Wooga wooga from Karlskoga

(I was going to call this post “Visit with a heathen,” but I’m going with Mills’s suggestion instead.)

In Karlskoga we got a chance to visit with Anders Norudde, builder and inventor of many violin-related and harpa-related instruments. He’s also well known as a musician, notably with the band Hedningarna (“The Heathens”), and has a certain wild-and-heathen-ish reputation to uphold. But we found him a gracious host: he picked us up at the youth hostel, gave us a tour of his workshop, showed us some of his many projects, and even fed us lunch and drove us to a park afterward.

An instrument he built several years ago was in for some updates: it’s got 4 bowed strings and 8 sympathetics, and a blindfolded angel as its scroll — very interesting to play, with a personality kind of like a hardingfele’s. His current commissioned building project is a viola that is in some ways a copy of a historic Småland fiddle, also with beautiful inlay on fingerboard and tailpiece; I’m not sure we got a count on how many sympathetics it’s destined to have. In the room of earlier projects, I especially admired a hardingfele whose back floral painting includes beetles. The series of instruments inspired by the Mora harpa includes the ones he has electrified for Hedningarna.

If you want someone to invent an instrument for you that involves sympathetic strings, I’ll bet Anders would be game. I’ve already started plotting…

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