Kari 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
Kari’s great grandfather was a Nykreim – home of the Nykken,
The Nykken in Norwegian tradition is a male water spirit that haunts the edges of deep water and estuary. This spirit can hear the nature poet songs – kvad or runo – and try to take them into the water to live. Harp and fiddle players who have come to the shoreline to battle nature magic with the Nykken use trollspel or magic tunings. Sometimes their songs lift the women poet singers up out of the water!
The Bear is a fyglia (animal spirit) that has followed Kari all her life. From her Minnesota Black Bear encounters to the folk songs of Bear as shape shifters, to the hump back of the mountains around her mother-mountain, Nedbergo. (The root Kari’s mitochondrial lineage and a UNESCO world heritage site). It is the sleeping winter of ancient memory that wakes to remind us of nature’s power over human desire that follows Kari.
12 Tracks including:
“Nedberge til Nykkenheim” was written for this project. As a magic poet woman, I am paying homage to my deep listening ancestors whose music flows through me. I’m acknowledging that I am a creature like the Nykken, from here and not here, as a Norwegian-American, as a settler on stolen land, as a “christo heathen”…
“Seljefløyte – Willow Flute” manifest 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!