Nordic on Tap
Two Folktales in Norwegian and English

Two Folktales in Norwegian and English

July 26, 2022

Have you ever wondered what Norwegian folktales sound like in Norwegian, as they were written in the late 1800s by Asbjørnson and Moe? Join us for this telling of the classic De Tre Bukene Bruse or The Three Billy Boats Gruff and Småguttene Som Traff Trollene i Hedalskogen or The Boys Who Met the Trolls in Hedal Woods, in both Norwegian and English.  We also hear the well-known Scandinavian favorite (song), Pål Sine Høner, played by Seattles Winter Band. Be sure to stop by nordicontap.com to find illustrations that go with the stories and links to where you can read the stories yourself, sample Winter Band favorites, and order the sheet music for Ingela's Waltz (our intro song). Help us make the programs you want to hear by completing our listener survey.

Ruthi Winter and the Winter Band

Ruthi Winter and the Winter Band

July 14, 2022

In 1923, a young Norwegian named Peter Sundness emigrated to the Seattle Area and, after several years, brought his wife and children over too. Pete’s daughter Ruthi Sundness Winter, later born in Seattle, fondly remembers playing Scandinavian music together with her family, a tradition that has continued after marrying Mike Winter, whose own family had a similar tradition. 

The result is the present day Winter Band that plays Scandinavian favorites that celebrate both life in America as well as "back home".  In this podcast you’ll meet Ruthi, and hear about her discovery of writings and tapes made by her father long ago, detailing his adventures as a fisherman, logger, trapper, and whaler -  a life that Ruthi had never known about him. 

Join us as we talk about her father’s dangerous occupations as a young immigrant, about growing up Norwegian-American, and about how music and the stories they convey bind a culture -- and all of us -- together.

The band plays Søstrene Fra Flatholmen Fyr, a song about a daring rescue in 1894 of a shipwreck near Flatholmen Lighthouse near Stavangar, Norway.  Please see this podcast's episode webpage at nordicontap.com for more information about this song, about the band, and audio clips and videos.

Laura Loge: Grieg, Ibsen, and Solveig’s Song

Laura Loge: Grieg, Ibsen, and Solveig’s Song

June 22, 2022

Laura Loge, Nordic operatic soprano.

Edvard Grieg, Norway's greatest composer. 

Henrik Ibsen, Norway's greatest playwright. 

A trio that comes together through Ibsen's play, Peer Gynt, and Grieg's incidental music for that play.  Laura sings the role of Gynt's long and abiding love, Solveig. 

Join us as we learn how Laura first sang Solveig's song at the age of 14, and how this music followed her as she studied Norwegian, Italian, and classical music to become a talented, accomplished classical singer, sharing her love of Greig through concertizing and school outreach.  

In this podcast Laura gives a brief summary of Ibsen's Peer Gynt, originally a hero from Norwegian folklore, who became the basis of Ibsen's anti-hero in his legendary Norwegian play.  We also learn more about Grieg's music in general and the magic and images it creates of the Norwegian landscape, nature, and folklore.

We finish the podcast with Laura's performance of Solveig's song  (from Grieg's Peer Gynt Suite #2)  in 2017.  Check out the episode website for links to more of Laura's recordings, websites, photos etc. at nordicontap.com/laura-loge-grieg-ibsen-and-solveigs-song

Folk Accordions - Birgit and Phil Ages

Folk Accordions - Birgit and Phil Ages

June 4, 2022

Perhaps the most portable instrument in the world that can play almost any musical genre is the accordion. As a “free reed instrument” how does it really work? And there are many kinds including the concertina, torader, and piano accordion.

Join us as we meet Birgit and Phil Ages from the Seattle Area who explain how accordions work, show what a mazurka, hambo, and schottische sound like, and explain how they formed the Folk Voice Band. This popular group plays in annual venues such as Seattle’s Folklife Festival, Naselle’s Finnfest, Leavenworth’s Octoberfest, and the Skandia Midsummer Festival.

Long associated with polkas and the instrument of choice for the Scandinavian-Americans Myron Floren and Stan Boreson, the accordion has become an essential part of the sound in folk music from many different cultures.  Join us!

The Parade Troll

The Parade Troll

May 16, 2022

Every year before the pandemic, the Bothell Sons of Norway lodge members marched in Seattle's 17th of May Parade, as well as Bothell's Fourth of July Parade.  In addition to a Viking ship float and a convertible sports car with the princess waving from the back, is a 7 foot tall, imposing, ugly, but goofy troll.  This elaborate costume was created by Mike Nelson and has delighted parade-goers, especially children, for  years. Then Carl Stavney was invited to inhabit the troll costume and discovered the magic that the costume imparts.  

Join us for the story of how the troll was first envisioned, how it was built, what it's like to skitter back and forth along the parade route to shake hands and give high-fives, and how the Parade Troll has become a beloved part of the Seattle and Bothell parades for over 20 years.  Now in 2022, the troll returns.

