2008 Workshop Staff
Hardanger Fiddle Teachers
Arngunn Timenes Bell
Arngunn Timenes Bell, from Viksdalen (Gaular) in Sunnfjord, Western Norway, has been playing hardingfele since she was 7 years old. She plays music from her home district, but is also well-versed in music from other districts. She loves dancing, loves to play for dancing, and places great emphasis on good dance rhythm in her playing. Arngunn has studied with Vidar Underseth, Sigmund Eikås and Håkon Høgemo. She is currently a second-year student at the Ole Bull Academy in Voss. She has taught hardingfele at Mokurset, the oldest folk music and dance summer course for young people in Norway, for several years. Arngunn has done very well at local and national folk music competitions and at Landskappleiken, playing solo, in small groups, and since 1997 as leader of the Gaular Spelemannslag. She has performed as far abroad as Malawi in southern Africa, China, and Uzbekistan.
Rebecca Lofft, from San Diego, California, began studying classical violin and viola at an early age. As a young teen, her Norwegian heritage led her to hardingfele workshops in the U.S. She graduated from St. Olaf College with a B.A. in Norwegian and English and a focus on classical viola and hardingfele. Since 2005, Rebecca has been studying hardingfele on a Fulbright grant at University College in Rauland (Høgskolen i Telemark). She expects to receive her Master’s degree this June. Her thesis project explores the relationship between Hallingdal and Valdres fiddle tunes. She currently resides in Hallingdal and studies with Øyvind Brabandt.
Karen Solgård teaches people about hardingfele in concerts, school workshops and residencies, fiddle workshops and private lessons. Karen has been active in the HFAA since its founding and has served as Sound Post editor, vice president, and workshop teacher and coordinator. Karen seeks to revive a family tradition lost after her grandparent's generation and to help rekindle interest in Norwegian folk music and dance traditions in the U.S. in general. Her newest CD, Norse Fiddle in Concert, includes stories, songs and fiddling. She has two other CDs, Norse Fiddle at Home and Norse Fiddle at the Wedding, each with an accompanying music book.
Dan Trueman, composer and violinist, began hardingfele twelve years ago, first learning tunes from an old recording of Anund Roheim. He has studied with Loretta Kelley, Hauk Buen, and Vidar Lande, among others. Dan's most recent accomplishments for the HFAA include curating the AmerikaSlåttar (new music) concert at AmeriKappleik in 2003 and teaching at the 2006 HFAA workshop. Inspired by traditional hardingfele, Dan performs with guitarist Monica Mugan in Trollstilt. The duo released its first CD of original tunes in 2000 and has performed at contemporary and folk music festivals, most notably at Den Norsk Folkemusikkveka in Ål, Hallingdal. Trollstilt has recently expanded and become QQQ, which will release its first CD in the Fall of 2008. Dan teaches composition at Princeton University.
Leikny Aasen and Vidar Underseth
Leikny Aasen and Vidar Underseth, from Ålesund in western Norway, are not only prize-winning dancers but also performers on the hardingfele and regular fiddle. Vidar was born in Solund, an island community in outer Sognefjord. He has won the Landskappleik three times dancing the parhalling, including winning the Kongepokal (King's Trophy) in 1989. He is a full-time musician/dancer, and is one of the most sought-after dance teachers in Western Norway. Vidar has produced an instructional DVD featuring beginning-level teaching of both hardingfele and regular fiddle traditions of his area. Leikny was born in Bergen and began playing hardingfele as a child, focusing on the traditions of Sogn og Fjordane. She has won the district competition in Møre og Romsdal several times, and has been working intensively with old traditional music from Sunnmøre. Together, Vidar and Leikny have placed high in Class A dance at the Landskappleik with the Springar from Solund. Leikny and Vidar have taught and performed in the US on several previous occasions, and they were the featured dance teachers at the HFAA Annual Workshop in 2000.
Kveding (Traditional Singing)
Hege Ravdal, whose Norwegian home is in Morgedal, Telemark, has been deeply involved with Norwegian traditional singing for some time. Hege has taught kveding at the HFAA Annual Workshop for the past three years, and she has written about Norwegian vocal folk music for the HFAA's Sound Post (Summer 2006 issue). She has studied with Olav Sem, Aasmund Nordstoga, and Jon Anders Halvorsen both in the US and in Norway.
Munnharpe (Mouth Harp)
Gideon Morse began playing munnharpe in Hallgrim Berg's workshop at the HFAA’s AmeriKappleik in 2003. He has since participated in every munnharpe workshop offered by the HFAA. In 2007, he traveled to Setesdal, Norway, to learn tunes from Sigurd Brokke and visit munnharpe maker Bjørgulv Straume. Gid plays munnharpe and leads halling antics at Scandinavian dances in New England.