Wednesday, June 09, 2010

from Denmark: Helene Blum

Helene Blum sings in an expressive soprano, taking ideas and melodies of her native land into contemporary song and shedding light on music from Danish tradition. Her solo album En Gang og Altid is a fine showcase for both these things, whether or not you speak Danish. She has an excellent Christmas album out as well.

So what is Danish folk music? As Denmark is both harbour and crossroads, geographically, so it is musically. Germany, Sweden, Finland, Norway, France, and the Celtic lands all come in as influencers, and in many ways Danish folk music stirs all that into its own sound, a sound Blum has been exploring since childhood, when she first took up the violin. Singing called to her as time passed, though, and she became the first vocalist to receive a diploma from the folk music program at Denmark’s renown Carl Nielsen Academy. She tours and teaches internationally, and has appeared at the Celtic Colours Festival on Cape Breton and Celtic Connections in Glasgow, among other places.

En Gang og Altid (the title translates to English as Once and Forever) is a lovely musical journey -- and there’s an Irish twist to it as well, with Armagh native Brian Finnegan sitting in on flutes for the opening song, Vil som du jeg, and several other tracks as well. Harald Haugaard, who co wrote a number of the tunes, supports on fiddle and other instruments, and with Blum co produced the tasteful arrangements of fiddle, cello, flute, guitar and occasional horns which back her voice.

Are you following the World Cup? Denmark has a team in the running. No football commentary forthcoming here along the music road, but as soccer fever rages over the next weeks, from time to time music and musicians from countries with teams at the World Cup matches in South Africa will come in for comment to add to your enjoyment of the sport.

you may also wish to see
Music Road: Three Fiddle CDs for Fall

Music Road: photographing music: Celtic Colours.

Music Road: Patty Larkin: 25

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


Anonymous jessiev said...

this sounds lovely - i hadn't heard of her!

12:21 PM  

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