11th Day of Christmas
As mentioned elsewhere you won't know which concert you'll be seeing today until you tune in. Maybe it'll be Scandinavian masters Ånon Egeland & Mikael Marin or maybe it won't.
Norway's Ånon Egeland has learnt his music from legendary fiddlers of Agder, and is best known as a promoter of this musical heritage. He has a very personal style, clearly rooted in the tradition, and has a large repertoire of rare tunes. He has worked full time as a teacher in traditional music since 1988, and at the Institute of Folk Culture at Rauland, University College Southeast Norway, since 1999.
Sweden's Mikael Marin is a violist who isn't satisfied with merely playing "second fiddle." His influences are literally unlimited in their scope, and oscillate between Schöenberg and the Beatles. He became a national fiddler in 1983, and was chosen to play in a world orchestra under the direction of Leonard Bernstein in 1989. When not performing with Väsen, he composes, produces, and arranges music for artists such as Mikael Samuelsson, Nordman, and Kronos Quartet.
They have just released the astonishing album Farvel Farvel
"When Ånon and Mikael tune their Hardanger fiddle and electric viola down an octave, the stage is set for the most extraordinary atmosphere, sustained by Ånon’s colourful, sensitive intonation and the no less sensitive and colourful landscapes that Mikael provides – in which the melodies live and breathe.
The expression is dark, profoundly personal and original, and it is tempting to declare Ånon and Mikael founders of a new tradition: Trad noir. The musical raw material is drawn in part from living tradition and in part from old tune books. All the melodies are associated with lyrics dealing in strong feelings such as grief, godly reverence and (unhappy) love. It is easy to overplay things in such a landscape, steeped in sometimes inconceivably hopeless emotions. Ånon and Mikael content themselves with giving us a convincing insight into this universe, inspiring compassion rather than despair – and the strange realisation that such emotions can also result in expressive beauty."