Celebrates 30 years with reunions and diversity

The composer, saxophone and goathorn player, Karl Seglem, is the first Norwegian act at the festival, playing with his acclaimed band on Wednesday 3rd. Photo: Oddleiv Apneseth

The composer, saxophone and goathorn player, Karl Seglem, is the first Norwegian act at the festival, playing with his acclaimed band on Wednesday 3rd. Photo: Oddleiv Apneseth

The Førde Traditional and World Music Festival announces the entire programme for its anniversary festival in 2019. 

Garifuna rhythms from Belize, Cajun music from Louisiana, duduk melodies from Armenia, a dose of Russian madness, fado from Portugal, Balkan brass lessons, washboard lessons with a Cajun queen, Scottish reeling and Swedo-Norwegian folk rock music – all is set and ready for musical diversity when the Førde Traditional and World Music Festival celebrates its first 30 years. “30 years transcending borders! is this year’s theme, and the programme offers many welcome reunions, but also a chance to encounter new and exciting artists”, explains Per Idar Almås. On Thursday, 4 April he announced his first programme as Director of the Førde Traditional and World Music Festival.

A festival in five municipalities

This year, the Førde Traditional and World Music Festival invites you to attend concerts in five municipalities. “It’s wonderful to be able to be present in our neighbouring municipalities”, says Almås, and reveals that Haavebua in Florø will be visited by RURA, one of Scotland's most sought-after folk bands. Authentic Cajun music will be performed at Gloppen Hotel by the Sarah Savoy Trio. The Jakob Sande courtyard in Fjaler is the perfect setting for Northern Norwegian songs by Fotefar & Julie Alapnes, and in Jølster the festival offers acoustic experiences in the idyllic Jølstra Museum, as well as an exclusive concert with Hemsing/Larsen To Damer To Herrer in the barn at the Fjordamat courtyard.


“NEW” Saturday

Otava Yo from Russia was a great succes when they played in Førde in 2014. Now they’re coming back. Be there!

Otava Yo from Russia was a great succes when they played in Førde in 2014. Now they’re coming back. Be there!

On the Saturday, the festival will for the first time offer a morning concert at Hafstad Mountain, and instead of a festival breakfast, this year there will be a festival brunch in the park. “The Førde Traditional and World Music Festival wishes to prioritise the stunning arena at Festplassen”, explains Almås, welcoming you to a two-hour festival brunch in the park, including food, concerts and a market in cooperation with Sogn og Fjordane’s Master Chef Guild and REKO-ringen Førde. Later in the day, we will be reunited with Russian musicians Otava Yo, who have achieved enormous success internationally since they first visited in 2015. They are also YouTube stars, with approximately 24 million views for their most popular music video. This year, they will also be accompanied by dancers in a spectacular “log battle”.

Popular reunions

This year, many loyal festival attendees will experience some of their favourite musicians in Førde. Polish favourites Kroke, who will also be accompanied on stage by Mongolian signer URNA. The Swedish-Norwegian folk rock band SVER, who are better than ever. You will be reacquainted with the accordion virtuosos in Samurai Accordion, as well as Sweden’s Triakel. Festivalgoers will also have the chance to be reunited with Hungarian legends Muzsikas in Førde, as well as Iranian sisters Mahsa and Marjan Vahdat, who will be providing the popular church concert. “And we have finally been able to put El Tanbura from Egypt back in the festival lineup”, says Event Manager Sølvi Lien, who is banking on the wonderful veteran musicians wowing the audience just as they did with their midnight concert on the riverside more than ten years ago. 

New from near and far

“What’s exciting about the festival programme in Førde is that so many of the artists have never performed in Norway before, and are therefore unknown here, despite achieving success in their home countries and internationally”, says Almås, who also mentions that many of the artists featured at the festival are up-and-coming and may reach the pinnacle of success a few years after playing in Førde. Signs point to SARA CORREIA, who will perform on Friday, 5 July in Førde, becoming the new Fado sensation.

Other new names in Førde include The Garifuna Collective and Dizu Plaatjies & Ibuyambo, both of whom will perform at the dance party on Saturday night. The former has rescued Garifuna music from extinction in Belize and offers irresistible Caribbean rhythms, whereas the latter serves up catchy music from South Africa.

Two new productions

The investment in new productions at the festival continues. “It’s truly amazing that we can follow-up the great Arvesølvet collaboration in 2017 with a new concert in our anniversary year”, says Synnøve S. Bjørset from the County Archives in Sogn og Fjordane. This year it is Marita Vårdal Igelkjøn, Britt Pernille Frøholm, Helge Sunde and Viljar Losnegård who will undertake a treasure hunt among 16,000 audio recordings in the folk music archives. The four will present old material but will also be inspired to create new music. This year’s concert is titled Perler av elde (Pearls of Age).

In a new children’s production, Den underlege draken (The Peculiar Dragon), Gro Marie Svidal, Hildegunn Hovde and Silje Risdal Liahagen tackle the many exciting myths about ancient dragons. “We are combining traditional slåttespel (traditional Norwegian violin or fiddle music) with new compositions, improvisation and electronics”, says Svindal, who looks forward to welcoming children of all ages to an exciting dragon’s lair filled with rhythm and movement. 

Folk music instruments in all shapes

A folk music festival is also an opportunity to study a broad range of folk music instruments. Examples include the timple, which is the Canary Island’s version of the Hawaiian ukulele, the cavaquinho from Portugal and Brazil, the charango from the Andes and the quatro from Venezuela, and all of these are represented when timple-master Germán Lopez and his musicians from the Canary Islands perform the concert: Timples and other small guitars. 

In Armenia, it is all about woodwind instruments. It is from here the festival brings you the woodwind phenom Norayr Kartashyan. In the project Menua, he is accompanied by five young musicians and a modern version of beautiful and timeless folk music on the national instrument duduk and other woodwind instruments that he has invented. Ross Daly is the Irishman who fell in love with the Greek lyra and has come to call Greece his home. Daly has studied folk music from round the world, especially the Middle East. To Daly, music is more than a livelihood: “Music is the language of my dialogue with that which I perceive to be sacred”.

Photo exhibit created during the festival

Two individuals who are especially fascinated by the beautiful instruments and musicians who will perform at the festival, are photographers Oddleiv Apneseth and Andreas Eikeseth Nygjerd. This year, they will create a photo exhibit during the festival, where they will take portraits of musicians and their instruments. “The idea for the photo exhibit is something we’ve thought about for a few years”, explain the two photographers, who will produce four new large format portraits that will be installed in Førdehuset. The exhibition is titled: Artistar og instrument – eit fotoprosjekt (Artists and Instruments – a photo project), and opens on 4 July. 

Torill Faleide