Väsen

Väsen

BandWorldAcoustic

Never before has Swedish folk music swung with such intensity. Traditional music with a modern attitude. Tremendous individual musicians taking ensemble playing to new heights. Acoustic instruments with power and emotion. Nyckelharpa, viola and guitar. Three heads from one body. This is Väsen

Biography

Never before has Swedish folk music swung with such intensity. Traditional music with a modern attitude. Tremendous individual musicians taking ensemble playing to new heights. Acoustic instruments with power and emotion. Nyckelharpa, viola and guitar. Dense, complex arrangements with one foot firmly planted in the Swedish fiddle tradition, and the other in new acoustic music. Three heads from one body. This is Väsen

Väsen was started in 1989 by three extraordinary Swedish musicians who shared a love for the traditional music of their home district of Uppland. Their combination of instruments and approach to arranging were unique, and the trio quickly developed a loyal following. Before long they were performing throughout Scandinavia, then on to the rest of Europe. By 1996 they had added a percussionist and were mostly performing original compositions, touring throughout the world. Since 2001 the band has returned to the trio format, released two new studio recordings and a live album ( largely featuring new, original compositions) and toured extensively in the U.S. and Japan. 2007 André Ferrari was back with the band for their latest CD Linnaeus Väsen and since then regularly play gigs with Väsen again

A number of things set Väsen apart from other acoustic bands. Their musical interplay is phenomenal; a combination of structure and improvisation that makes every performance unique. Their sense of humour also draws the audience in to the live experience. This combination of virtuosic talent and pure joy endears them to audiences everywhere.

Olov Johansson - nyckelharpa
In 1990, Olov became the first world champion of the nyckelharpa. He began to play the nyckelharpa in 1980 as a fourteen-year old, and was named a 'riksspelman' (master musician) in 1984. Olov has studied with the legendary Curt Tallroth and Erik Sahlström, and is presently a teacher at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. He is regarded as one of Sweden's most prominent nyckelharpa players, and is an inspiration for numerous young performers on the instrument.

Apart from his association with Väsen, Olov has also played with groups such as Kronos Quartet, Nordman, Trio Con X, as well as solo performances. He has recorded with the chart-topping Swedish rock group Nordman, and has played on the albums Early Music (with Kronos Quartet), Till Eric (with the Nyckelharpa Orchestra), and his solo project, Storsvarten (released on NorthSide).

Mikael Marin – viola
Beyond his work with Väsen, Mikael Marin has worked consistently as a freelance musician since 1988. He has worked with other Swedish folk ensembles, such as Rotvälta, the Höök Ensemble, Rosenberg 7, Breda Bardo, and a new string orchestra called Bowing 9, as well as collaborations with such musicians as Annbjörg Lien, Lena Willemark and Palle Danielsson.
Mikael also works extensively in the classical realm, and is currently an active member of the Stockholm Baroque Ensemble. He teaches at Sweden’s leading folk music university, the Kungliga Musikhögskolan in Stockholm. And over the years he has frequently been called upon for string arrangements for what he calls “more or less interesting” pop music.

Roger Tallroth – guitar
Roger Tallroth was one of the first folk-guitar players in Nordic tradition, and he remains one of the most unique. He studied at the music university, Örebro Musikhögskola, from 1984 to 1988, and afterwards developed his own style of guitar playing and tuning, mainly in Väsen. With his powerful and rhythmic playing, Roger has been an inspiration for many upcoming young guitar-players throughout Scandinavia. His teaching at various music universities in Sweden has also had a great impact, particularly on the arrangement techniques used in traditional music for many of the bands that have followed. Roger’s sound is characterized by his own way of tuning and voicing his 12-stringed guitar.

Discography

Discography:
1990 Olov Johansson: Väsen Drone (Sweden) DROCD001
1992 Vilda Väsen Drone (Sweden) DROCD004
1994 Essence Auvidis Ethnic (France) B6787
1995 Levande Väsen Drone (Sweden) DROCD009
1997 Spirit compilation, NorthSide NSD 6004
1997 Världens Väsen / Whirled Xource/MNW (Sweden) XOUCD118, NorthSide (US) NSD 6006
1999 Gront Xource/MNW (Sweden) XOUCD126, NorthSide (US) NSD 6041
2001 Live at the Nordic Roots Festival NorthSide NSD 6065
2003 Trio NorthSide NSD 6077
2004 Keyed Up Northside NS6080
2005 Väsen live in Japan Northside NSD6087
2007 Linnaeus Väsen Northside NSD 6093

Set List

For ex.
Björkbergspolskan
Hasse A's
Väsen Street
Linnaeus Polones
Linnaeus Långdans
Tiliander Minuets
Bromanders 100-year polska
Johsefins wals
Yoko
Kapten Kapsyl

We always do the setlist right before every concert and we normally do one set 60 minutes or two sets 45 + 45 minutes.