We finish with a rousing rendition of the Norwegian national anthem, "Ja, Vi Elsker Dette Landet" in honor of Syttende Mai, or Norwegian Constitution Day, on May 17th every year.

See extras (photos, video) about the troll on our website, The Parade Troll – Nordic on Tap – The Podcast Website.

A Coat Dyed Black and the Norwegian Resistance - Don ”Jerry” Pugnetti Jr.

A Coat Dyed Black and the Norwegian Resistance - Don ”Jerry” Pugnetti Jr.

April 24, 2022

Don "Jerry" Pugnetti Jr, a long-time journalist, has written a fictional account of a Norwegian man and his compatriots who join the Norwegian Resistance during World War II.  Jerry based the book on real stories he collected from his won relatives who were there in the early 1940s, and in the Resistance themselves. In this podcast we interview Jerry about his writing the book and learn about the true events that are mentioned in it.  We finish up with a reinlender called "Holingen", played by the Nordahl Grieg Spelemanslag.

See extra material and links on our website at A Coat Dyed Black and the Norwegian Resistance – Don ”Jerry” Pugnetti Jr. – Nordic on Tap – The Podcast Website.

Elizabeth Person on Maps, Illustration, and Art

Elizabeth Person on Maps, Illustration, and Art

April 3, 2022

Elizabeth Person from Everett, Washington designs and creates infographic illustrations that are right at home on your wall or in your hand, to identify the name of a berry bush, a Washington ferry, an apple variety, or a Washington lighthouse. Her sketches of her adopted town capture the beauty and detail in the commonplace.  Her maps of islands, nations, and mountain ranges go beyond the USA, but are especially focused on the Pacific Northwest.  We like her recipes for Scandinavian-American classics like lefse, krumkake, and kransekake which are as delightful as they are frameable.  Join us, as we meet this talented and generous artist, to learn about her passion, her part in the thriving Everett art scene, and her willingness to share how she has become a successful artist and businesswoman.  Be sure to visit this episode's page to hear more audio from our interview, links to her website, and a video tour of her studio.

Mari Boine - Sami Musician and Ambassador

Mari Boine - Sami Musician and Ambassador

March 10, 2022

It is difficult to talk about the indigenous people of northern Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the Russian Kola Peninsula without talking about the Sami musician and activist, Mari Boine. Born into a strict religious family, where speaking Sami and expressing oneself by traditional singing or joiking was considered "wrong", Boine struggled with being assimilated as a Norwegian and being ashamed of her heritage. Fortunately, she later embraced her heritage and began combining her joiking with other Western styles like pop, jazz, and rock. She has become extremely popular among the Sami as well as loved by audiences around the world.  In her concerts, Boine  talks about Sami culture and the struggles of indigenous peoples.  Join us for this rare interview with Mari Boine, a behind-the-scenes look at who she is and what matters most to her.  We also play a recording of a yoik from a man from Karasjok, Norway.

The Brave Tailor, Danish version

The Brave Tailor, Danish version

February 8, 2022

Join me for a tale of adventure with a very unlikely hero - a little tailor who dreams big but has trouble with the reality of dangerous situations. This Grimm Brothers folktale was collected in Denmark in the late 1800s and features hungry giants, a not so friendly unicorn, and a ferocious wild boar.  Why do the people he meets think he’s heroic material? How does our hero even survive, let alone succeed?  And how do you define success, anyway? 

We also hear a hardanger “quartet” with instruments built by Lynn Berg (see our previous podcast) - with the nearly one-of-a-kind hardanger viola and cello. They play the rousing Ulrik Polka….which has a secret song hidden within it. Can you help us figure out what that is?

Please check out the nordicontap.com website where extra links, photos, and recordings are available for  each of our podcasts.  Take our Listener Survey to help us make what you you’d like to hear. You get two screen backgrounds for mobile or desktop as a reward for completing the survey.

The Hardanger Fiddle: Lynn Berg and Rachel Nesvig

The Hardanger Fiddle: Lynn Berg and Rachel Nesvig

January 3, 2022

The hardanger fiddle (hardingfele) is the national folk instrument of Norway.  What makes this unique instrument different from a standard violin, in construction and sound?  Join me as Lynn Berg, one of the best hardanger fiddle luthiers (violin makers) in the USA, walks us through what it takes to make a fiddle and how he came to be a luthier. Then Rachel Nesvig, the talented and accomplished musician who plays a Berg fiddle,  tells us her story in becoming a freelance hardanger fiddler and much more. Rachel plays the tune "Gamle Erik" for us. Other music in this show includes a tune played by Petter Eide of Sandane, Norway, and the opening measures of Grieg's Morning Mood, which was inspired by the hardanger fiddle. 

Be sure to visit our nordicontap.com website for extras and links about this episode.

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