This CD bursts with energic music, infectious tempos and rhythms. Throughout is the trancelike drone of Hardanger fiddle reminiscent of bagpipes.
Karen Solgård learned Norwegian folk songs from her mother and grandmother. A favorite memory is the family Saturday-night song fests on the farm, singing, playing and dancing in the living room. Karen trained and worked as a cellist, immersed in classical music, traveled the world, and almost forgot her traditional roots.
And then, a relic "Norwegian violin" in the attic piqued her curiosity and started her on a path to explore this forgotten music of the old country. Nearly 20 years ago, Karen traveled to Norway where she heard Hardanger fiddle (called hardingfele in Norwegian) played by Norwegian masters for the first time and began serious study of the instrument.
"Norse Fiddle at Home" is a reflection of Karen's light-hearted approach with her audiences using the old traditional tunes, arrangements and original composition to make this exotic and foreign-sounding music local.
Some favorites are:
3. "Summer Moonlight" in traditional Norwegian telespringar by K. Solgård. A poem by Emily Brontë, sung by Bradley Greenwald, lends itself to the irregular ¾ rhythm of the telespringar, a running dance from Telemark.
8. "Mountain Man's Girl" arr. by K. Solgård and Carol Sersland. This walking dance is based on the verse "The mountain man's girl drinks, dances and skis."
12. "Mountain Fantasy" arr. by K. Solgård. A huldre is a beautiful female creature from the mountain pastures who taught a cattle herder this tune. K. Solgård and Bradley Greenwald, vocals.
Another CD by Karen Solgård is "Norse Fiddle at the Wedding" sold on CD Baby at www.cdbaby.com/solgard2. A companion wedding music book for Hardanger fiddle or violin is available directly from the author. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for information about the book.