These fiddlers are fond of labelling themselves the “hottest” Norwegian folk group presently around.
|Listen to excerpts from Majorstuen's 2005 album 'Jorun Jogga'|
|Listen to and download Majorstuen releases here|
A grand claim perhaps, but with ample justification, we must concede. For both as an ensemble and individually, these six have harvested innumerable awards, honours and commissions during the three years since their record debut. Winning the Norwegian Grammy for that release was a triumph, as was the equally prestigious victory in the Norwegian Concert Institute’s Intro competition last year, which made them “folk musicians of the year,” 2005.
Their latest record was released in 2004 and received very favourable reviews across the line. And one indication of Majorstuen’s special status is the interest they draw from outside the folk-music establishment. Despite their essentially conservative musical foundations they have managed to procure the attention of the mainstream media where they have been met with thrilled acclaim.
One reason for this is that they manage to appear as innovative and fresh within the paradigm of what they themselves denote “hardcore fiddle music.” Their records are not genre-merging crossover experiments and do not feature infused sonic elements or studio sorcery; rather, they manage to allow diverse sources of influence and inspiration to play out in the fiddle music itself. This, one must gather, is a sign and a function of their impressive musicality and the thorough education they all share. It is obviously a different task altogether to incorporate alien elements into a conservative expression, than simply including such external elements in the studio production.
Their 2004 record Jorun Jogga was praised exactly for this; a distinctly urban feel, and zeitgeisty references subtly in place in the “hardcore fiddling”.
Majorstuen are also renowned for vivid, fresh and entertaining live shows, in the best tradition of the absorbing, and at times wild, folk-fiddlers of old.
After touring extensively in Norway, as well as doing select appearances abroad
-some under the aegis of the Norwegian state department- Majorstuen are now back in the studio. They are working on a Christmas record, due to be released in November. Thanks to their stellar reputation they have had no problem in getting some great names to contribute on the record, most importantly some of Norway’s finest folk singers.
As usual with Majorstuen the process seems to be moving along in excellent spirits. With many laughs and great expectations.