Nykken and Bear CD cover

Nykken and Bear CD coverKari Tauring’s 2013 recording, Nykken and Bear, was supported through a Kickstarter fundraising event –  View Kickstarter Page

“… a collection of folk songs, stories and original poems about the musical water spirit and the shape-shifting Bear.” – Huffington Post

Part of Kari’s Norwegian heritage comes from Nykreim on the Sognefjord, home of the Nykken, a male water spirit haunting the edge of deep water and estuary.  Human women who can sing nature’s songs such as kvad or runo often summon this spirit. Harp and fiddle players who have been granted power by the Nykken can play in trollspel or magic tunings.

The Bear is a favorite fyglia (animal spirit) following Kari all her life. Bear is the slumbering memory of ancient songs. The mountain, Nedbergo in Aurlandsfjord, Sognefjord Norway is the root of Kari’s mitochondrial lineage and a UNESCO world heritage site. This is the bear that follows Kari!

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The CD is 12 Tracks including:

My Original Poems

“Nedberge til Nykkenheim” was written for this project. I live on the edge of a boundary as a Norwegian-American, being at once from here and not from here. This poem is a plea to my ancestors and the very land on which they were born, to guide my process.

Seljefløyte – Willow Flute” was written in 2009 after a workshop with Arna Rennan at the North House Folk School. I was interested in the connection of the overtone flute and toning runes into runos. The flute I made achieved every expectation and I was rewarded with an audience of two white tailed deer.

Beginnings” came from the final pages of the journal I kept while filming Alt for Norge in 2009. My final episode (four) took me to Gudvangen. It was so painful to be in the Næroyfjord knowing that Nedbergo was right around the corner. It was a deep grief and separation that I felt on the night I wrote this poem.

Bjønndans ein Rituel fra Trysil
I first heard about this song from Mads Bøhle whom I met while filming Alt for Norge, Season One at Rudi Gard in 2009. He saw me using staff rhythm and told me of an ancient bear hunt song, dance and ritual that specifically requires staff rhythm. I didn’t see him again until 2011 in Trondheim where he gave me a copy of Martin Myhr’s article (the source of the story). My friend Sonja Lidsheim had performed this ritual song and dance with members of Norway’s Asatru community and helped me with pronunciations and interpretations.

The story is a dramatic telling of one in the Martin Myhr article. I have done the song as call and response with harmonies. I have no idea if they would actually do it this way!


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