Slattespel fra Gudbrandsdalen (2 CDs) (Ta:lik)
A Norwegian ensemble revives the music of some classic regional fiddle styles by the brothers Skogum.
In the Gudbrandsdalen valley the local community Lalm has fostered a number of outstanding fiddlers, the oldest among them being Ola Sjugurdson Skaar (1773-1863). In his youth Gamel-Skårin (Old Man Skår) as he was later called, was a state musician, which meant that for a contract and a fee he had gained the sole right to play at dances within his district.
In the early years of the 19. century he served as a soldier at the Swedish border, and on his return home he was able to enrich the local repertoire with some new marches and menuets.
In his old age his eyesight weakened, leaving him almost blind. A spectacular figure in his day was Hansliguten (the Hansli Lad). His real name was Ola Brurusten (1806-1892). In his younger days he travelled around the country playing at dances. But under the influence of Vis-Knut, a renowned evangelist, he became a devout Christian. Convinced that his fiddle was a tool of the Devil be it devoured by flames. For 20 years onwards he did not touch a musical instrument.
Two fiddlers from Lalm who are often mentioned today in connection with the local musical tradition, are Ola and Iva Bråtå. Iva Bråtå (1927-1916) had a large repertoire consisting of springleik pieces and other types of dance music. Being somehow a recluse, Iva was not easily approached by those who wanted to learn from him. An exception, however, was the academic O. M. Sandvik (1875-1976) to whom he became the main source in the doctoral work Folkemusikk I Gudbrandsdalen (1919). Per Brænden (1886-1963) was a local apprentice who won the trust of the old fiddler, and who has passed on the tradition to our generation of practitioners. More than anybody else Ola Bråtå (1844-1923) was popular with the dancers, and he was the grandfather of four fiddlers from the Eide farm: Ola (1901-83), Pål (1903-67), and Petter (1911-94).
Only some of the most important names have been mentioned, the list could have been made longer. The large number of outstanding fiddlers fostered a widespread interest in music and dance.
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