20% of the proceeds from sales of From the Valley will go to the Valley Grove Preservation Fund. Parts of the CD were recorded in the historic church at Valley Grove. See ordering details.

DEDICATED TO
my parents, Betty and Andrew Een, who bought my first Hardanger fiddle in Norway in 1974
and to the memory of my mentor, Lars Skjervheim of Mrykdalen, Vossestrand

  MAY DANCE AT EENGAARD

I play my fiddle,
lose myself again
on this land
which has carried my name
since before the Black Death.

Out of time
Spring is late this year.
It will be lost in summer

My fiddle conjures
ancestral spirits who crossed
to dance rudl in a prairie
farmhouse, set among waves
of wheat and corn.

Out of time
American off-beat accents
kick, knife-edged, witty
they clog on the levees, tap
Broadway rhythms in my head.

Circle, you phantoms in
ecstatic whirling round
the end the beginning.
Twirl with me this spring-green
dance, above a river
tumbling westward to the sea.

I play my fiddle,
and lose myself
in time.

 

~Andrea Een
    from Some Days We Name It Love, ©1994, Heywood Press

Contents

1. Syndebukken: Vestlandsspringar after Lars Skjervheim
(Scapegoat) (1915-2003) SAMPLE MP3 (1.2MB)

This springar (running dance) from Hardanger combines sections composed by many fiddlers. Learned it from Lars in 1992. Oppstilt Tuning: B E B F# (used in all subsequent tunes unless otherwise stated)

2. Nøringen: Gangar after Ola Mosafinn
(Nourishment) (1828-1912)

I learned this bridal gangar (walking dance) from various sources. It was used in Voss to process the bride and groom from the bridal chamber to breakfast on the morning after the wedding. Trollstilt Tuning: A E A C#

3.Vossarull etter Brita-Lars-Sjur after Sjur Helgeland
(1858-1924)

This rull (rolling or twirling dance) from Voss is named after Sjur who was identified in the folk custom by his parents' first names attached to his name to distinguish him from the other Sjurs in the neighborhood. Learned from Lars in 1984.

4. Lett og Luftig Reinlendar Andrea Een (1999)
(Light and Airy) (b. 1947) SAMPLE MP3 (1.2MB)

I composed this dance for Lars Skjervheim as a gift when I gave a concert sponsored by the Ole Bull Academy in his honor at Helgatun Chapel in 1999. The title refers to Lars' advice to me to stop playing "for tung" (too heavy) and play " lett og luftig" with the bow. He worked to help me identify my classical violin habits in the fiddle lessons I had with him spanning the years 1980 -1999.

5. "Eg Veit i Himmerik ei Borg": Folk hymn Tune: Gol, Hallingdal
(Arranged, sung and played by Andrea Een) Text: Bernt Støyler after a German folk poem) SAMPLE MP3 (1.2MB)

Eg veit i himmerik ei borg

I know in paradise a palace

ho skin som soli klåre

which shines as the sun's brightness

der er'kje synder eller sorg

there is no weeping or tears.

Der inne bur Guds eigen son

Therein lives God's only son

I herlegdom og æra

in glory and honor

Han er mi trøyst og trygge von

He is my comfort and sure hope

hjå honom eg skal vera

with Him I shall dwell.

Eg er ein fatig ferdamann

I am a poor traveler

må mine vegar fara

who must wander on my path

herfrå og til mitt fedreland

from here to my eternal homeland

Gud, meg på vegen vara

God, be with me on my journey.

(translation by Andrea Een and Solveig Zempel)

6. Von (Hope) Lars Skjervheim (1992)

Lars had just composed this exquisite "tonestykke" (tone poem) when I learned it from him. Lars made a heart-felt plea for world peace and the cessation of war before he played it for me. It has been widely performed and recorded since then.

7. Lofthusen: Vosserull after Halvor Sorsdal
(1899-1996)

In 1984 while on sabbatical from St. Olaf College, I learned this energetic dance tune from Halvor in Bergen. He hailed from Ulvik in Hardanger and was a sought-after dance fiddler in Bergen. Lofthus is a place on the south arm of the Hardangerfjord where Edvard Grieg spent many summers composing.

8. Bridal March from Voss after Ola Mosafinn

This beautiful bridal march from Voss has some of the plaintive, yearning character that makes many Norwegian bridal pieces capture the mixed light and shade of the marriage commitment. Learned in 1980 from Lars.

