Local Manx musicians Ruth Keggin and Tom Callister travelled to Norway recently, with funding from the Manx Heritage Foundation, to exchange fiddle and vocal music, and to meet Hardanger fiddler Erlend Apneseth and singer Margit Myhr.
Joining their fellow musicians at Ole Bull Akademiet, situated in Voss in western Norway, the aim of this visit was to share, explore and arrange music from both traditions, in an informal setting, providing an opportunity to learn more about each country’s unique traditional style.
The Ole Bull Akademiet is affiliated with the Grieg Institute at the University of Bergen, and is one of only three establishments in Norway where it’s possible to study Norwegian folk music at Bachelor degree level. This was a return trip for Ruth who had previously visited in 2009 as part of her research for a BA degree in music.
Erlend is currently one of the top young Hardanger-fiddle players in Norway and after years performing folk music in competitions and concerts has begun to explore contemporary and improvisational performance alongside traditional music. Having received the Grappa debutant award in 2012 Erlend will be releasing his debut album later this year. Meanwhile, Margit who has sung since childhood, also dances and plays the Hardanger-fiddle, together with the langeleik, also closely associated with Norway, and the lyre.