Third Book of the most celebrated jiggs, Lancashire hornpipes, Scotch and Highland lilts, Northern frisks, Morris’s and Cheshire rounds with hornpipes the bagpipe manner, to which is added the Black Joak, the White Joak, the Brown,, the Red, and the Yellow Joaks. With variety of whims and fancies of diff’rent humour, fitted to the genious of publick performers.

Perhaps they took editorial advice, or wanted to pay their engraver less,  but the reprint title shrank to Three Extraordinary Collections, Early 18th century dance music for those who play publick.

Well, ‘those who play publick’ are still playing the Walshes’ tunes – and this particular hornpipe is one of my favourites.

 

Alma

Emily Askew (fiddle), John Dipper (fiddle), Nicola Lyons (fiddle), Adrian Lever (guitar)

Gorgeously textured performance by the London-based fiddle group at Sidmouth Folk Week 2015.

 

(‘Clark’s Hornpipe at The Ham Marquee’, YouTube video, 1.50. Posted by Alma Fiddles, 10 Aug 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aFPA7bo57o)

 

Boldwood

Becky Price (accordion), Tim Perkins (bouzouki/guitar), Richard Heacock (fiddle/viola), Daniel Wolverson (fiddle/viola)

This utterly danceable version is from the group’s 2008 album Feet, Don’t Fail Me Now, available on Spotify (the link is to the full album; it seems impossible to link to the single tune). You can find the sheet music for the tune in their first collection of English and Welsh country dance tunes The Boldwood Dancing Master, available from their website (see below).

FeetDontFail

 

Alma Fiddles:  website  Facebook  Twitter

Boldwood:  website  Facebook

*Read more about the Walshes on Wikipedia and folkopedia (scroll down)

 

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Filed under English folk/traditional, European traditional, Nordic traditional, Uncategorized

Great Uncle Henry

 

Fiddler Emma Reid’s composition Great Uncle Henry, played with Rob Harbron’s Waiting For Rain in a set of memorable tunes from the duo’s subtle, engaging album Flock & Fly.

But first…

Gig Alert!

Rob Harbron & Emma Reid play London’s Green Note

Monday 4 April

Details and booking here.

 

Rob Harbron (concertina), Emma Reid (viola)

 

 

You can hear and buy Flock & Fly on Bandcamp here, or by clicking on the player links above.

Rob Harbron:  website  Twitter

Emma Reid:  website

 

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Filed under English folk/modern, English folk/traditional, Nordic traditional, Uncategorized

Three Christmas Jigs

Hello everyone!

It’s been a longer break than I’d hoped, but here I am again – and there are more tunes to come to celebrate Christmas and New Year.

My first Christmas post is this  sprightly set of jigs played and sung in wonderful harmony by Finnish folk band Himmeli – named for the traditional Finnish geometric ornaments made of straw  hung above dining tables from Christmas to midsummer to ensure a good crop in the coming year.Himmeli image_n

I Saw Three Ships (trad. English)

On lapsi syntynyt meille  (There is a child born to us) (trad. Finnish)

Sussex Carol (trad. English)

 

Himmeli

Markus Asunta (flute), Jaakko Kyrö (octave mandolin), Paula Susitaival (fiddle), Anni Tolvanen (nyckelharpa, vocals)

 

(‘HIMMELI – Three Christmas Jigs’ YouTube video, 3:41. Posted by Himmeli Folk, 8 Nov 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvj7_IIU2s4)

 

Further details of Himmeli’s gigs, recordings etc are on their website, and on Facebook.

 

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Filed under English folk/traditional, Finnish traditional, Nordic traditional, Uncategorized