9. Vosserull: "Ja, nå er det gjort" after Lars Skjervheim
(Yes, now it is done)

I have played this bridal dance, learned from Lars in 1980, at the end of a wedding where its traditional place would be the first dance for the bride and groom. The Norwegian understatement of the title has always seemed to me a way of saying in parenthesis, "Sorry, no turning back now".

10. Tre Budeiene paa Vikafjellet Sjur Helgeland
(Three Cow-Girls in the Vik Mountains)

This tone poem composed by the great Vossestrand fiddler, Helgeland, shows the influence of Ole Bull's clasical violin concert pieces which paints a National-Romantic view of the folk culture. In this narrative, three young girls at the saeter love wisely and unwisely. Listen carefully for the bird and animal portrayed musically. The Vik mountains are just north of the farms where both Helgeland and Skjervheim grew up. Nils and Sigurd Borge passed the Helgeland tradition directly to Lars. I learned this version in 1999 which differs from the original in the quiet coda with harmonics added at the end by Lars.

11. Eldstejenta: Bridal March Hans Brimi
(Oldest Girl) ( b. 1917)

Originally for "vanlegfele" (violin), Brimi composed this lyrical march for his eldest daughter's wedding. I learned it from him while visiting Gudbrandsdal in January, 1982 with an Interim course from St. Olaf which I was team-teaching with Katherine Hanson on folk music and folk literature. Nedstilt Bass tuning: A E B F#

12. Fin Jenta: Vals Hans Brimi
(Pretty Girl)

A tuneful waltz in minor mode in the Gudbrandsdalen style which I learned from Hans. Nedstilt Bass.

13. President Thomforde's March
Andrea Een (2001) SAMPLE MP3 (1.2MB)

I composed this march for the inauguration weekend of the 10th President of St. Olaf College in April, 2001. President Christopher Thomforde and his wife, Christine, processed in Swedish folk costumes to this march to begin the International Dance and Music Festival concert in which they danced Swedish folk dances. I didn't tell Chris that I had composed in troll tuning until afterward. No reflection on the president, just a powerful tuning for a powerful occasion.

14. Helsing til Andrea: Vals Lars Skjervheim (1987)
(Greetings to Andrea)

Lars surprised me at Christmas, 1987, with a cassette copy of this lovely waltz he had composed for me. I was touched deeply by this gift of music from a man whom I held in such high esteem as a fiddler and as a human being. The next summer when I arrived at Vinje, north of Voss, to rehearse with the Voss Spelemannslag (Fiddler's Group), Leif Rygg, master Voss fiddler, led the fiddlers in greeting me by playing "my" waltz.

15. Sølv Bruremarsj til Ragnhild og Lars Andrea Een (1999)
(Silver Bridal March for Ragnhild and Lars)

Ragnhild Skjervheim was a wonderful hostess and friend to me when I visited their home in Myrkdalen. She not only fed us delicious food to fortify Lars and me through the hours of fiddling, she also played Norwegian "translator" when Lars misunderstood my halting Norwegian or I misunderstood his Vossestrand dialect. Then Ragnhild with her Sogn dialect would straighten us both out. We laughed a lot about Ragnhild's amazing ability to "oversett" in Norwegian and clear up our confusion. This march was a gift especially for her to celebrate their more than twenty-five years of a wonderful marriage.

16. Linerla Reinlendar Lars Skjervheim (1986)

Lars began his primary composing after he retired to the beautiful farm where he had grown up. There, inspired by nature and the rich culture of Vossestrand, he made an immensely valuable contribution to both traditional "bygdedans" and the newer "gammaldans" style. This lively reinlendar is a great example of the latter.

17. Bridal March from Vang after Torleiv Bolstad

I learned this lyrical march at one of the annual "stevner" (gatherings) of the Hardanger Fiddle Association of America from a Valdres fiddler. There is also a Vang church near Northfield, MN founded by immigrants from this Valdres valley.

