Last night was "Frigg: thesis concert 2, or I go and have a fun night out and call it school work, continued." I like Finnish fiddle music, but it's a bit circular I don't always get into it as much as other things. The audience continued to be predominantly young, though I did enjoy seeing a couple of grannies at a close table. And I had friends who saved me a seat. Yay friends.
Starting to read Fiddling For Norway, I was thinking about the changes that folk music underwent in this country since religious movements began to associate fiddling and dancing with sin. Fiddlers either set aside or destroyed their fiddles, or they began disassociating their music from dancing and moving into concert performance. Fiddling for an attentive audience rather than active dancers meant that they could start increasing the artistic flourishes and reflect an understanding of classical training. Without dancers the music got more complicated. So what does the pietist movement in Norway have to do with Finnish fiddles? Well, I'm not as familiar with religious movements in Finland, but it seems logical that if there was such a reactionary sin-hunting movement in Finland there might have been something similar in Finland. I don't know. What I do know is that Finnish folk musicians are trained in a folk department at the Sibelius Academy, Finland's only school for higher education in music. I'm wondering if the virtuoso fiddling of Finland is heavily influenced by this formal education, or how far back the complicated fiddling styles go in Finland.
Less academic: I had an easier time understanding the band this time. For starts, the Finnish guys spoke English. I was rather surprised, as I had expected that they would know Swedish. It is an official language of Finland, and Swedish is close enough to Norwegian that the Norwegian audience would be able to understand it. Perhaps they do know Swedish, but are not as comfortable using it, and as an internationally touring band, it might serve them better to be well versed in English instead of Swedish. I did understand the Finnish that they used too, though it was limited to "Terve, tuolla." and "Kiitos paljon." "Hi there" and "thanks a lot" respectively. There was also a string of curses or some other random muttering that I missed, because I didn't hear it clearly. He was changing a broken string and not really talking to the audience, though to be honest, I probably would not have understood anyway. What did really please me, is that I had an easier time understanding the Norwegian spoken. My friend says that I am getting better at conversing in Norwegian, and she is doubtless correct, but as far as differences between the first show and the second, Harv speaks Swedish.