Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Gjallarhorn features world music that is firmly rooted in the Swedish folk music of Finland, as well as the Norwegian and the Swedish traditions. Its talented performers offer the listener a personal, punchy, and yet nuanced, sound-world which rings to the echoes of the ancient Scandinavian folk traditions.
What a great band, I frequently have their music rolling for some ambient sounds while I'm writing, which is quite often. One of things I really admire about Gjallarhorn aside from their great sound, is the stories they tell in their songs. Hymn, as the story goes was a preserved form of church song, exported by a group of Swedish speaking peoples that lived on some islands near Estonia in the 1780's. For whatever political reasons, they were deported by the queen of Sweden to the Ukraine. The entire population forced to walk for one year with half of them dying in the process. Their fate really sort of reminded me in a way, of the Trail Of Tears, as we know to be one of the well documented cases of forced relocations of the Native Americans by the U.S. government in the 1800's. It's really quite amazing that these people managed to save some of their traditions and have their story retold and performed today by Jenny Wilhelms and Gjallarhorn.