Photo: Phil Keen The Painted Hall at the Early Music Show in Greenwich is a pleasant and elegant, if over-heated, place to catch up with friends. Jane Moulder turned our discussion to dance. Was dancing to Swedish music and musicians different in some way, from say, English or even French folk styles, she wanted to know. It had struck her that there was something more intimate, more interactive from a dancer’s perspective.Read more »
I can’t actually remember when I discovered the existence of the Swedish bagpipes. I wish I could and I wish I could say it was a defining moment. It’s the same with the nyckelharpa – these are instruments that I have always known about, in some small corner of my memory somewhere they have always existed. It was finding out that Olle Gällmo and Erik Ask-Upmark were going to be at the Blowout in 2013 that really prompted me to get a set of Swedish Bagpipes.Read more »
When I moved to Sweden in 1988 I had no idea how I would get by. Up until this point I had made a living by playing music, making different bagpipes and keyed fiddles. However, this didn’t seem to be working in Sweden. Then some good friends of mine, like Ale Möller, gave me the tip to look into the Swedish bagpipe, a quite primitive and not really appreciated instrument. But, when it is working well, it is a very beautiful, warm, clear and soft sounding instrument.Read more »
Swedish bagpipe reeds are traditionally made from the most suitable material growing in Sweden - Phragmites australis (common reed). Unfortunately Phragmites is a very fragile material and sensitive to humidity. Reed/tuning problems were most likely one of the main reasons that the instrument almost disappeared. Most active pipers today use imported cane, Arundo donax, the most common reed material for other reed instruments (including most other bagpipes). Arundo donax is harder and more resistant than Phragmites australis.Read more »
This edition is from our archives, so it is presented as scanned pages rather than text. You may need to scroll to find the article you’re looking for.Read more »
Bla Bergens Borduner — Inga Konstigheter There aren’t many CDs that show case the Swedish säckpipa and this album is an absolute gem. Bla Bergens Borduner translates as “The Blue Mountain Drones” and the album name translates as “No Funny Business” or maybe “No Strangeness”. The group originally were originally active between 1984 and 1995 and have come back together again to release this new album. There are only eleven säckpipa players who have been awarded the prestigious title of Riksspelman by the Zorn jury in Sweden and this group contains two of them: Anders Norrude and Ulf Karlsson.Read more »
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