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The Norwegian folk musicians – Hardanger fiddler Erlend Apneseth, known as the leader of his own genre binding trio and member of the likewise Frode Haltli’s Avant Folk,  and vocalist-actor-dancer Margit Myhr, member of the vocal group Kvedarkvintetten, are also partners in life. Apneseth and Myhr always look for new expressions but on «Slåttesong» they go back to their roots and focus on the solistic tradition for vocals and Hardanger fiddle in Norwegian folk music.

The vocal repertoire on «Slåttesong» is taken from the book «Folkesong i Hallingdal» (Folk Song in Hallingdal) (Gunnlaug Lien Myhr, 2015). This book contains all of the vocal material collected from the region Hallingdal, taken from notations and various archives that have never before been recorded and published. Apneseth has a background in the folk music tradition from Sunnfjord and Sogn, but in recent times he has immersed himself in the tradition of fiddle playing of Hallingdal, where he lives. Therefore, the Hardanger fiddle repertoire on this record consists of tunes from both Hallingdal and the west coast of Norway, in addition to three pieces by Apneseth.

Apneseth, who opens the album with «Hallingen», sounds like a one-man orchestra with his Hardanger fiddle, deep in a playful conversation with himself. Listen to his version of «Luraasen 1». The clear and warm voice of Myhr sounds as coming from an innocent, simple past, as she sings and chants the songs, ballads and psalms. Just listen to her impressive adaptation of «Hyrdevisa». Even though Apneseth and Myhr do not play together on «Slåttesong», these traditional tunes sound as feeding and corresponding with each other. Apneseth and Myhr say that «folk music and solo tradition are – and always have been – a key element for both of us: something secure that we always come back to». They succeed in delivering this feeling in an engaging and inspiring manner.

Eyal Hareuveni 

Erlend Apneseth (hardangervio); Margit Myhr (v)

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