Nathan Bissette, an English/American musician and composer, and Kristin Borgehed, Swedish dito, as well as co-founder of FPA, launched their album PurcellPartialsPietist in November 2016.
The duo was founded a few years ago, in Aberdeen, Scotland. The work is based in traditional singing and playing from central parts of Sweden/northeast Scotland, and consists mainly of improvisation and microtonality. String instruments and voices are the main instruments we work with.
This work has a practical side, as is shown on this CD, as well as a theoretical, through Kristin’s PhD studies on microtonality in singing. The repertoire includes a variety of tings, from dance music to church music, from lullabies to wordless humming.
The album has been very well received, and we look forward to travel around with this music in 2017. Kristin and Nathan would like to say thanks to the board of FPA for this kind contribution!
Here are links to the album, and also to our facebookpage, where all news about concerts etc appear!
At this year’s Korrö Folkmusic Festival FPA contributed with two happenings. A workshop mediating tunes with mainly Blekinge material and also one of my “seminar-concerts”, which I held on Thursday night. This time the theme was cultural connections around the Baltic Sea. I was happy to notice that the dark Old Mill (Kvarnen) soon was filled and that there seemed to be quite a crowd outside that couldn’t get in, due to both lack of space and high interest in the subject.
I took the audience on a path through experiences that we in Folk Practice Academy have collected from our projects Baltic Sea Inter Cult, Baltic Trad(e) and Basic – Folk & Tradition. But I also lifted som really interesting details of dance descriptions that Kristin and I have found in the archives of Nordiska Museet and through our meetings with old singers and fiddlers.
The audience showed a dedicated interest in the subject and several of them gave some nice feedback after the session; “This was the best I have ever experienced at Korrö!”, “You have to write a book!”, “This should be made into a film!”
It seems as if the subjects we constantly are poking at fill a need. People have an urge to talk about immaterial heritage. Where do cultural expressions derive from? How can we make a complex picture more understandable? How does geography, time, development, society, political implications, etc colour the way we perceive traditional music? And how can the music we love to play and sing be connected to knowledge allowing questions and discussions to flourish?
With me on stage, I also had my daughter Agnes, who is one of the dedicated youth we have in FPA, and she mastered the Polish drum with excellence while I played a couple of tunes from Suwalki.
I also managed to break a string while retuning, but having fiddlers in the audience is a true bliss. Thank you from all my heart, you anonymous who gave me a new G-string!
More singers on their way? We gathered by the ferry to Hästholmen in the Karlskrona archipelago, for a day of traditional sailor, sailing and water songs. Among them sea shanties, dance tunes, and hymns.
Women of all generations singing loudly out to the Baltic Sea, and the next generation of singers is gradually being secured!!
Songs about the symbolism of bare feet dipped in either the sea or in red wine…
The singing session was organised together with the local traditional boats club.
A local boat type.
Looks scarier than it was, but inspirational danger can be good…
How to cool drinks and walk the plank…
Thanks everybody for your great contribution to a lovely day!!
Folkmusikkören förlägger sommarens sammankomst till Östra Hästholmen, i samband med Föreningen Allmogebåtar i Blekinges årliga varvsdag. En heldag ut i skärgården, lördagen den 11 juli, från klockan tolv och framåt!!
Vi kommer att ha visutlärning i det gröna och sjunga sjömansvisor inne i varvet och när vrakekorna Klaura och Däkan seglar ut på fjärden. Vid varvet kommer det finnas servering av sillamackor, hantverk, loppis, samt samhällsföreningens hembakade fikabord!!! Dessutom kan vi ha det allmänt skönt och ta ett dopp i havet.
Vi samlas och samåker ut till ön – vi ska ut i riktiga i skärgården ju!! Det är bilfärja som gäller 🙂 Medtag picknick-korg, instrument (kan vara bra att ha), nåt att sitta på. Som vanligt tar vi 2 tjugor för samsången.
Som vanligt får man gärna bjuda med vänner och familj. Och har man aldrig varit med förr är det bara att hänga på!! sommarhälsningar /Astrid & Kristin
In Blekinge the usage of local traditional clothes faded out quite early, already in the beginning of the 1800’s. But a national romantic wave came over the region in the 1920’s and 30’s and traditional costumes were sewn up again to wear for parades and festivities.
And so did my grand-mother. I remember that she wore it once a year, every midsummer’s eve, and after that my mother did the same. Now me and my daughter, Agnes, share the costume. I wear the vest, she the skirt. My skirt is a copy of another old skirt found in the family wardrobes and so is Agnes’ vest. My apron is newly woven but with traditional techniques, while the apron Agnes is wearing was found at a yard sale for 40 crowns and is a typical traditional local apron probably made in the middle of the 19th century.
In some parts of Sweden this would definitely be seen as blasphemy, to mix old and new, not wearing proper stockings or anything on our heads. But, the break in the Blekinge tradition has sort of given us the freedom to “be traditional” again. We take what we have, sew new pieces and wear what will make us look good. This should not be seen as disrespectful, but rather as going back to how it probably was. At least here by the coast, where the sailors brought in varieties of silk brocade which were then sewn into vests and aprons. And the museal collections show shirts with a broad spectrum of embroideries from this small region, although today’s models for sewing new ones are handpicked and very limited.
So, are we traditional? When we wear an exact copy of the last model that was worn right before it was put away? Or are we traditional when we have found a set of characteristics that holds for a longer period; the variety of fabrics with wool, cotton, silk and linnen in the same costume, the cut of the vest with the little “tail” in the back, the usage of imported silk scarves, the aim to use colours that are bright and preferably enhance each other wildly? All these are traits that would be described as “typical” for the traditional costume in Blekinge.
The importance to us is that it makes us feel traditional and that it serves the purpose to carry on Agnes’ great grand-mother’s, grand-mother’s and mother’s tradition to wear a traditional costume as hostess for the early Midsummer celebration at the farm that has been in the family for some generations.
Even though we prefer working at home back in the countryside 😉 this week’s meeting took place in Stockholm. While Astrid has been conducting her consultant work with web strategies for a big urban company, Kristin has presented her folk singing research at the ICTM Sweden. More to find about her research on #libertéegalitétonalité here and on facebook!!
We are currently at a café, planning away! We got some nice invitations for #koraleriet to consider, and also some nice aspects from the ICTM seminar to bring with us into our further work.
Hope to release a film from this very shortly – stay tuned!!
Kristin & Astrid
We are very pleased by the huge number of new readers finding our blog, several hundreds from all over the world!! Among our readers are a mix of musicians, people that sing and play in sessions or like to attend festivals, researchers, folk art nerds and people with local connection to the event we cover. Working with this broad audience has lead to a few changes in the website structure.
Folk Practice Academy, often called FPA, was founded by long term colleagues Astrid Selling and Kristin Borgehed in 2011.
Since Folk Practice Academy is an international organisation, our blog posts will be mostly in English, but at times also Swedish, Estonian, or any other of the languages of our associated partners.
This dynamic approach to language does also go for the section of our website called Articles&Reflections. Please feel free to share your thoughts with us, even if you prefer to not write in English!