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 »
This säckpipa was crafted by Alban Faust in 2013. It is his fully loaded variant that he calls the “nothern uilleann pipes.” The instrument is made out of olive wood with reindeer horn and blackwood mounts. It features three drones, the highest one matches the main note of the chanter, the middle one provides a 4th/5th, and then the lowest one is an octave lower than the main note on the chanter.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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