Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Until the Cows Come Home: Gjallarhorn and "iVall (@Ley)"

You might not like the random tune for is a bit to listen to but there is a method in it. Today's tune is from Gjallarhorn. Gjallarhorn was formed in 1994 in a Swedish-speaking portion of Finland and performs world music based in the folk music and traditions of that region. As such, their music tends to be Swedish in nature, but based in acoustic folk music unique to Ostrobothnian area. Gjallorhorn is also known for their use of the hardanger fiddle, an eight or nine string violin (as compared to four strings on a standard violin), and lead singer Jenny Wilhelm's singing technique called kulning, a technique based on Scandinavian cattle herding calls consisting of high pitched wordless tones designed to be heard over long distances. The band's name derives from the name of the horn of the Norse god Heimdallr, who blows the Gjallarhorn signaling the last battle of the Norse gods. This song, iVall (@Ley) is literally cattle calling in improvisation with a pastoral tune. Cattle calls were traditionally used as a signalling system when the cattle were out to pasture in the summertime, and here Gjallarhorn incorporates this into a strange yet compelling tune on their 2006 release Rimfaxe.