EM94 / 2012
About the project
When I lucked out and got a chance to make a CD, I was not really sure how to begin. Recording an album had never been my big dream, and I have felt that one ought to have something new to contribute when embarking upon such a project. And I am not sure that I do. There has been inflation in folk music releases in the last few years, and expectations are high. But in spite of these quandaries, I have decided to take the dive. On one hand, I can present some repertoire that has not been previously recorded, and on the other, it will solve the problem of Christmas and birthday presents for relatives and friends for a long time to come.
Many thanks to Etnisk Musikklubb for the opportunity to make this CD. And special thanks to Arne Fredriksen.
About the fiddler
I was born in 1965 in Jåstad, in the Hardanger region of western Norway. Since 1993 I have been living in Ål, in the Hallingdal valley. I began playing Hardanger fiddle at the community music school in Ullensvang in 1977. My first, and excellent, teacher was Are Fløysand. Eventually I went to Lars Velure (1901- 1992) for instruction, and it was there that I learned much of the traditional old-time dance music of Hardanger. I have also met and played with many fiddlers from Hardanger and elsewhere, and through this found inspiration, learned tunes and discovered motifs and phrasings that I liked. I have been instructor at the Ål Culture School and at various workshops and seminars. Since the 1980s I have participated at kappleiks [contests] and other gatherings for traditional music and dance. I have also played regularly for various dance groups, and through this had the opportunity to present Hardanger fiddle outside of Norway. My father, Sjur Velure (1923-1986) played accordion. He was of the old school and, rather than playing melody, he accompanied the fiddle with rhythmic bass and chording. We played a great deal together, which was good practice for me. Some of my first playing gigs were with him. I remember that I went with him and fiddler Lars Vikane to play for a community dance on the 17th of May in about 1980, just after I had begun fiddling. Many years’ playing for dancing with the group “Farande Fant” was also good practice. Fiddle has been primarily a hobby for me. By education and profession I am a civil engineer – not a musician!
I use two Hardanger fiddles on the recording, one built by Håvard Kvanndal (1981), and the other by Styrk Pukerud (1923). Both fiddles have been overhauled by Arne Jordan. He and Harald Kvanndal have provided fine adjustment and made small repairs.