Norway is a large country with a sparse population, divided by mountains and fjords. Thus, towns and villages have developed a smorgasbord of dialects, giving each little place a distinctive lingual character. Growing up in the Northern Norwegian region of Salten, Ragnhild Furebotten learned both to speak the Northern tongue and to play fiddle the Northern way. From the day when she decided to become a musician (seated at the kitchen table at the age of six), Ragnhild has sought to build a sound based on these Northern Norwegian musical traditions. Nevertheless, throughout a career comprising a range of musical collaborations, she has developed a distinct musical language – or dialect, if you like.
At the age of 34, Ragnhild has already released seven albums, many of them together with different musical constellations. In her days as a student at the Norwegian Music Academy, she formed the band Majorstuen. Their self-titled debut was awarded the prestigious Spellemann award in 2003 as the year’s best folk music album. Quitting Majorstuen in 2006, Ragnhild has worked with other musicians and influenced different music with her fiddle. Her last album, Never on a Sunday, was recorded with a band comprising six Aerophones!
Ragnhild is conscious of her role as a bearer of traditions. Playing the fiddle, she is not only preserving Norwegian folk music traditions, but also strongly contributing to keeping the Northern folk sound alive. Despite this, she wants to be a musician more than a folk musician, refusing to let the barriers of genre fence in the possibility of unlikely collaborations, new interpretations and musical experimentation.
Tekst: Kristian Krogh-Sørensen