It’s a while since I collected my lovely nyckelharpa from Olle Plahn in Falun, Sweden, in May 2014. This was me trying to get a tune out of it in the hotel in Falun.
Now we have the first World Nyckelharpa Day! There’s lots going on, including people all over the place playing Björnlåten at 12 noon (UK time). I have added some links here to stuff especially on YouTube which is related.
To get us in the mood, here’s a polska! It’s “Polska efter Johan Jacob Bruun” which I recorded a week ago.
When we were in Sweden, I had forgotten to ask someone to bring some nyckelharpa strings to Österbybruk for my stock – I like to change the playing strings every year or so. I was going to ask someone to bring some over to Halsway in September, but duckduckgo-ing revealed that the String Zone now stock them. Excellent!
We have been at the Boda Bar for about a year, but it’s closing on Tuesday. The Boda Bar group will still be there, and we don’t know what will happen at the current venue – so keep watching the Edinburgh Scandi Session website to find out where we end up! Photo of the survivors of the session above – there were eight of us in total but others had to go earlier.
Another great session at The Steam Packet in Isle of Whithorn with some lovely musicians. Sadly no fiddles there but the nyckelharpa did its best to make up!
I had a set list – reasonably well rehearsed – and had nearly an hour for a solo performance. It went better than expected and I had plenty people interested in the nyckelharpa afterwards! Continue reading
Here are videos from the Nyckelharpstämma that I’ve put on YouTube. Thanks Marwyn for doing the recordings, this time on a little Nikon Coolpix A10 which at present is our video camera.
It starts with the spelmanståg (players’ procession), this year with the two tunes Brännvinsmarschen and Harpar-Klas Gånglåt.
Once we reached the stage, the allspel was started by Peo Österholm on cowhorn – the “inblåsning”!
The allspel followed; here are a couple of tunes. An old favourite, Polska efter Båtsman Däck:
The allspel finished with an audience request – a tune not on the allspel list. It’s Eric Sahlström’s “Spelmansglädje” which is not (yet) in my repertoire so I chickened out:
It was great fun and I enjoyed it even more this year as I know the tunes better.
One object of the trip to Sweden was to pick up a new nyckelharpa bow from Erik Arro in Uppsala. I had tried a couple of his bows (owned by Vicki Swan and Pete Rigg) and really liked them. It’s a real improvement on the one I have been using. Here it is sitting on top of my lovely Olle Plahn nyckelharpa.