Furudal – Furudals bruk spelmansstämma

The weekend festivities began with a Friday night concert in the Ore kyrka: the Malung spelmanslag and the Eiwor Kjellberg band. Then many of us repaired to the bruk for a large yet still quite nice jam session, which I failed to photograph at all, but from which I do have some potentially useful recordings. (On my phone, since the thing I forgot to do in Rättvik was acquire batteries.)

There’s a charming little hostel, just four bedrooms plus common space, above the museum that’s down the road from the bruk. The owner offered special musicians’ rates for the occasion, and there were so few takers that he still had room for me when I discovered at the last second that I didn’t have a reservation after all. Again Ursula and I had an entire four-bed room to ourselves — in a nice dark room with no outside windows, so we had a very restful morning.

Saturday began in glorious-sunny-day mode, perfect for a bit of wandering about. The schedule offered a blacksmithing demo, though it was a good several notches less formal than that sounds. In the afternoon Jonny Soling offered a two-hour free workshop, the first half an engaging lecture about his own musical career and his teachers, the second half a fiddle workshop centered around practice techniques. Then most of us fiddlers trooped outside for allspel practice (the skies let loose midway through; fortunately we were under a tent).

It felt like the event really kicked off in the evening — that’s when the bulk of the attendees turned up. The opening act for the evening concert was Fällmans ukelele orchestra (Fällman is also the blacksmith), then the main show was Pers Hans & Pers Alexander. For the rest of the night the main hall had a full lineup of groups playing for dancing, and although the dance floor seemed a little sparse, it was quite nice dancing. Best half-hour-straight of Bodapolska ever! Reportedly there was another smaller venue just down the hill, but I never made it down there, since I was nice and dry where I was.

Just when I was switching over into “it must be time to play for a while” mode, Stefhan was doing the same thing. He invited me outside to play with him and a couple of his old friends, and I felt honored to be included. Then suddenly it was quite late, and ‘most everyone had the sense to start packing up. I joined the late-night session for a bit, mostly listened to a lot of complicated Dala tunes I’d never heard before, though some were starting to sound familiar from the previous night. Plenty of new recordings to work with!

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