RootsWorld Radio present Mats Edén

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The Kitchen Concert - February, 2014


Here are the song notes for an informal performance by Mats Edén, recorded in his kitchen in Harlösa, Sweden especially for RootsWorld and RootsWorld Radio. If you prefer, you can read Mats' original Swedish version.

1. "Polska efter Lejsme Per Larsson (1822-1907)" after a version from Anders Rosén - Malung (1946 -)"
Lejsme Per was one of the most recognized musicians of his time in the area around the border between north-eastern Värmland, western Dalarna . His repertoire was passed to his sons and his grandson Herman Strömberg. Most of this tunes can be find in the collection Svenska Låtar – Dalarna and Värmland.

Lejsme Per had a big love for tunes in the A - tonality and with crosstuning A E A E. Many of the tunes are available in several versions and while they are based on essentially the same basic material, they are richly varied. The song that I play here comes in both a longer version in major, and this somewhat shorter one. Typical of Lejsme songs is how the melodies move around quite freely in relation to bar lines. As example, here in the second part , where the main theme starts the first time on the 2nd beat, and when it comes back it starts at the third beat:

On this tune I play on a violin with gut strings and with a bridge that is a copy of a fiddle that belonged to a fiddler from Malung at the end of 1800, similar to what Lejsme Per is believed to have played.

This bridge is good if you want to play on two strings at the same time. The violin is tuned down to G D G D instead of A E A E. I think it offers a nice muffled sound and the gut strings do not sustain all the time.

2. "Polska" - music by Mats Edén
My own composition in a style inspired by songs from Älvdalen in northeastern Dalarna. I am playing the same violin as in the first tune, but here tuned in A D A E (but detuned to actually sound G C G D).

3. "De höga herrarnas polska"
Here I play a hardanger fiddle thats it is a copy from Trond Bothén (1750) made by Sigvald Rörlien in 2006.
Here is the sheet music if you want to play along.

4. "Vals i skymningsstämning" - music by Mats Edén.
A waltz I composed in a cross-tuning available in the harding fiddle tradition. I've never seen this tuning used in Swedish melodies. I play my viola d'amore, built by Anders Norudde in 1990. Here the beginning of the song as notated for the tuning:

5. "Halling" - traditional from Norway arranged by Mats Edén.
I play this on my single-row accordion, a Paolo Soprani in A. The name of the tune is "Kan du ikkje hoppe så hoppe du nå" or "If you cant jump, so jump now." The way to play the one row accordion is typical for the older tradition from different parts of Norway. You keep the bass in all the time, like a drone, and mark the rhythm with the chord button.

6. "Målargubbens brudpolska efter Hjort Anders Olsson" – Bingsjö (1865-1952)
Hjort Anders Olsson was one of the most famous musicians from the late 1800's and into the 20th century. I learned this version from a phonograph record made by ethnographer Yngve Laurell, who recorded Hjort Anders Olsson in approximately 1913-1920. I play the same fiddle as in first and second tunes.

7. & 8. Polskas
Two polska's I had forgot but who went back to me thanks to my friend Suzanne Weinberg from the U.S.. She was in Sweden around 1982 and she took the opportunity to record music by various musicians and later she send me these tunes and others on mini disc. Tuning D A D A E.

9. "Skorsviken, gangar från Setesdal/Norge"
When I lived and studied composition in Oslo at the Norwegian Academy of music, I had in my first two years of total four, Ånon Egeland as teachers in hardanger fiddle. This was the first song I learned from him. I play viola d'amore in the tuning D A D A E.

Read the RootsWorld review of Mats Edén's latest recording, Pastern

See some performances on video.

For more information about Mats Edén, please visit his web site:

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