Trollstilt is an instrumental duo that cultivates a new music inspired by the folk traditions of Norway and America and informed by contemporary art-music. Combining the diverse musical interests of Dan Trueman (Hardanger and electric fiddles) and Monica Mugan (Classical and steel-string guitars), this duo derives their name from a traditional tuning used by Hardanger fiddlers, also known as the "devil's tuning." Trollstilt's original compositions are un-notated, co-composed, and often open-form, involving improvisation.
Formed in 1997, Trollstilt has performed widely (in concert and on radio) in the United States and in Norway, and has been featured on both contemporary art and folk festivals, including the Bang-on-a-Can Marathon and Den Norske Folkemusikkveka; their performances in Norway have been supported by the Arts International "Fund for US Artists."
In a feat of impressive musical alchemy, Trollstilt has fused an ancient tradition, the Hardanger fiddle repertoire of Norway, with modern compositional technique and created something truly 21st-century. Dan Trueman's tunes, which range from the demonic to the playful, extend the form without sacrificing the spirit or rigor of the original music. Monica Mugan's intricate, sympathetic guitar accompaniments bring something new to the tradition that will be copied for years to come. This is hypnotic, fresh, bracing music.
--Bob Norman, folksinger, former editor of Sing Out!, the folk song magazine