Austmannsspel – Traditional Hardanger fiddle music from Krødsherad, Sigdal and Ringerike.
The intention of this CD-production is to provide
a peek-hole into the Hardanger fiddle tradition in the Krødsherad, Sigdal and Ringerike counties of central, eastern Buskerud province in southern Norway. The district can boast of a wealth of Hardanger fiddle tunes and tradition going back to the 1700’s. Up until now, very little of this repertoire has been available on CD. The Hardanger fiddle tradition presented on this
CD, although clearly influenced by playing styles of Telemark and other neighboring regions, is unique to this part of Buskerud. The region has been frequented by traders passing through on their way to markets in Eastern Norway, and has therefore been subjected to many different influences. It is typical for tunes to have short, precise forms. Melodious and clear
structural development is also a common quality
among tunes here. Truls Ørpen (1880–1958) is the most famous among Hardanger fiddlers of Krødsherad. His eager devotion to recording and transcribing music tunes, as well as writing down stories, is now recognized as an invaluable contribution to preserving the area’s music
heritage. Harald Modalen (1918–1996), from Ringerike, was a significant bearer of his regional tradition and had a great deal of knowledge about the unique old-time dance
(waltz, polka etc.) fiddling in his region. The fiddle music of Sigdal has been well nurtured in recent years, due to numerous fiddlers and continuity in recruiting of new players.
Nils Stubberud (1921–1996) and Steinar Strøm (b.1968) have been important influences here.
About the fiddler Christian Borlaug (b.1973) grew up in Haugsbygd in Ringerike county, Buskerud province. His grandfather and several of his grandfather’s brothers were fiddlers, as were
numerous others in his family’s history. Today, Christian is among the top Hardanger fiddlers of Norway. Already at the age of 21, he qualified for elite-class in the Norwegian fiddle competition system. He now has broad experience
as a professional musician and has played countless concerts and performances over the years. Performing has frequently taken him outside of Norway, from the USA in the west, to
Japan in the east. He has participated in numerous
competitions, won many first prizes and been awarded many honors.Christian’s most influential teachers have been Svein Lien of Tinn, Telemark, and Hauk Buen, also of Telemark. Thus it is no surprise that Telemark fiddling composes the
largest part of his repertoire. Christian currently works as a free-lance musician and fiddle instructor.