Workshop: Icelandic folk music, focusing on the vocal music in the rímur *), tvísöng **) and hymn traditions, in particular looking at some lydian and phrygian melodies. We will play old recordings and sing and play together. Sharing tunes ‘by ear’ with music notation available.
(* Iceland has a unique form of epic ballads which were written and performed for hundreds of years, from mediaeval times onwards. Rímur are very long narrative songs, divided into sections with different verse patterns and melodies.
(** Tvísöng is a unique traditional two-part-harmony singing style in which two voices are sung in parallel fifths, sometimes crossing each other.
Bára Grímsdóttir and Chris Foster live in Reykjavík, Iceland, and they sing and play Icelandic and English folk music. They have both been singing all of their lives and they started working together in 2001, breathing new life into great songs that have been hidden for too long in old recordings and dusty old books and manuscripts. They’ve also added a few new songs to their traditions along the way.
Iceland has a unique and wonderful folk song heritage, but sadly, traditional Icelandic folk music has remained largely hidden from today’s folk and world music audiences. Bára and Chris are trying to bring it into the light for people to enjoy.
In the past, these songs were usually performed unaccompanied. Now, Bára and Chris add accompaniments using the traditional Icelandic langspil and fiðla, guitar, kantele and hammered dulcimer as well as singing.
Together, Bára and Chris have performed and taught at festivals, concerts, summer schools and on radio and TV around Europe, in the USA and China, as well as throughout Iceland and Britain. For more information, see FUNI’s website. (FUNI is an old Icelandic word meaning flame.)
Bára and Chris gave workshops about Icelandic folk music at the Nordic Harp Meetings in Norway (2010, 2014), Denmark (2012, 2016), Sweden (2013, 2018) and Estonia (2017).