The Norwegian Bagpipe (?) Vol. II

The release of a solo bagpipe album is a relatively unusual event. One featuring a collection of Norwegian folk tunes would probably be unique were it not for the fact that this is the second volume in a series of two (check out the first album HERE). Tellef Kvifte’s new album The Norwegian Bagpipe (?) Vol II is made up of fourteen tracks recorded in the mid-90s but only now seeing the light of day. One is a dance-tune from Sweden, but the rest are tunes or songs found in Norway, even if the original location of some is unknown.

Although bagpipes can be found in most European countries, Norway seems to have no history of bagpipe playing. But it does have the Hardanger fiddle, which is unique to the country. Although structurally different in every respect from each other the two instruments do have something in common. The bowing action of a fiddle makes it also capable of producing a continuous sound and by double-stopping (playing two strings simultaneously) a drone can be played on one string while the melody is played on the others. A Hardanger fiddle’s sympathetic strings also create something of a drone effect as they resonate below the played ones. It’s for these reasons that Tellef writes: “In the 1990s, I decided that the bagpipe had to be the solution for a wind instrument that could be used for Hardanger fiddle tunes.”

On The Norwegian Bagpipe (?) Vol II Tellef can be heard playing a selection of fiddle tunes as well as instrumental versions of songs. There may be purists who question whether a bagpipe should be used to play material from the Hardanger fiddle repertoire, but in the twenty-first century this is surely becoming less of an issue. Perhaps it’s more useful to think of tradition as an indication of where things have come from, but not necessarily where they are going. Tellef’s interpretations could be seen as offering two different historical perspectives. On the one hand they present a fresh way of approaching old material. But, with the bagpipe being a much older instrument than the Hardanger fiddle, might it also be that we are being invited to imagine the tunes as they might have sounded in a much earlier time? No answer is required as Tellef’s music will speak for itself.

– Mike Adcock

  1. Stevtoner
  2. Jentebedrageren
  3. Spinnaren
  4. Ein etter Neri Neset
  5. Da far sku te by'n
  6. Bonde etter Håkon Asheim
  7. Tri hjerter på ei tråd
  8. Polska av Eva Sæther
  9. Reisaren
  10. E du galen gut
  11. Gamle Guro
  12. Vetl-Imbert/Polska etter Troskari Erik/Gamel-Holin
  13. Lea deg, gamle Ola
  14. Kolbrennervisa

Tellef Kvifte (1947-)

Traditional musician, jazz musician, music producer, music researcher. Tellef plays sjøfløyte, saxophones, piano and keyboard, laptop and bagpipes. And a little Hardanger fiddle. He has been on the Norwegian music scene for over 50 years, and has been involved in many different groups, including Universitetets storband, Slinkombas, TradArr, Oslo Musica Antiqua, Chateau Neuf spellemannslag, North Sea Music, LuckyLoop, Friensemblet and Nunatak.

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