3rd to 5th June Savage Prunes (concerts, Saturday, Sunday) In 2015, the Savage Prunes won the ‘Petites Formations’ competition at ‘Le Son Continu’ music festival, since when they have expanded into a trio. The group is particularly influenced by European folk, as well as baroque, Celtic, jazz, techno, and classical music. Callum Armstrong is an innovative piper whose questing approach to the hitherto unexplored acoustic possibilities of the smallpipe is taking the instrument into areas most of us have never encountered.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 »
CD: Double Yolks - Duo Gällmo Branschke Since 2011, Swedish riksspelman Olle Gällmo and German bagpipe maker Matthias Branschke have jointly taught the Säckpipa course at Spielkurs Pipenbock, offering an equal mix of traditional Swedish and re-discovered German tunes.• ‘Double Yolks’ is the first CD resulting from this collaboration and features 22 of their favourite pieces played as duets. The two pipers have different playing styles which complement each other well - Matthias punctuates the tunes with rhythmic ‘hiccuping’ borrowed from Hungarian piping tradition while Olle’s piping has the typically sweet Swedish lilt, with lots of subtle ornamentation.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.Read more »
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