Friday, March 25, 2011

Music for changing seasons: Helene Blum

Unsettled weather often comes with this time at the edge of seasons. For music to go along with these times, one of my choices is the album Liden Sol, from Helene Blum.

It at first seems rather a winter facing selection of songs, with titles which translate (Blum sings in Danish) as Frozen to the Bone and It is white outside. Do not let that deter you from listening. however. Blum has woven a quietly gorgeous tapestry which includes strands of Danish traditional folk song with contemporary work and her own writing. The title track, for example, in a contemplative and sparely arranged song in which Blum sets a nineteenth century Christmas season text to a tune of her own devising.

helene blum coverBlum is well qualified to do that sort of thing: she is the first singer to graduate from the folk program at the Carl Nielsen Academy of Music in Denmark, and from an early age she has been an accomplished guitarist and fiddle player as well. Her debut album in 2005 won a top award in Denmark, and her Christmas concert tours are well received throughout Europe. Among her festival appearances are Celtic Colours on Cape Breton and Celtic Connections in Glasgow.

At the heart of it all, though, lies her thoughtful song choice and her inviting voice. Whether you understand the Danish language or not, Liden Sol makes fine listening wherever the seasons may find you at present.

To have an idea of what Blum’s work is like, follow this link to hear an excerpt from the song Glade Jul from one of Blum’s Christmas albums. I think you may recognize the melody.

you may also wish to see
Music Road: from Denmark: Helene Blum
Music Road: Julie Fowlis:Uam
Music Road: from Donegal: T with the Maggies

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posted by Kerry Dexter at


Anonymous Melanie Haiken said...

I love that you go so far afield in your search for meaningful music! I would never think to pick this up in a record store, but it's lovely.

4:08 PM  

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