John Ole Morken (b.1979) is a native of Holtålen County in the region of Trøndelag, Norway. Holtålen, located south of Trondheim and bordering on Røros, has rich music and dance traditions whose history dates back more than 200 years. In the 1990’s, at a time when many feared for these traditions, an eager young fiddler named John Ole Morken turned up, with a burning interest in visiting old-timers to learn their tunes and tales. John Ole showed unusual energy and spontaneity in his fiddling, and he comprehended the old playing style. Needless to say, many welcomed his interest! He quickly became an active participant at local and regional fiddle gatherings, concerts and competitions. Prizes and scholarships from national, regional and local cultural administration and organizations rewarded his talent and provided encouragement. Since the
late 1990’s, Morken has had the endorsement of Bjørn Aksdal of the Rff-Center(Center for the Norwegian Council for Folk Music and Folk Dance)in Trondheim. He has cooperated with Aksdal and the Center in a number of research projects and productions focused on traditional music and dance history in Norway, especially the Holtålen/Røros/Gauldalen region. In his home community, Morken’s work has resulted in revival of old tunes and stories that had nearly been forgotten. His knowledge, enthusiasm and participation in various music and history clubs have stimulated interest in local, traditional culture among young and old. Morken has also put in time as a student: He has earned a Bachelors degree in music from the University of Trondheim (NTNU) and has completed fiddle-studies at the pelemannsskulen at Ole Bull Academy in Voss. Excellent results at Norwegian folk music ompetitions - as solo fiddler, as member (and generator) of a multitude of groups and as leader for several fiddler clubs - attest to young Morkens’ quality and development as a fiddler and as a musician over the years. Recently, John Ole is often seen sharing the stage with Hardanger-fiddler Lajla Renate Buer Storli, with whom he lives in Lofthus, Hardanger. On this solo-CD, John Ole Morken’s debut, we meet an experienced, philosophical 28-year-old in late summer, 2007. He has invited musician friends - Jørgen Nyrønning, Olav Mjelva, Tore Reppe, Ivar Schjølberg and producer Bjørn Aksdal to participatein recording sessions at Bent Jacobsen’s log-cabin studio in Os, south of Røros.