Monday, October 08, 2012

Big band jazz arrangment of Min Kvedarlund with vocalist Kirsten Bråten Berg backed by the Arendal Big Band

An arrangement of the title track of Kirsten Bråten Berg's 1993 CD, Min Kvedarlund ("my grove of traditional songs"). A lund is a grove or garden, and kvedar were traditional singers who specialized in stev, i.e. "a type of monostrophic folk poetry in special metrical patterns sung to traditional and mostly very old tunes" (Nils Grende, A History of Norwegian Music, trans. William H. Halverson and Leland B. Sateren [Lincoln: U of Nebraska Press, 1991]: 74. There! Aren't you glad you know?) I haven't been able to find liner notes, but I think the song is is a composition of Berg's based on at least two stev songs, which are typically very short, consisting of one four-line stanza.

The YouTube clip has a pretty good translation of the title:

Setesdal, Garden of Ancient Songs, Kirsten Bråten Berg/Arendal Big Band. Uploaded by egilso on Oct 12, 2010. KBB performs with ABB in Arendal Kulturhus 14.08.10. Vocals: Kirsten Bråten Berg. Director and arranger: Fred Sturm.

Arendal Big Band's website (in Norwegian) at According to Wikipedia, Arendal is a city of 41,000 on the south coast of Norway. A lot of immigrants on East Coast came from Arendal, "as a great deal of Norwegian sailors, trimmers, shipbuilders and carpenters from Arendal settled in areas of New York such as Brooklyn, the Staten Island neighborhood of Port Richmond, and several industrial centers in Northern New Jersey such as Jersey City, Bayonne, Perth Amboy and Elizabeth." Kirsten Bråten Berg was born in Arendal. She now lives in Stetesdal, an inland area to the northwest.

LATER (July 19, 2015). While I was doing something else, I came across an audio file on YouTube at: of the original CD track, apparently copied from a later compilation called Nordisk Sang (Nordic Song), which is where I first heard it. "Min Kverdarlund" by Ale Møller, Hallvard T. Bjørgum, Kirsten Bråten Berg & Tellef Kvifte. Haunting piece of music.

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