Folkmusik 360

What We Did

Folkmusik 360o is a project run by Region Gävleborg’s Office for Cultural Development, where we investigate the potential for VR-technology and 360o degree videos, in particular, as tools to learn traditional music. The 360o technology allows an immersive experience where the viewer feels present in a jam session with other musicians and can practice to play along with them on his or her instrument. We have produced six videos on a Creative Commons License making them available for free through streaming or download on Region Gävleborg’s YouTube (streaming) and Vimeo (download/streaming) channels (see links below).

In each video you will encounter a number of established Swedish folk musicians and singers who will take you through an arrangement of a popular folk song or instrumental tune. The arrangements all include melody, harmony and chord accompaniment. To get the most out of the experience we recommend that you use the YouTube or Vimeo smartphone apps and a VR headset. Each piece will start with an opportunity to tune your instrument to the recording and prepare you to play along when the music starts. If you find it hard to pick up tunes by ear then turn 180o and you will find notation for melody/harmony, chords and lyrics to help you play or sing along. Turning back to the musicians you can then study fingering, bowing and phrasing by watching and playing. Most web browsers will allow you to play 360o videos on a laptop computer and you can use the mouse pointer to choose where to focus. You can also play the videos using tablet or smartphone apps without a VR-headset and look around by moving the device.

We want these videos to be a help for musicians who might not yet feel confident enough to join in at the folk festivals’ massed performances or impromptu jam-sessions as well as for those who wish to practice playing by ear. The tunes were chosen in collaboration with artists connected to two Swedish folk festivals, Delsbostämman and Norrbostämman, both in the Hälsingland province, and are all widely played and sung. Please let us know how you experienced using the videos by adding a comment or sending us an email!”

 

Folkmusik 360°on YouTube and Vimeo

Skänklåt från Bjuråker
YouTubeVimeo / notation
This marching tune, also used for the distribution of gifts or food at weddings, was one of many tunes on the repertoire of the influential fiddler Anders Jonsson (1891-1975) from Bjuråker. He was also known as ‘Bryggarn’, ‘the Brewer’, as he used to work for the local brewery. Anders had learnt this and many other tunes from the fiddler Mattias Blom (1880-1936).

Performed by: Thuva Härdelin (fiddle), Johanna Karlsson (fiddle) and Markus Räsänen (accordion)

Pelles rullpolska
YouTube / Vimeo / notation
The 3-beat polskas are among the most popular Swedish dance tunes. There are a number of regional styles and the Hälsingland province is particularly famous for polskas with arpeggiated chord sequences using a bowing technique known as ‘rullstråk’ (lit. ‘roll-bowing’). ‘Pelle´s rullpolska’ (‘Pelle’s rolling polska’) is a typical ‘Hälsingepolska’ and was composed by the legendary fiddler Pelle Schenell (1855-1946) from Gnarp. 

Performed by: Thuva Härdelin (fiddle), Johanna Karlsson (fiddle) and Markus Räsänen (accordion)

Trollens Brudmarsch
YouTube / Vimeo / notation
‘The Trolls’ Bridal March’ is another one of Pelles Schenell’s popular compositions. According to Pelle the tune was a development of a melody he once heard from his mother. Folk musicians often claim that the tune has magical qualities and can make it stop raining during outdoor festivals (allegedly, if you keep playing it the rain will stop, eventually…). Connections to the supernatural are not unusual in Swedish traditional music and Pelle Schenell was well known for his knowledge about magic and other esoteric traditions. 

Performed by: Thuva Härdelin (fiddle), Johanna Karlsson (fiddle) and Markus Räsänen (accordion)

I himmelen, i himmelen
YouTube / Vimeo / notation / lyrics
In many Swedish villages there used to be local melodies for popular hymns that differed from the official melodies used by the Church of Sweden. This melody, which is fairly widespread, was collected from the priest’s wife Juliana Charlotta Berg (1793-1874) in Norrbo. The lyrics to ‘I himmelen, I himmelen’ (‘In Heav’n Above’), praise the beauty of Heaven and the joy of the singer’s soul to spend eternity in the presence of its angels and saints. The hymn has been included in numerous editions of the official Church of Sweden Hymnal since the 17th century, where the lyricist is noted as Laurentius Laurinus (1577-1656). 

Performed by: Emma Härdelin (voice), Johanna Bölja (voice), Johanna Karlsson (fiddle) och Markus Räsänen (accordion).

Finvisan
YouTube / Vimeo / notation / lyrics
‘Finvisan’ (‘The beauty-song’) is a popular folk song that can be found all around Sweden. The simple lyrics are directed towards an unnamed individual and recount the person’s beauty. It could be understood either as a song of affection or as an ironic account of vainness. The melody use a particular polska-rhythm known as ‘short-first’ or ‘long-second’ where the second beat in a bar is lengthened at the expense of the first beat.

Performed by: Emma Härdelin (voice), Johanna Bölja (voice), Johanna Karlsson (fiddle) och Markus Räsänen (accordion).

Den blomstertid nu kommer/Östbjörkavisan
YouTube / Vimeo notation / lyrics
‘Den blomstertid nu kommer’(‘Now Comes the Time For Flowers’) is one of Sweden’s most popular summer hymns and is often sung at the end of the school year for the start of the summer holidays. This version, which is popular among contemporary folk singers, was created by singer and educator Kerstin Sonnbäck who combined the original lyrics with a folk song melody from the famous fiddler Pers Erik Olsson from Östbjörka, Dalarna Province. The structure of the song was further developed by singer and storyteller Kersti Ståbi and her version is the most popular one today. 

Performed by: Emma Härdelin (voice), Johanna Bölja (voice), Johanna Karlsson (fiddle) och Markus Räsänen (accordion).

Note: English translations for the hymn titles are from ‘Swedish Hymns’ (Harling, P. 2016).

 

Credits

The Folkmusik 360° project is a collaboration between Cultural Development (Region Gävleborg) and the folk festivals Delsbostämman and Norrbostämman.

Production: Cultural Development (Region Gävleborg)
Producers: Esbjörn Wettermark, Josephine Rydberg
360 Cinematography & editing: Michael Tebinka
Sound recording/editing: Stefan Netsman
Musicians: Thuva Härdelin (fiddle), Johanna Karlsson (fiddle), Emma Härdelin (voice), Johanna Bölja (voice) and Markus Räsänen (accordion).

Stills

Michael Tebinka is a cinematographer and freelance colourist based in Sweden.

STUDIO LOCATION

Baringo Reklam & Kommunikation
Kyrkogatan 24b
Gävle, Sweden

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