HjulsjöKUNTERA - the official web site
Hjulsjö - a village, a parish and through centuries a meeting place for musicians who wanted to improve their musical skills.
Hjulsjö is situated in the heart of Bergslagen, an area of rolling hills and lakes in the middle of Sweden that has a grand history of mining and ironmaking. In this lovely and beloved place we live and get inspiration from traditional musical sources, as well as from the pushing global village.
During the second half of the nineteenth century, Hjulsjö was a centre of folk music where musicians - mostly fiddlers - went to improve their skills and to learn new tunes. People sent for musicians from Hjulsjö when they wanted to have really good life music. When he was about twenty years old, the master fiddler August Andersson went to Hjulsjö to develop his talent further. As the story goes, this legendary musician from Bergslagen had such an extensive repertoire that even if a wedding feast would last for as long as three days, he would never play the same tune twice.
In the twenty-first century HjulsjöKUNTERA takes up the old tradition again, with tunes from Hjulsjö and from the neighbouring parishes, though never from further away than where a nice hike along the woods and farmlands would bring you. A Kunt(era) is a rucksack made out of birch bark. The name HjulsjöKUNTERA stems from the old days, and refers to the youngsters from Hjulsjö who made fuss with other youngsters in the area. Living in the world of today, HjulsjöKUNTERA plays traditional tunes, but composes new folk music as well, in which new influences from the world around us are incorporated. For we live in a globalized world, and it feels only natural to be inspired by its cultural diversity. Yet our roots remain firmly grounded in the local folk music tradition.
HjulsjöKUNTERA's members are:
Helena Backius: flutes, djembe, darbuka,
Moroccan bongos, doundoun, percussion and song
Stefan Backius: accordion, lowwhistle, piano,
charango, melodica and song
Michael Friman: doublebass, guitar and song
Örjan Fredriksson: violin, cello, hurdy-gurdy,
doublebass and song
Hans Östman: guitar, violin, viola, mandoline and song