Thrice over the River


What does the music’s origin mean to the performer? The slåtter and the folk melodies originate from something mythical, mystical, hidden, enigmatic. From behind waterfalls, from a trickling stream, from dreams, from the other side. In the folk tradition, music avoids a human origin. The music belongs to no one and everyone.

«A boy from the farm Malmanger in Rosendal was in the mountains and searched for their horse. But as he came to the plains, he went astray and had to stay over. And tired as he was, he threw himself down and fell asleep. Towards the spring of dawn he woke, and into marvel, as he saw a tempting beauty in his arms. But soon he dreamed on. And when he woke up again, he looked to the side where the girl had lain; only a braid of hair was in his arms. Four years later the boy was to be married. And the procession went along the rough path from Malmanger to the church of Kvinnherad. Then they heard singing and sounding so whistlingly beautiful under the peak of Malmanger; it was such a beautiful bridal slått. The fiddler heard the slått very clearly, too. He learnt the slått and has played it regularly since1


«Lars Hjeltnes was shepherd for cows. As he wandered over a river, a fiddle was sounding around him. He thought it had to be his senses going astray, and he turned to walk there once again. All together he went thrice over the river, but the slått followed him. It was a nymph slått, and later he taught it to a fiddler down in the village2