Eivind Mo - CD
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Eivind Mo
Hardingfele (Ta:lik)

Eivind Mo (1904–1995), hardingfele player of Telemark, Norway.

See the full series of historic hardingfele recordings from Tal:ik Records, Norway

Notes from the recording:
Eivind Mo was born in Rauland, Telemark, 20 November 1904, to Gunnhild Kvåle (1872–1951) and Halvor Mo (1869–1949). When one drives from the center of Rauland toward Rjukan and comes to the upper part of Austbø one sees the two Mo farms, Øvre Mo and Ner-Mo (upper and lower Mo), to the right below the hill, with their characteristic ocher-colored main buildings on the old farmyards. Here on Øvre Mo, Eivind grew up as the fourth of six children in the family. His parents were learned people with cultural interests, not the least of which was music. They both valued fiddle music highly, and Gunnhild was the sister of the fiddler Høye Kvåle (1879–1967) of Seljord, who became Eivind’s first important teacher.

During Eivind’s early years the Hardanger fiddle, or hardingfele, was still the dominant instrument for dance and listening music in the rural communities in Telemark. The best fiddlers were great heroes in the lives of the people. For a small boy such as Eivind, with the musical talent he later showed and in a home such as his, the thought of becoming a fiddler must have awakened early. There were no really outstanding fiddlers in the Rauland environs at that time, but it helped that his uncle Høye Kvåle visited every summer. From him Eivind learned many tunes and also the playing tradition of Håvard Gibøen, which Høye had learned from Kjetil Håvardsson, Gibøen’s son. Another important fiddler among Eivind’s kinship was Eilev Smedal (1889–1938). Eilev immigrated to America in 1914 and worked as a doctor for many years, but before he left he made several recordings, and he made trips home in 1928 and 1936. Eivind met him on both occasions.

Thus Eivind was exposed early to Gibøen’s style and his tunes, and he retained his interest in this lyrical music his whole life. Indeed, he was himself an important bearer of the Gibøen tradition.

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