Gro Marie Svidal

Tryllespel: To explore, remodel and elaborate upon the Hardanger fiddle music’s improvised preludes and postludes

Norwegian Academy of Music

Tryllespel is a PhD-artistic research project on the Hardanger fiddle situated in the Norwegian folk music field.

The Hardanger fiddle music’s preludes and postludes form the basis for Gro Marie Svidal’s improvised solo works on the instrument. Their musical elements, vocabulary, the linguistic practice, and aesthetics form an important framework from which her solo improvisations are developed. In the project Svidal looks in on, and into aesthetics and improvisation in other genre/traditions, meeting and collaborating with a selection performers and composers. Musical ideas, elements and understandings gained from the meetings and collaborations make the basis for new and further examinations and tests of different frameworks for her improvised preludes and postludes.


The title, Tryllespel, comes from Jølster in Sunnfjord, Norway. There, the Hardanger fiddle music’s prelude is, among other names, called Tryllespel.


At the Artistic Research Autumn Forum Gro Marie Svidal will give examples of artistic outcomes thus far in the proses.

Gro Marie Svidal is a well-established and renowned performer and interpreter of the traditional Norwegian Hardanger fiddle music. She started playing the Hardanger fiddle at the age of five and has immersed herself in the traditional music from Sunnfjord, Hardanger and Voss studying under the fiddle masters Leif Rygg, Håkon Høgemo and Sigmund Eikås. She is an alumna of The Ole Bull Academy for Norwegian Folk Music, and has an executant master’s degree from The Norwegian Academy of Music with dissemination of music as her in-depth study topic. Her first solo album, “Hardingfele” was released in 2009, and her second album “Eilov” in 2016. Both albums received critical acclaim from amongst others Songlines, Lira, and Aftenposten and were nominated to the Norwegian Folk Music Award, FolkeLarm-prisen. Svidal has also contributed on several records both folk music albums and pop albums. In 2014, Svidal won first prize at the prestigious national competition, Landskappleiken, and become national champion on her Hardanger fiddle. Furthermore, she has also accepted Norwegian grants and other awards for her music Svidal gives concerts in Norway and abroad both as a soloist and in collaboration with musicians from different genres, dancers, storytellers and players. She has performed as actress in theatre plays at Sogn and Fjordane Theatre (Teater Vestland), and toured extensively in rural Norway giving school performances under the auspices of Arts for Young Audiences of Norway. In recent years, Svidal has commissioned music for dance and theatre performances, and composed music for the Hardanger fiddle both solo and by mixing the acoustic sound of the instrument with live electronics.  Her interest in improvised and on-the-spot-composed music for the Hardanger fiddle emerges from the hardanger fiddle music itself and the way fiddlers for generations have improvised variations as intrinsic to the practice of playing the old tunes. 



Artistic Research Spring Forum 2024

3rd presentation

Language: Norwegian

At the Artistic Research Spring Forum 2024 Gro Marie will present experiences with and reflections from ensemble improvisations and meetings with other aesthetics and reflect upon its influence on her development of a linguistic practice in improvised preludes.