Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Ranarop: Call Of The Sea Witch
Genres: World Music, Classical
Gjallarhorn hail from Ostrobothnia, a culturally Swedish region of Finland. The most immediately evident instrument on this recording is a decidedly non-Nordic didgeridoo. Gjallarhorn are primarily an acoustic group, but t... more »
Gjallarhorn hail from Ostrobothnia, a culturally Swedish region of Finland. The most immediately evident instrument on this recording is a decidedly non-Nordic didgeridoo. Gjallarhorn are primarily an acoustic group, but they have a large, highly produced sound that sweeps the listener away. They sing old ballads and ancient stories, and do it in a stridently contemporary style. Yet this band of contradictions has produced an album of remarkable cohesiveness and creativity. Gjallarhorn are singer and fiddler Jenny Wilhelms; Christopher Öhman on viola, fiddle, mandola, and supporting vocals; percussionist David Lillkvist; and Jacob Frankenhaeuser on didgeridoo. (Frankenhaeuser plays on the recording but was replaced soon after it was made by didg-ist Tommi Mansikka-Aho.) It is the didgeridoo that creates the group's distinctive dark, growling sound. The instrument plays a strong counterpoint to Wilhelms ethereal vocal delivery and supplies a harsh rhythmic element to drive along the strings. Percussionist Lillkvist gives the Swedish rhythms a lot of worldly space. Gjallarhorn's success lies in their ability to take this unique sound and make it serve a marvelous group of mostly traditional songs, letting the ballads breathe and giving the dance tunes fire. Ranarop is a remarkable first recording, from a band that seems set to produce even better. --Louis Gibson
Thengling | 04/12/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I must say that I personally don't own this CD, but I have friends that do. I think it is a beautiful collection of original music. I met this group at WOMAD, and the music is even better live. Songs I particulary enjoyed are "Konugen och trollkvinnen" and "I fjol sa" because of Jenny and Christophers stunning duets and the primal drumming and didgeridoo. This is a wonderfully crafted album, and a must for your CD rack!"
Don't Let the Didgeridoo Throw You
Thengling | La Grange, TX USA | 05/01/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you are in search of truly authentic Scandinavian fiddle styles, look no further. Impeccable bowing and double-stop technique and vocal chanting. An interesting texture is achieved with the odd addition of the didgeridoo, which does not in the least detract from the purity of the well-researched folklore. This album has escaped the sugar-coating of California-New-Age layers that plagues so many other bands in the World Music category. A first-rate work of artistry! By the way, I'd choose this album over the more recent Sjofn."