5liten.gifVG: Spirituals fra Telemark
5liten.gifØstlendingen: Helt nydelig
5liten.gif Telemarksavisa: Heilstøypt

Vinnar av Folkelarmprisen 2010 - beste soloplate
Nominert til Spellemannprisen 2010

Salmar og bedehussongar blei etter kvart integrert i folkesongtradisjonen, i somme tilfelle på kostnad av eldre stoff. Ein får høyre spennet frå eldgamle solbøner, kivlemøyar og domedagsslått til mellomalderballader og meir kjende salmer av Hans Adolph Brorson, Peter Dass og Elias Blix.

Ingvill Marit Buen Garnås (kveding) og Per Anders Buen Garnås (hardingfele) er idag rekna for å vera to av dei fremste folkemusikkutøvarane i landet. Dei er sterke tradisjonsberarar med rotfeste i Telemark, og har tidlegare gjeve ut fleire cd-ar. Båe to har også inngåande kjennskap til tradisjonen og historiene knytt til musikken og tekstane.

In all ages, various religious movements have left their marks on Norwegian folk music

In all ages, various religious movements have left their marks on Norwegian folk music and on the oral tradition attached to it. Pre-Christian and Catholic motifs have blended together and endured in songs and legends until long after the Reformation and on to the present day. Hymns and religious meeting house songs were gradually integrated into the folk song tradition, in some cases at the expense of older material. At certain points, folk singing and fiddle playing were regarded as the purest of sins; there have naturally also been tales about this.

The siblings Ingvill Marit and Per Anders Buen Garnås belong to a living folk music tradition. Stories about folk singers and fiddlers in their family are known dating back to the 1700s. Thus, they have firsthand knowledge of how religious conflicts have influenced tradition and repertoire along the way. Folklore collectors such as Magnus Brostrup Landstad (1802-1880) and Ludvig Mathias Lindeman (1812-1877) transcribed songs from legendary folk singers from various branches of the family. The hymns on the album are largely in tradition after great-great-great-grandfather Knut H. Hovde (1806-1888) from Tuddal. He was a member of the lay religious movement founded by Hans Nielsen Hauge but sang the hymns in a folk singer’s manner. The repertoire was exchanged, but the singing technique remained intact. Furthermore, Ingvill Marit and Per Anders have a wide repertoire and background material from various tradition lines in Telemark. On this album, they have concentrated on material connected to religion and superstition. There are sun prayers, hymns, folk ballads, and fiddler’s tales of mysticism, wonder, faith, and misgiving. It is a historically interesting subject matter, but, at the same time, the melodies and stories excite and captivate to this very day.


Prayer for sun and good fortune for the crop and loved ones. The mother figures in Norse mythology and in Christianity are placed side by side in this prayer. These songs were used as lullabies but have likely also had a function in connection with Godvêrsbønedagen (“fair weather prayer day”, a special weather-forecasting day on July 22). Good weather during haying time was crucial in order to gather enough winter fodder for the animals.


The tune is dedicated to the horse Førnesbrunen who, during the Black Death, transported the dead from the mountain community of Møsstrond down to the church in Rauland. He had the reputation of being exceptionally strong and wise. Even though it was during the fiercest part of winter, he made the trips alone with the load. When at last he came with his own master, he would not go back. Later, they discovered that Møsstrond was empty of people.

Upp alle ting som Gud hev gjort

Many of the hymns which have endured in the folk tradition are those with an earthy, marveling, and humble attitude to the work of creation – to being a part of a greater whole. This is such a hymn.

Huldregubbane i Gaustafjell

One of the compositions by the great fiddler Lars Fykerud (1860-1902). A longer title reveals that the composer imagines hearing two forest ogres compete in fiddling on Gaustafjell one summer night. In spite of the Pietism which prevailed at the time, Lars found it completely natural to include the netherworld people when depicting his childhood’s summer mountain landscape.

Frealause menn

This is a singular and powerful religious folk ballad. A group of outlawed men must leave the country on Christmas Eve – according to old beliefs, the most dangerous night of all. They receive their punishment in the worst conceivable way. They become stuck in the ice and run out of food. Finally, they play dice to see who will serve as food for the others. It falls to the helmsman. They prepare the meal, but do not manage to eat. Then the wind turns, the ship breaks free and the Virgin Mary takes over as helmsman when things look their worst.


On the Day of Judgment, one had to show up with the best one owned. The oldest known source of this tune is supposed to have said that this was the tune he would play on the day he rose from his grave. This is a lyrical version of a rameslått (a tune with magical powers) called “Nordafjølls”. Rameslåttane could move fiddlers to ecstasy. Those who considered the Hardanger fiddle to be the devil’s instrument believed that rameslåttane made fiddlers become possessed by evil forces. Another story relates that the tunes may carry something good in them. This tune once saved the life of a man in deep unhappiness due to an unfortunate love affair.


A little song fragment about hearing birdsong in the morning and learning to appreciate life.

Møllargutens siste slått

The virtuosic Møllarguten (1799/1801-1872) grew up in an age of religious conflict and was subject to opposition from pietistic sources. During the last years of his life, he became more and more religious and did not play very much. But he had a balanced view on the matter: “I know well enough that music is not sinful. The melodies are made by God, and I have gotten my construction from God. But the mistake was that I drank and played in bad company, and I stumbled over bad places almost all my life. I regret it now. I read Haafaker’s collection of sermons, and that book has made me good; for it has taught me to know myself.” This is the last tune Møllarguten played, four days before he died.

Nu rinner solen opp

A hymn about sunrise, about bringing forth one’s vitality and lifting one’s gaze.

Gjør godt mot dem som deg mon hate

Can one not loved by you stand daily before your eyes? What kindheartedness can you then bear for God of whom you get a sight?

Siri Rukaren

The fiddler’s wife Siri sat one evening and worried about her husband who hadn’t come home. She was afraid he had gotten himself drunk and that he might fall into the waterfall by the bridge he had to cross. She went to meet him. On the other side of the bridge, a figure sat and played. At first, she believed it was her husband but soon confirmed otherwise. She thought the fiddle playing sang that she should back away. When she was midway across the bridge, the creature came after her, leaped up on her shoulders and continued to play. In spite of the heavy load, the terror-stricken Siri managed to come back over the bridge. Simultaneously, the monster vanished. Siri was injured for life and had to walk hunched over for the rest of her days. But her husband got to learn a new tune, for Siri could hum it.


A father went to the priest to have his son confirmed. Since the boy could not read, the priest was reluctant to do so. So the father asked gently if the boy could have a chance to count to twelve instead. The folk song he sang ensured that the confirmation was carried out: each number was accompanied by a bible story.


This tune is linked to the tale of the three grief-stricken sisters in Kivledalen. Two of them had lost their beloveds in a drowning accident. They lost their faith in God and stopped going to church. While the rest of the countryfolk sat in church, they were outside herding and playing on the flute. One time they played so extremely beautifully on their flutes that they lured the entire congregation out onto the church hill. The priest was furious and cast the girls in stone. The two who had lost their beloveds remained standing as stone pillars, while the third got away and disappeared inside the mountain. The goat which always accompanied her followed close on her heels, and in the place where the two of them disappeared, a moss rose formed on the side of the mountain. The melodies made such an impression on the people that they lived on and evolved into richly embroidered and diverse tune forms such as we know them today.

Dagens auga sloknar ut

Evening hymn and funeral hymn.

Nu solen går ned

Evening hymn about gratitude and self-contemplation.