Wild harmony of the northern fjords by Nils Økland and Hardanger fiddle
Nils Økland is an innovative violinist and composer from Norway, instantly recognizable for his extensive use of the Hardanger fiddle in his music.
As both instrumentalist and composer, he interlaces elements of classical, contemporary, and jazz music with traditional Norwegian expressions, finding common traits and not least common expressive mindsets across genres and time periods.
Økland belongs to the category of musicians who have come to represent an individual sound and a musical sensibility that is completely their own.
Listen to the ambient Månelyst from his 2000 Straum album, rich with the distinctive sound of the Hardanger fiddle:
The Hardanger fiddle is a traditional stringed instrument used originally in Norwegian folk music. In modern designs, this type of fiddle is very similar to the violin, though with bodies of much thinner wood and eight or nine strings instead of four. Four of the strings are strung and played like a violin, while the rest, aptly named understrings or sympathetic strings, resonate under the influence of the other four.
Listen to Drome from 2017 Lysning album by Nils Økland on SoundCloud.