Flute player Olof Jönsson (1867 – 1953), aka Ol’Jansa, lived in the Härjedalen province in the middle of Sweden, and was, as was common among folk pipers, a musician mostly in private. His instrument was härjedalspipan, the Härjedalen flute, and his music must have been seen as quite intriguing, even exotic, as Swedish radio recorded his tunes on no less than three separate occasions between 1935 and 1951.
During the spring of 2017, flute player Göran Månsson, in collaboration with Emma Ahlberg, Patrik Källström, Karin Nakagawa and Martin von Schmalensee, recorded a new album with music inspired by Olof Jönsson. The commission from Svenskt visarkiv (The Centre for Swedish Folk Music and Jazz Research) and public record company Caprice Records is to make new interpretations of the old recordings and documented tunes.
The music is brought to the present, and developed by musicians of different genres inspired by this repertoire. This is a border-crossing cooperation, with influences from different styles building a new music out of the traditional, giving a new identity to the instrument and its clime.
The musicians come from rock, folk, classical music, and jazz. We for instance get to hear the Japanese koto meet the Swedish Härjedalspipa in new versions of the old Ol’Jansa tunes.
This year 2017, it’s 150 years ago since Olof Jönsson was born and next year, 2018, Japan and Sweden will celebrate the 150 year anniversary of the establishing of diplomatic relations between the two countries! On this album the music of both countries meet in a way that’s simultaneously innovative and with great respect and reverence for Olof’s tunes.
Göran Månsson & Friends:
Göran Månsson - Härjedalspipa
Flute player, born and raised in Ånge in the middle of Sweden. One the most intriguing and dynamic flutists in the country. Göran’s background lies in several different pop and rock bands, but also in Swedish folk music, which has become his trademark of sorts. He has performed in everything from the folk pop groups Sarek and Nordman to the internationally renowned Finnish-Swedish band Gjallarhorn, Göran Månsson Band, and flute trio Zephyr. As a solo artist, he regularly tours Japan since 2006, and has become one of the most popular acts in Nordic folk music there.
Martin von Schmalensee - bass, guitar
Martin is the producer of the new album with Göran Månsson. He was previously awarded a platinum disc for ”Vapen & Ammunition” with the biggest pop group in Sweden, Kent. He has worked as a producer for many artists and in different genres over the years.
Karin Nakagawa – Koto
Karin is one Japan’s foremost virtuosos on the 25 string koto. Today she lives mainly in Burghausen, Germany and in Yokohama, Japan. Karin has studied Koto and Shamisen at the Tokyo University of Arts. Today is today collaborating with musicians from all over the world, having toured in more than 20 countries. 2016 she won a Swedish Grammy award together with Lena Willemark and Anders Jormin for the ECM album “Trees of light”.
Emma Ahlberg – Fiddle
Emma was formally trained at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. In the summer of 2010 she was appointed the title of Riksspelman, specializing in tunes from Medelpad. Emma is a member of the award winning folk music trio Ahlberg, Ek & Roswall. Beside this, she performs as a solo artist and fellow musician with, among others, Ulrika Bodén, Göran Månsson, and Emilia Amper.
Patrik Källström – Fiddle, pump organ, harmonica, and arrangör.
Patrik plays classical violin in the Nordic Chamber Orchestra, and is also a jazz pianist with the High Coast Orchestra, as well as several other jazz groups. He also works as a composer and orchestral arranger in most genres.
Video with subtitles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6LkZHtLDuQ