Helga Myhr is a highly regarded Hardanger fiddle player and singer. She has participated in a number of ensembles and has played in a variety of genres. In this work, originally composed for the 2020 Osa Festival, she combines her roots in traditional music from Hallingdal with her distinctive form of musical exploration. This release unites music and visual art on glorious vinyl, designed by the award-winning artist Solveig Lønseth.
Helga Myhr grew up surrounded by folk music. Today, fiddle tunes are what lie closest to her heart. Fiddle playing consists of many “layers”, for example bow stroke, melody, rhythm, ornamentation and tonality, which can all be varied and which have been refined by generation after generation of players: “Fiddle playing encompasses infinite possibilities, and it is these possibilities that inspire me when I create new music. People who know fiddle music well might be able to hear which tunes or ‘layers’ I have used, but sometimes it is more subtle,” according to Helga Myhr.
Poems by Margit Lappegard (1918–2011), from Leveld, Ål in Hallingdal, are included in three of the tunes. Lappegard was a beloved poet who attracted considerable attention with her poetry collection “Noko vil alltid lysa”, first published in 1988.
The word “andsyning” can be found in the book Ord, uttrykk og inntrykk frå Hallingdal og Valdres (Words, Expressions and Impressions from Hallingdal and Valdres) (Boksmia, 2002). This book presents the collections compiled by Ivar Aasen during his journeys to Hallingdal and Valdres from 1845 onwards. The word is constructed from “and”, which means against or opposite, and “syning”, which can mean horizon, to show, or the presence of something that shows itself. In other words, to see or show something from the opposite horizon.
The music was composed specifically for the outstanding musicians who appear on the recording. Their exceptional musical and creative qualities have had a profound impact on how the music sounds: “Malin Alander has a fabulous voice that she can shape and stretch with amazing suppleness; Adrian Myhr produces a warm bass sound, with lovely and intricate melodic lines; Michaela Antalová has a superb groove, and she creates elegant tones on the willow flute; multi-instrumentalist Rasmus Kjorstad adds compelling sound variations and tasteful contributions on the Norwegian zither, octave violin and Jew’s harp”, Helga Myhr explains.
The music is presented within a stunning and distinctive work of art by Solveig Lønseth. The LP and cover were inspired by her own encounter with the music of Andsyning, and are the result of Lønseth’s unique ability to create something that gives us the sense of being present in the here and now. Lønseth has written the following about the music:
“The first time I listened to Andsyning the sounds took physical shape in my mind; they assembled themselves into memories of mine that had long sat dormant. It was as if I could see the music. A vision - a reverie - vast and sculptural, teeming with life. The music dropped me onto a log floating in undulating seawater. The log seemed to be split by the surface of the water horizontally between two worlds; one facing up to the endless clarity of air and light - the other facing down, soaked in the dense, mythical darkness. Despite its horizontal division, its will had to bend to the lapping waves, its course maneuvring for all eternity around its own core. Such are the ongoing negotiations between our truths and their opposites: up and down, there and back again, to and from, before and now.” – Solveig Lønseth
Helga Myhr’s solo album “Natten veller seg ut” was released in the autumn of 2019 on the Motvind Records label, and was nominated for a Norwegian Grammy Award (Spellemannsprisen). Myhr plays in several groups and ensembles, including the band Morgonrode, which won a Norwegian Grammy in 2019. She is also a member of Kvedarkvintetten, Dei kjenslevare and a duo together with Tanja Orning.