Telling the Baltic

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Fick gigget igår, nya kläder, nya strängar; Nu kör vi!

Playing for artists at the Baltic Sea project Artline

Teaming up with the local culture department

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Today we visited the local culture department at the municipal office. We presented our great visions about Folk Practice Academy and had an inspiring discussion about development of tradition in a modern life and how we can cooperate.

Looking into the future…. at Mandeltårtan Café in Ronneby.

Folk Practice Choir!

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Finally, we have started the Folk Practice Choir! Some weeks ago we presented the idea at the Knut’s party and suddenly we had 20 interested singers!

We have already met twice. We meet for a couple of hours and sing chorals, lullabies, polskas, medieval ballads and more. We also work with singing exercises to broaden our singing skills as well as trying folk singing techniques.

We have also set up a goal to do a singing game every time we meet.

Don’r hesitate to contact us if you want to join. There is no limit and you don’t have to know how to read notes, we sing by ear! (

These are some of the songs we have worked with so far:

”Du Lasse, du Lasse, när får du en vän” (sånglek)

”Var det du som slog min kakelugn itu” (e. Ingrid Björkman-Yllenius)

”Polska från Sörmland”

”Det rider en riddare in på vår gård” (Smålandsvariant)

”Sjuss sjussade karanaja” (sånglek från Ormsö, Estland)

”Sulla lulla liten vår” (norsk vaggvisa fr Østdalen)

”Den signade dag” (Jöns Stål, Hoby)

Come dance in my kitchen!

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Last night the house was filled with playing and singing. Me and my eldest daughter gave our folk music friends a julstuga – we played, sang and danced games and ring dances .

An insanely nice way to spend an evening with friends. I wonder if singing games is the thing of the year …? It feels as if more and more people discover how much fun you can have with singing games, it’s easy and anyone can join, young or old, musician or not …

One of my friends who are not so used to folk music called today and thanked for a fun evening. And we came to discuss how unique folk music is, when you can just bring your instruments and play. And even if some go off to play or talk in another room, the music never stopped, others just keep on playing.

And that’s exactly what everyone should experience. If you meet  folk music as an audience at a concert, it is just the music-making that can be experienced and maybe also evaluate, but at somebody’s home, when you sing ballads, play a few songs and do some games, you REALLY FEEL what folk music is all about . Music-making itself may be important, but there has to be something more in it.

More such activities should be encouraged and maybe it doesn’t always have to do with music. Recall, for example, how my mother went away sewing once a month.

“Come and sing a while, but bring your own coffee…”, “come and craft for a while, but bring your own snacks …”, “come and bake with me, but bring your own cookies…”, “come and dance in our kitchen, but bring your own cake… ”

Because it’s just that with “his own coffee” which makes it much easier to execute. Serving something edible suddenly makes more planning and you have to, for example, know how many people will come. And as the hostess you will suddenly be engaged in making coffee and taking care of dishes. If everyone brings his own basket, it’s just to give it a go!

Gustafs skål…
…den bästa skål av alla skålar…
I’m trying some halling dancing…

Christmas music from Blekinge

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The concert with Christmas music from Blekinge was held  for the second time on the fourth Sunday in Advent. The Folk Practice Trio consisted of Kristin Borgehed (vocals, bass), Astrid Selling Sjöberg (violin, vocals, harp) and Ingrid Björngreen-Nilsson (vocals, drums, harp). Our repertoire contains mainly of folk music we have found in the Blekinge archives. This means in addition to polskas and chorales some songs by Alice Tegner, not to mention a ”christmas jig” (!) called ‘Enjoy Christmas’!

To mark the occasion, we had worked on and interpreted a variation of the song Thirteenth Day of Christmas (which in English versions may be Twelfth Day of Christmas) collected by Nils Stålberg in the 1930’s from the tradition carrier Ingrid Isaksson, Röaby. It took several hours of detective work before we had a finished concert  version, since the record was fragmentary and full of ink clumps!

Since the concert was held in the Arts and Crafts house in Ronneby we gave opportunity for the audience to do some crafting while drinking glögg (mulled wine) during the concert. This contributed to a cozy and festive setting. The concert
ended with the musicians and the audience dancing and singing a local medielval balad about Saint Stephanus!

Kitchen dancing at its best…

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We just returned from Estonia. First three days in Tallinn and Viljandi, and then three days in Tartu. Soon we’ll give a report on our meetings. Meanwhile look at this wonderful clip. This shows the essence of what Folk Practice Academy is all about. Bringing folk music into every day life. The moment was captured Friday night at Sofia Joons’ birthday party in Viljandi.


Estonia – still an adventure!

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Today we (Astrid and Kristin) returned to Estonia and it felt a little bit like coming home. Or like Kristin said: “I know my way better in Tallinn than in Karlskrona…”

Visiting Tallinn for us folk art nerds is mainly about looking for really nice handcraft. Some Christmas gifts were bought, but the mission this time was to find hand-knitted, woolen socks. At least two pair each. We visited three markets, but ended up at the knitewear sellers by the city wall. Two charming Russian ladies held out some grey socks and said something that sounded like “It’s made of dock”.

“Yeah, yeah” we answered without actually knowing what she was implying. She persisted “It’s made of DOCK!”




It turned out the wool was from her very dear dog Sharyk, who obviously is grey. We had a nice amusing chat with the women and decided the socks will go well with our Polish drum, which Pawel will deliver soon…

dock sock…?