Hej folkies, it seems I'm awfully bad at keeping this blogpage updated. I'll try to do it better the coming months ! Especially as there are many many exciting things coming and actually a great one happened two weeks ago :
My duo Knep released its second album !! It's a mini, with 4 tunes for a total of 17'53''. It's called 'Hallingrr' and as the name suggests... it's containing only halling music ! As usual with Knep, it's a mix of traditional tunes and modern compositions, and we added lots of silly things in it, as for example playing percussion with leek and pumpkins. We also released the goats. You'll understand when you'll listen to it. We basically had a lot of fun with many instruments and crazy ideas and I have to say I'm quite fond of the result - especially as halling music is one of my absolute favourite repertoires. The album can be ordered via Knep's page or just by writing to me (on this website or on FB or any other possible way).
More exciting news to come very, very soon !
Polska week-end in Zürich with Knep on the 2-3 december ! Let's explore polska in details during a whole week-end, with live music, analyzing videos, learning from each other and trying out different variations ! Already full booked, but don't worry : we'll organize an extra one in the spring 2018, along with several other workshops, both in german- and french-speaking areas !
Knep has been working a lot during the spring and summer, to organize what we decided to call The Centipede Tour in Belgium and the Netherlands ! Soon halling, polska and octopi will conqueer the region ! All infos are to be found on the page 'Agenda'.
There are places left for my workshop on saturday 7/10 !! If you live close to Utrecht, take the chance, it's still possible to apply (here) ! We will work mostly on bowing technique and bowing patterns, which are at the core of good fiddle / nyckelharpa sound. All levels on both instruments (also viola) are welcome !
I went to Korrö festival, and it was amazing : going to workshops (learned some more about Røros pols, yay), jamming, dancing, listening to amazing music and basically being in Sweden again.
Then I went to Castlefest in the Netherlands, and it was maybe even more amazing ! I was working as a volunteer but still found the time to enjoy the festival and even to play some tunes with Andoorn as a guest... Playing on stage at Castlefest has been a dream for many years, and this dream finally became true ! Thanks so much Andoornians for this !!
(français plus bas)
Skoga Obscura is my new project : a mix of scandinavian folk tradition and fantasy costumes, around the theme of dark and mysterious nature ("skoga obscura" meaning "dark foresting" in an unofficial crossover of swedish and latin).
This new baby of mine sprouted last week-end during the Médiévales de St-Ursanne in the swiss Jura, with a constellation involving two nyckelharpas, some drums, 1-2 dancers and a wild troll. I am very glad to announce that it was an encouraging success for the little company ! I will continue working on developping this idea, for more exciting adventures in the secret groves of nordic folklore.
Skoga Obscura est le nom de mon nouveau projet : un mélange entre les danses et musiques traditionnelles de Scandinavie et des costumes fantastiques, autour du thème des forêts sauvages et sombres ("skoga obscura" signifiant "forester obscurément" dans un mix de latin et de suédois non homologué).
Ce tout jeune rêve a émergé le week-end dernier lors des Médiévales de St-Ursanne dans le Jura suisse, avec la constellation suivante : deux nyckelharpas, quelques percussions, 1 à 2 danseuses et un troll des Alpes. Je suis très heureuse d'annoncer que cette première sortie fut un encourageant succès ! Je vais donc continuer à travailler ce projet, à le développer, pour de nouvelles aventures dans les bois sombres des traditions nordiques.
It seems like my life at the moment is just filled with halling. I train my halling dance nearly every day, I play it, I watch videos of halling dancers, my duo KNEP recently recorded two videos of "urban halling" (here and there), and halling was a big success in the Balfolk Dansstage festival in the Netherlands one week ago, where dancers just went nuts for this dance !
(sadly I don't have -yet- a picture of the crazy dancers themselves, so here's one of KNEP instead) (pic by Andrew Walbran)
On dirait que ma vie en ce moment se résume à un mot magique : "halling". Je travaille mon halling chaque jour en danse, je joue du halling, je regarde des vidéos de danseur-ses de halling, mon duo KNEP a récemment enregistré deux vidéos de "urban halling" (par ici et par là) et le halling a été un grand succès au festival Balfolk Dansstage aux Pays-Bas il y a une semaine, où les danseur-ses sont juste devenu-es folles avec cette danse !
