Icelandic Rímur ballads

with Bára Grímsdóttir and Chris Foster

Iceland has a unique form of epic ballads, they were written and performed for hundreds of years, from mediaeval times onwards. In this workshop we will talk about the history and the poetry and music of rímur. We will play archive recordings and of course there will be lots of opportunities for everyone to sing.

Bára Grímsdóttir and Chris Foster live in Reykjavík, Iceland, and they sing and play Icelandic and English folk music. They have both been singing all of their lives and they started working together in 2001, breathing new life into great songs that have been hidden for too long in old recordings and dusty old books and manuscripts. They’ve also added a few new songs to their traditions along the way.
Iceland has a unique and wonderful folk song heritage, but sadly, traditional Icelandic folk music has remained largely hidden from today’s folk and world music audiences. Bára and Chris are trying to bring it into the light for people to enjoy.
In the past, these songs were usually performed unaccompanied. Now, Bára and Chris add accompaniments using the traditional Icelandic langspil and fiðla, guitar, kantele and hammered dulcimer as well as singing.

Bára Grímsdóttir and Chris Foster

Bára Grímsdóttir + Chris Foster = FUNI

Together, Bára and Chris have performed and taught at festivals, concerts, summer schools and on radio and TV around Europe, in the USA and China, as well as throughout Iceland and Britain.
For more information, see FUNI’s website. (FUNI is an old Icelandic word meaning flame.)

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