North Atlantic News - April 20, 2009

Hello, everyone!

North Atlantic finished three performances and taught one workshop in Bergen and vicinity this past April 17th, 18th and 19th, 2009.  Here's a summary of the weekend events.

Our Friday evening concert on April 17th was in a coffee house setting in the Arent Meyers kjeller (cellar) where Bryggen Kunstskole (Bryggen Art School) operates in the Bryggen district of downtown Bergen, Norway.  The building was not a large one, but the setting was intimate, the acoustics were wonderful and the audience was enthusiastic.  Friday nights at this art school is where a bi-weekly series called “Friday Academy” takes place, where musicians and artists share and discuss their work and their artistic fields.  After the concert was finished, their Friday night tradition is to serve a hearty bowl of soup after the show to musicians and audience members alike.  We thank Jette, the art school staff and workers with Bryggen Folkemusikk for making the Friday evening performance possible.

Our Saturday afternoon performance on April 18th was for the students of Fana Folkehøgskule, a Bergen area boarding college on the south side of Bergen.  We were delighted to have three students from Olav’s traditional folk music class perform a set of Shetland jigs and a set of Shetland reels with us.  This student body was exploring the theme of “Sea Shanties” and was learning about music inspired by the sea for an upcoming boat trip to The Orkney Islands of Scotland later this spring.  Our concert was one part of the larger academic presentation for the day.  We thank Fana Folkehøgskule for having us as part of their “Sea Shanty Day” and wish the students every success with their upcoming voyage.

The Sunday performance on April 19th took place at the Osterøy Museum in the Gjerstad district of the island of Osterøy, north of Bergen. One of Osterøy Spel- og Dansarlag’s groups, “FelaLiv”, opened the evening for us with something you don't see too often; fiddlers needing a conductor to perform a piece.  Nine fiddlers from FelaLiv performed a small ensemble composition for hardanger fiddle called "Huldrasong", with Osterøy Spel- og Dansarlag member Liv Skoglund conducting the group.

We were also teaching afternoon workshops in Shetland fiddling, Norwegian and Swedish folk songs, solo and fiddle accompaniment on guitar, and piano accompaniment for Shetland and Norwegian fiddling.  Thanks to Jon Jelmert, Una Ainna O'Keffe, Silje Midtbø-Vevle, Hogne Midtbø-Vevle, Silje Solberg, Daniel Gullbrå, and Svein Høgemo for attending and being wonderful students for us to work with.  All seven students shared what they learned to a receptive audience before we gave our musical offerings in the evening performance.  We thank Osterøy Spel- og Dansarlag and the Osterøy Museum for making the Sunday workshop and concert possible.

We trust that we will see you at a future event.  Until next time, enjoy your music, let people know about us and leave us a message!

Trent, Kevin, Olav and Annika