The instrument I'm playing in the video is called a Nyckelharpa. "Nyckelharpa" means "keyed fiddle" in Swedish. That particular one is on loan to me from the Schumann Collection at Southern Oregon University in Ashland. I have been playing it for almost a year, ever since the Swedish band Vasen came to town, gave a magnificent workshop, and inspired me to take up the instrument. The time has now come for me to purchase one of my own. To do this, I have decided to return to the instrument's homeland.
I am already going to Europe this June to perform a viola recital at the President's Palace in Rome, so, while I'm over there on business:I'm going to take a little side trip to Sweden. The Osterbybruk Festival, held June 13th-15th, is where many of the world's greatest players and most of the greatest makers congregate for a legendary weekend of music-making, dancing, story-telling, and the famous "Nyckelharpa Tasting Session."
I would like to raise $3000 to purchase an EXCELLENT nyckelharpa that I will get to hand-select from several hundred fine instruments. I would also like to raise an additional $400 to cover my travel expenses. I'm not conisdering this a vacation: this is a musical pilgrimage to learn traditional Swedish music directly from the source and to develop a network of connections for future study. The instrument that I hope to purchase will be a lifelong investment that I will use to bring joy to many thousands of people. The sound of a quality nyckelharpa is a self-contained universe of sweetness, mystery, and melancholy that is steeped in many centuries of rich tradition. Reflecting that beauty, several of my prize levels will be field recordings and transcriptions of rare tunes that I glean from the festival.
Thank-you for reading, and stay tuned for more exciting updates, prizes, announcements, and eventually the victory recording on the new nyckelharpa!!!
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