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Program 570: Nyckelharpa

KALW Broadcast Date: August 23, 2019 | Host: Randall Wong

On this Music From Other Minds, Randall Wong presents music for the Nyckelharpa. The program features newly composed works for the instrument by composers Matti Paalanen, Lawrence Wilde, Chris Rippey, Rob Bentall, and Chrissie (AKA Christine Caulfield).

The Nyckelharpa is a traditional Swedish bowed string instrument, its name meaning keyed harp or keyed fiddle and its origins can be traced at least as far back as 1350. It’s similar to a hurdy-gurdy in that it has wooden keys, when pressed serve as tangents or frets. It typically has 3 melodies strings and one or more drone strings. Additionally, it has sympathetic strings that aren’t bowed directly. Rather, these strings provide a sort of built in reverb, each string vibrating sympathetically giving the instrument a sort of echoe-y resonance.

Program Audio

30-Second Spot

Track Info & Links

Title:  Nyckelharpa
Composer: Matti Paalanen
Performers: Celestial Aeon Project
Recording Title: Light Years
Record Label: self-released
Catalog Number: n/a


Title: Origins, Distances, Triptych
Composer: Lawrence Wilde
Performers: Lawrence Wilde, nyckelharpa
Recording Title: Pendulum for Nyckeharpa
Record Label: SoundInk
Catalog Number: n/a


Title: The Serpent, Angels and Ravens, Syskelia
Composer: Chris Rippey
Performers: Chris Rippey, nyckelharpa and cello
Recording Title: Tales of the Boatman
Record Label: self-released
Catalog Number: n/a


Title: Music for Nyckelharpa and Electronics
Composer: Rob Bentall
Performers: Rob Bentall, nyckelharpa and electronics
Recording Title: Music for Nyckelharpa and Electronics
Record Label: self-released
Catalog Number: n/a


Title: The Cat Ate my Rondo
Composer: Chrissie (AKA Christine Caulfield
Performers: Chrissie, nyckelharpa and viola d’amore
Recording Title: Ten Sides to Every Story
Record Label: Self Released
Catalog Number:  n/a

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