18. Carl Narvestad's Minne Andrea Een (2003)
(In Memory of Carl Narvestad)

Premiere performance at Amerikappleik, St. Olaf College in July, 2003. I was inspired by attending the burial service for Carl Narvestad, founder of the Hardanger Fiddle Association of America, which occurred on June 10th, 2003 at the cemetery of Vestre Sogn Chapel near Granite Falls, MN. Surrounded by newly-planted crops of corn and soybeans, we heard the prairie wind blowing across the fields which had been homesteaded by Carl's grandfather. I imagined the church bell chiming for Carl's soul as his body was lowered into this ground. This tone poem conjures that image and honors Carl Narvestad, a Norwegian-American who worked tirelessly along side his wife, Amy, to keep Norwegian emigrant history and culture alive in the Upper Midwest.

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NOTE ON THE RECORDING

All music on this recording, with the exception of the last two pieces from Amerikappleik concerts, was recorded live on solo Hardanger fiddle, an instrument with four playing strings and five resonance understrings. The recordings were made with single source miking to capture the natural sound of the fiddle in a space. It was recorded on July 18th, 19th and 20th, 2003 at the First United Church of Christ, Northfield, MN, and Valley Grove Church in rural Nerstrand, MN. The two fiddles used in the recording were made by Olav Vindal (1992) and Magne Straume (1999). For the live recording of the Vang march, Carl Narvestad's Knut Steinkjønndalen fiddle (1934), which he donated to St. Olaf College, was played.

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ANDREA EEN, whose grandfather, Knute Een, was born in Voss, Norway, in 1882, received the St. Olav Medal from King Harald of Norway in May, 2002 in recognition of her promotion of greater knowledge of Norwegian culture abroad.

A recipient of the second Ole Bull Award from the Ole Bull Folk Music Academy in Voss, Een has premiered Hardanger fiddle concerti written for her by Peter Hamlin and Dan Trueman, performed lecture-recitals in the United States, Costa Rica, Norway and France, and has been featured on Norwegian National Television and Radio and National Public Radio in the U.S. In 1998, Een was named a Master Folk Artist by the Minnesota State Arts Board. She has received grants from the Mellon Foundation, the Arne Bjørndal Fund of the University of Bergen and the Norwegian Emigrant Fund.

Andrea Een has been a music professor of violin , viola and Hardanger fiddle at St. Olaf College since 1977. She wrote her doctoral dissertation on the subject of Hardanger fiddle repertoire, comparing thirteen variants of the Telemark gangar, "Brynjulf Olson" (University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, 1977). In 2002, Carl and Amy Narvestad established the Narvestad/Een Endowed Fund for Folk Music and Dance at St. Olaf College.

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CREDITS

Recorded, Edited and Mastered by Mark Ellestad, Hexagon Studios, Calgary, Alberta

Cover photo of Valley Grove Church: Andrea Een

Back cover photo: Larry Marcus

Graphic Design: Dan Miggler/Noiseland

Website by: Dwight Newton/Oriscus.com

THANKS TO:

Mark Ellestad for stellar technical and musical support and joyful process

Ken Sahlin and the Valley Grove Preservation Society

Sandy Johnson and the First United Church of Christ, Northfield

Lars and Ragnhild Skjervheim

Carl and Amy Narvestad

The great fiddlers I have learned from in Norway and all of the friends who have hosted me so generously in that country

Karen Solgard

The Sabbatical Leave Program, St. Olaf College

The Lars Skjervheim Spelemannslag at St. Olaf College

Olav Hegge and the Twin Cities Hardingfelelag

Leif Rygg and the Voss Spelemannslag

Vidar Lande

Ingrid Gjertsen and the Arne Bjørndal Samling

Tellef Kvifte and the Norsk Folkemusikksmaling

Andrew Volna at Noiseland

Track List

1. Syndebukken: Springar 3:59

2. Nøringen: Gangar 2:23

3. Vossarull: Brita-Lars-Sjur 2:00

4. Lett og Luftig Reinlendar 2:23

5. Eg Veit i Himmerik ei Borg 3:41

6. Von 3:30

7. Lofthusen: Vosserull 2:21

8. Bridal March from Voss 1:55

9. Vosserull: Ja, nå er det gjort 2"02

10. Tre Budeiene på Vikafjellet 5:01

11. Eldstejenta Bridal March 4:12

12. Fin Jenta Vals 2:50

13. President Thomforde's March 3:36

14. Helsing til Andrea Vals 4:18

15. Siver Bridal March 3:32

16. Linerla Reinlendar 2:42

17. Bridal March from Vang 2:39

18. Carl Narvestad's Minne 2:61

Total: 57:15

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