A PLAY WITH TRADITIONS // PART I // I LISTEN: ...YES, THIS IS OLAV HEGGLAND
‘Yes, this is Olav Heggland’.
As if on the phone. He shifts tone of speech, presents what he will play, what he calls the slått. He speaks clearly and with volume. The bow quickly takes over.
The rhythm is steady. Some bow draws and the tempo is set. Floats. Flows. Steadfast.
A screech. In a short moment it is tilted out of balance, something is shrieking. Back. Flow. Deep tone, heedless, but steadfast.
Wrenches. His fingers turn to something light, thin, fragile, almost if the tone is lost or slipped. But the pace he holds on to, calm and unstoppable.
A squealing second keeps sounding long after.
Light tones sing calmly and concurrently rasp sharply.
Deep rocking, coarsely, throwing, repeating. Scraping sounds play at times with the double stops in the depths.
He changes the rhythmic offsets, but holds the same grooving pace.
The bow bounces on a long note; where did that derive from, did he move his body? He repeats, as if he too would like to feel it once again, or like a miniature ritual, bounces the bow again, longer, rhythmically. Repeats once again.
He throws himself downwards, rough and raw. It sounds like Setesdal, Faremo.
A motif shifts back and forth between two notes, always different intonation each time the same note lands, now a bit high, now higher.
Same slått, four years later. The Rec-button is pushed slowly so that the pitch wrenches through a fast plucking of strings. An unclear voice in the background gives a signal.
‘This is Olav Heggland’. He murmurs, hawks. Hoarse voice, he presents what he will play. Who taught him this slått. What he said, he who taught him this slått. He speaks slowly and waits in between the words. The Faremo had said ‘You will play the slått as I have told. It was the gnomes who had their bridal procession far inside the hills, he said. And when they drove uphill, it was a bit slower. Then you will slow the pace. But when they come up and go downhill, then you will increase the pace. For then it was fast.’
He says once again what the slått is called. ‘I shall try to play it’. Then he leans into a line that is light, seeking, sags and descends tortuously. Deep robust double stop, then slow power ahead.
Holds onto some of the beats, strikes, lifts. The stomping of feet is slower, faster, then slower again, unevenly rolling. A note screeches. Two sudden bow strokes down.