Trent Bruner

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THE NEWS FROM BRUNER’S BROOD – MONDAY, AUGUST 31, 2020: BEING THERE FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS Print E-mail
Hello everyone! I trust that you and your loved ones have had as good a summer as could be expected due to the corona virus situation in 2020. It has not been the normal summer for us here in Norway either, but there have been some news items of note since my July 1st release of my new fiddle books “All of Mine – Volumes Two and Three” in hard copy and PDF format.  Here’s an update on the latest.

Amidst the July 1st release of my new fiddle books, I did compose and release two new piano solos in sheet music format that are now available for purchase through www.trentbruner.com.

The first piece is in memory of my wife’s father, Magnar Midtbø of Bergen, Norway. He passed away June 21st at the age of 83. His funeral took place on July 3rd, 2020 at Fridalen Lutheran Church in Bergen. His work vocation was as a metal worker in Bergen. The piano solo I composed in his memory is called “Mindekongen”, which means “The King of Minde.” Minde is an urban subdivision located south of downtown Bergen where my in-laws resided and my wife grew up during her childhood. It was where I met my future in-laws and Hilde’s sisters (Renate and Wenche) for the first time in late fall 2002. It was where I celebrated my first Norwegian Christmas and where our two daughters went to see their grandparents when Canada was not always possible. My 74th original piano piece was played for nearest family and friends for the funeral luncheon after the service.


baard_and_trent_july_2020.jpgThe second piano solo I released at www.trentbruner.com is my 75th piano composition titled “In Quietness and Trust,” which is inspired from Isaiah 30:15 and describes the life of a fellow musician and friend who has just left the Island of Osterøy. My fellow church cantor, Baard Eikaas, is a quiet guy who lives a very effective life in all he says and does. He and I have had a positive working relationship and friendship through the years, but he has since changed work vocations from a church organist to a lawyer. Baard and I have worked together on various Norwegian Lutheran Church projects between 2013 and 2020, most often for the annual Easter musical each Easter Monday called “Easter in Scripture and Music” (Påske i ord og toner” in Norwegian) where he would play organ and I would take to the piano and work with the worship band and singers. We shared playing assignments for weddings, funerals, selected church services and seniors’ ministry and children’s ministry through this period. He joined me in accompanying CGM Fiddle Champion Patti Kusturok on keyboard accordion when she was in concert in Hosanger Lutheran Church in October 2017 and jointly planned other concert events through the local Lutheran churches over this period. I temporarily took part of his cantor position while he completed his law studies from September 2017 to June 2020. Once his law studies in Bergen were finished this past June, he accepted his new lawyer position in the eastern Norwegian town of Hamar, which starts on September 1st. Many at Osterøy will miss him, but we wish him the best in his future endeavours. To me, this piece helps describe his character and positive personal disposition, and it’s an honour for me to know him and count him as a friend.



Regarding my presence in the Canadian fiddle scene during the corona pandemic, I was included in three virtual concert presentations that were presented on YouTube in Spring and Summer 2020. The first one was with Calvin Vollrath for his CD Release Concert that first aired May 24, 2020 celebrating the release of his 70th and 71st albums titled “20/20 Fiddlin’ – Volumes One and Two”. I appear on the tune Calvin composed for one of The Cleavers, Rodney Krip titled the “Rodney Krip Reel” from Volume One. The second appearance was for the John Arcand Fiddle Fest virtual concert that first aired on August 6th, 2020 where I played one of the country shuffles I wrote for “All of Mine - Volume Two” titled “Rainy Day Shuffle.” The third time I appeared on YouTube was on August 29, 2020 when I was piano accompanist for 2006 CGM Fiddle Champion Chuck Joyce of London, Ontario when his contest set was aired during the virtual concert. It was a delight to see all 18 Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Champions from the first 30 competitions appear with the various accompanists throughout the virtual concert as well as the four junior showcase participants from Alberta to Ontario for 2020. For anyone wishing to see an accurately compiled history of championship Canadian fiddling, this presentation is a great overview of the Canadian fiddle talent that exists. You are invited to copy and paste in your browser the YouTube links for these performances as follows:



Calvin Vollrath CD Release - May 24, 2020
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spbBFmULhSU&t=3071s




John Arcand Fiddle Fest – August 6, 2020

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bb_sdGohqxo




CGM Celebration 2020 – August 29, 2020

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKmTSOislAs

I also was in a Norwegian recording studio for the first time since 2015, but not to play. I was a music arranger and coach for our 16 year old daughter Hannah Moira Midtbø-Bruner when she was invited by Norwegian songwriters Amalie Olsen (from Larvik) and Vanja Vatle (from Valestrand) to play backup parts on standard violin for a newly composed song about the corona crisis titled “Hymn of Hope,” which will be released in the coming weeks.

Hannah Moira has been in a recording studio three times before; in July 2011 with siblings Silje and Hogne Midtbø Vevle for their album “Our Way”, February 2012 with the Osterøy Fiddle and Dance Troupe for their second release “Fela Liv” (Lively Fiddling), and for two sessions in spring 2020 via the Osterøy Culture School that earned her the following acclaim:



1) A Norwegian culture school scholarship in spring 2020 performing solos on hardanger fiddle and classical violin, becoming the first Osterøy musician to achieve this award.

2) A talent prize in a duo with herself on hardanger fiddle and Osterøy button accordionist Sandra Fitje.



But this was her first session as a side musician and an experience that she enjoyed very much. I was a delighted father at her side while she recorded her parts and saw how she learned how important it was to record by ear and play assigned parts by note in the same session. As a natural progression for developing her musical talents further, she was accepted as a high school student in music at Bergen’s Langhaugen High School where she entered Grade 11 this month. Hardanger fiddle is her major instrument, but violin/fiddle and other instruments will not be far behind during her high school experience. Hilde and I are happy parents and delighted for her.



Like the rest of you, I wish the corona virus never came as many have lost income, jobs, lives and fellowship due to this. Increased tension in the world has come “out of hiding” as well, as negative situations have a tendency to reveal all too often. But as time went on through the summer, this became the year that being in Norway for my family was the important thing, and with what has happened with us and with others, I’m reminded that the family unit was created for times like this. It’s there so we have someone to help us as well as us helping in return. Remember this when you are with your loved ones in the coming weeks and months ahead.



As I conclude this article, I wish everyone the best in the coming months with the wish and pray that this virus just goes away so we can be close to each other again, have a jam session in mass, renew old acquaintances and share a favourite meal and beverage, a firm handshake and a close hug. We may have come closer by being apart in some cases, but God never made us to be that way forever. I know my mother has enjoyed all the YouTube videos so she has a musical world brought to her when I could not be physically there as I have been each summer. And musically speaking, Hannah Moira’s hardanger fiddle teacher Håkon Høgemo remarked to Hilde and me in spring 2020 that “There will be many musicians who will be practicing and when normalcy comes back, the quality of music will be better than ever.” Let’s enjoy the fruits of everyone’s paid and unpaid labour as we go on our way down the musical trail. Stay safe and keep looking up. Good times will come back eventually.



Musically yours, Trent