I met Anders Larsson at the Nisswa-stämman in Minnesota in 2015, and loved with the way that he sang for dancers. He has an energetic style of singing, often dropping notes to breathe, but keeping the rhythm so sure and solid that he seemed to lift the dancers' feet. I wrote to Anders to ask if I could spend some time learning songs from him and he immediately replied, "Sure!" Five years and several trips back and forth across the ocean solidified our friendship and resulted in this memorable project, when a grant from the American Scandinavian Foundation allowed me to travel to Sweden to interview and learn from some of the best singers currently carrying on the tradition of singing for dancing.
Anders performs both solo and with his wife Maria Larsson, who both work for an organization in southern Sweden called Musik i syd. Anders and Maria tour regularly in the U.S. and Germany, and their latest CD, "Magnolia," is a collection of traditional and original tunes and songs recorded with Johannes Mayr. It can be found at this site:
In 2019 Emma Härdelin sang this tune, Polska efter Katrina Lundstedt, to Anders Larsson and me as we were traveling around visiting traditional Swedish singers. Emma's warm personality comes through in her voice as it does on all of the many recordings she has made over the years with the groups Gamarna, Triakel and the recently formed group Breda gatan. She also records and tours with the international group String Sisters.
Enter Emma's name into the search window on YouTube and you will get many responses. I like the following link because it leads to fifty plus different YouTube postings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a07ss... If you would like to learn more about Emma someone has written a very nice biography of her on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emma_Hä...
In 2019 , Ulrika Gunnarsson sang this tune, Swan polska, to Anders Larsson and me as we were travelling around visiting traditional Swedish singers. Ulrika works for Musik i syd and organizes many different singing events each year including several workshops and performances at the excellent Korrö Festivalen that happens at the end of July each year.
She is an excellent teacher and has studied Norwegian and Irish singing extensively and brings knowledge of those styles to her classes she teaches. She has made several recordings and I believe is credited with making the first album that is devoted entirely to tralling--the Swedish version of lilting, singing for dancing. My favorite album of Ulrika's is called Timglas. Singer and multi-instrumentalist, Jonas Åkerlund, performs with her and the combination is so tasteful and lovely. It is on the label Gammalthea: www.gammalthea.se.The recording is available from Amazon.
In the summer of 2019, Maria Röjås sang this polska to Anders Larsson and me as we were travelling around visiting traditional Swedish singers. Maria comes from Boda in Dalarna and learned many songs from her mother and her aunt. Her father was a venerated fiddler and teacher and Maria often speaks of the influence of fiddling when she is tralling--singing dance tunes. Maria has taught traditional singing at Malung Folkhögskola for many years and taught hundreds of singers hundreds of traditional Swedish songs. Many of those singers have gone on to successful singing careers in many different musical genres.
I first met Maria in the summer of 2006 and she was kind enough to let me visit her class and record many songs. The following summer she and her husband Lars visited Minnesota and did many workshops and performances. She encouraged the singers in Minnesota to take inspiration from the strong fiddle tradition already present in Minnesota. Maria's album "Silverringar små och stora" on the Nordic Tradition label is a collection of twenty-four delightful and moving songs that I listen to repeatedly for inspiration and because I love Maria's singing. Here is a link to a radio interview and performance she did in 2019: https://folkmusikenshus.se/podcast/11...
In the summer of 2019 Eva Tjörnebo sang this polska from Jämtland, to Anders Larsson and me as we were travelling around visiting traditional Swedish singers. Eva sings traditional Swedish songs with so much energy and emotion you can't help but be drawn into the songs. I love her live performances with her group Viskompaniet and her workshops are so much fun and full of songs that you want to learn and sing over and over again. Eva is a doctor but has spent much of her free time for many years collecting songs, especially from the area south of Stockholm where she lives near Nyköping. Here is a link to her Facebook page where you can hear some live performances: https://www.facebook.com/viskompaniet/Here is a link to her web site: http://www.viskompaniet.seI listen to her latest CD "Som dagg ooh honing" all the time and buy it and have given copies of it to many of my friends who are interested in Swedish songs.
In 2019 Agneta Stolpe sang this tune, Äppelbo gånglåt, to Anders Larsson and me as we were travelling around visiting traditional Swedish singers. This is one of the first tunes musicians learn when they start playing traditional Swedish music so it was fun to hear Agneta sing the tune in two different ways since she actually lives in Äppelbo. Here is how she described the two versions of the tune: "The first is the "usual one" and the second is a variant after Johan Danielsson, from a small village called Sågen. Not so far from Ärtberget, where Ärtbergs Kalle lived. His real name was Carl-Johan Carlström (1826-1917)."
To learn more about Agneta's singing and her work as a vocal coach check out her web site: www.agnetastolpe.se. Her recording on the GIGA label, "Anaros," is one of my favorites. On that recording she is accompanied by Per Gudmundson, Ola Bäckström and Lars-Urban Helje.
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