Seint Var Det Om Kvelden
EM77 / 2015
Seint var det om kvelden er tittelen på vår rykende ferske produksjon. Denne dobbelt – CDen (longbox) er en dokumentasjon av tradisjonen fra Mandalen. Dette er en tradisjon som ikke har vært dokumentert tidligere, og den unge spelmannen som er hovedartisten er Gard Nergaard. Han har lært stoffet av Paul Sveinall. Paul Sveinall har jobba med dette stoffet i mange år og lært fra seg både slåtter, vokalstoff og historia rundt dem. I tillegg til Gard som hovedartist på hardingfele, er disse gjesteartistene på CDen: Renate A Heggeland (vokal), Tor Arve Monan (vokal og gitar), Per Arne Fredriksen (trommer), Tom Karlsrud (trekkspill) og Paul Sveinall (Sangelandfløyte). Dette er en historisk produksjon som formidler en tradisjon som nesten gikk ”i glemmeboka”,på en brilliant måte. Ja, det var virkelig ”seint om kvelden.”
“Seint var det om kvelden – alt i fleire år har me sagt at klokka er over tolv! Av ulike historiske årsaker kom musikktradisjonen i Mandalen, som ein gong var blant dei sterkaste og rikaste i regionen, i bakevja. Sidan levde han på sparebluss i mange år, og ein kunne spørja seg om det var for seint allereie.
Me er difor særs glade og stolte av å prova det motsette. Utgjevinga du held her presenterer sjeldan mykje ukjent og særeigent stoff, ein «missing link» i folkemusikken som vil kasta nytt ljos på heile regionen.”
Maputo, 26. april 2015, Gard Nergaard
Tradition from the south
This edition presents traditional music from the valley of Mandalen in Vest-Agder, southern Norway. It goes into a series of efforts made by Etnisk Musikklubb Norway to highlight rare music on the point of being forgotten. The culture of this valley has hitherto, especially in the domain of instrumental music, not been presented in a way it deserves. This publication aims to do something about that in drawing attention to non-documented music and to the influential musicians from this region, a cultural meeting point and melting pot through the centuries.
CD1 is concentrated around the oldest part of the fiddle tradition, which dates back to the time when the instrument first started to gain territory here in the first half of the 18th century. The roots of this music often go back even further, finding its origin in ancient vocal traditions. The frequent «slåttestev», songs connected to the fiddle tune which were used either as an introduction or more independently of the fiddle version, is a proof of this. The tunes from this period often exhibit a sense of tonality different from ours, even in the cases when the intonation has been adapted to our moderns systems.
Similar with baroque music, the melodies are often built on one or a few motives which lead to variations and improvisations.
A distinguishing feature of this music is that it was most often connected to great events. Especially weddings had strict procedures when it came to when the various dances were to come in the program. Often there is also a mythical background behind the tunes, where the music is connected to older religious beliefs. Many a fiddler had the dreadful reputation of creating an ecstatic mood among the dancers, and therefore religious movements held it to be inspired by evil spirits. Normally the celebrations went on under worthy conditions, and everybody could participate without problems. But this was going to change.
In the 1780s the authorities opened up for free trade and broad contact with other countries. One result of this was a wave of importation of dances especially from the other North Sea countries, and the Napoleonic Wars further contributed this development. From Germany came «reinlendar» (dance from the Rhine valley), masurka (muzurka) from Poland, ril (reel) from Great Britain, galopp (galop) from France. The new rhythms quickly found more local forms, and local musicians embarked upon a great production of new melodies to meet the popular demand. Few of these melodies had any connection to folklore, they were just meant for dancing. Inasmuch as this music came in addition to the older tradition, it brought the local culture to a peak around the 1830s. CD2 reflects this new reality, with the old and new living alongside each other.
Division and decline
At this time the traditional wedding culture got two mighty enemies – alcohol and modernisation. Free trade also meant an increased import of cheap liquor, and in combination with the multiplied local production of spirits, the celebrations were soon marked by an enormous abuse. The church responded by condemning this sort of social gatherings. And what is more the authorities recommended a modernisation of society. These two elements tore away the base for the traditional musical culture – the big events where it had had its use. The fiddlers lost their income and the music was now in free fall.