(je n'ai pas malheureusement pas -encore- de photo des danseur-ses elleux-mêmes, alors en voici une de KNEP à la place) (photo de Andrew Walbran)
(français plus bas)
EN - These last days I worked on a project which will eventually not exist. Yep, things like this happen and I'm a little sad about that. However, I still got something nice out of it : I had to present myself for this project and I decided to draw some sides of me. I'm absolutely not a professional drawer/painter but I'm quite happy with these two because they represent me quite well, I think : the rebel musician from the countryside and the careful owner of instruments that are very loved !
FR - Ces derniers jours j'ai travaillé sur un projet qui ne verra finalement pas le jour. Oui, ça arrive parfois et je suis un peu triste à propos de celui-ci. Cependant, j'en ai quand-même retiré quelque chose de chouette : pour ce projet, je devais me présenter et j'ai décidé de le faire en dessinant des côtés de moi. Je ne suis vraiment pas dessinatrice mais je suis assez satisfaite de ces deux dessins parce que je trouve qu'ils me représentent assez bien : la musicienne rebelle des campagnes et la propriétaire attentionnée d'instruments très aimés !
THANKS, thousand thanks everyone for this Folk Marathon !! It was crazy, it was great, it was full of amazing people from everywhere. I learned so many new things (with a special crush on bulgarian dances), I taught my scandinavian stuff (halling !!), I danced not so much but with nice partners, and I got the crazy jam sessions I wanted (is there an end to polskor ? I believe there is none, there will always be more of them to discover and learn). Here's my summary of the biggest and most intense one, and it's a good summary of both my impression of Folk Marathon and the way I spent New Year's Eve :
Just some more precise infos about the workshops I'll be giving in Tübingen for the Folk Marathon :
SVIKT YOUR VALS AND HALLING !
Friday 30 dec - 11:00-12:30
We will explore one of the biggest characteristics of scandinavian folk dance : the 'svikt' (also called "bounce-effect"). We will use two dances : swedish vals and norwegian halling. I will have the kind support of my friend Anton Hacker on this workshop. And if everything goes right, I will play live for the students to dance at the end. Better to bring dance shoes of a scandinavian sort, aka with leather sole and a heel (barefeet aren't recomended, sorry).
HIDDEN SCANDINAVIAN REPERTOIRE
Saturday 31 dec - 13:30-15:00
We will go on a trip round Scandinavia by learning some tunes that are not very well known, though representative of the variety of scandinavian folk music. All melody instruments are welcome, including voice (trall). Teaching will be done by ear, but some sheet music will be given at the end for those who want it. Bring a recording device !
And I will also help Anton during his dance workshop, friday 30 from 13:30 to 15:00 and probably play on the open stage at least once. And please don't hesitate to come and jam ! I'm a jam freak !
EN - The Folk Marathon is a gathering of folk musicians and dancers during New Year's Eve (and the days around) and it's in a different city every year. 2016-2017 will happen in Tübingen, southern Germany, and I am the pleasure to announce that I will be there, playing AND teaching ! Two workshops : swedish dance (not defined yet, but not schottis) (sadly) (there will be someone else for this) and scandinavian music (also to be defined, but probably more specific about fiddle music and about some arrangements).
If you are not convinced about coming yet, I could say that it's THE place to meet folkies from all over Europe, that Tübingen is a beautiful old city with amazing little streets and alternative life, that the price for such an event is very low and the organization is really simple and working well, but I think that the best argument is that my friend Esther, who plays differents harps, will be there aswell. She a great player and an incredible funny person. So come ! Be there ! Play and dance until you fall asleep on the spot !
FR - Le Folk Marathon est un rassemblement de musicien-nes et danseur-ses folk durant la période du Nouvel An. L'événement change de ville chaque année, et en 2016-2017 ce sera le tour de Tübingen, dans le sud de l'Allemagne.
J'ai le plaisir de vous annoncer que j'y serai, jouerai, danserai, et conduirai non pas un mais DEUX ateliers : danses suédoises (pas encore défini mais pas de la schottis) (snif) (il y aura une autre personne pour ça) et musique scandinave (pas défini encore non plus mais probablement axé sur le violon et l'arrangement).
Si cela n'est pas suffisant pour vous convaincre de venir, je pourrais ajouter que le Folk Marathon est ZE événement pour rencontrer des folkeux-ses de toute l'Europe, que Tübingen est une très belle ville ancienne avec plein de merveilleuses petites rues et de vie alternative, que le prix du festival est incroyablement bas, que l'organisation est simple et marche bien... mais je crois que le meilleur argument est que mon amie Esther sera là aussi. Elle joue de différentes harpes et ça vaut le coup de rencontrer cette bestiole. Alors venez ! Ramenez vos pieds et vos instruments ! Jouez et dansez jusqu'à tomber sur place !