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Gjermund Larsen Trio confirmed for Womex 2014

By Tomas Lauvland Pettersen Posted: 03. Sep, 2014

One of Norwegian folk music’s most vital acts, the Gjermund Larsen trio confirmed for an off-Womex 2014 showcase slot.

This week, world- /traditional music trade fair/showcase festival Womex confirmed the Gjermund Larsen Trio as an off-Womex showcase act on Oct 25th.

We talked to the prolific fiddler on his upcoming Womex appearance and plans for the next year:

– For the trio, the showcase slot represents a tremendous opportunity to present ourselves for reps from the European festival- and club market, Says Larsen. – Earlier in 2014, we released all of our three albums in Germany, Austria and Switzerland (through Galileo)   and received great feedback from the audience in the territory. We feel that we have a lot to contribute with on the international folk scene, and for us we’ve really struck gold with this chance to showcase our music at the Off-Womex stage.

Says Larsen on the off-Womex showcase repertoire:

– We’ll primarily perform material from our latest album ‘Reise’ (2013), but also revisit the tunes on our previous outings; ‘Ankomst’ (2008) and ‘Aurum’ (2010). We’ll be focusing on writing new material this autumn, but we’re not planning on performing it yet at Womex.

Larsen is prepared for a solid post-Womex workload: – It’ll be vital to follow up on the promoters immediately in the wake of our showcase, says the fiddler and composer. – We might be able to confirm some gigs immediately after the concert, but most likely, we’ll have to focus hard on the promoters and follow them up closely to land any deals.

– We’re also dependent on the support of our record label and Music Norway to attract potential promoters to our showcase. At Womex, there’s a ton of showcases being played simultaneously so much work has to be done promotion-wise ahead of the gig in Santiago de Compostela.

Larsen and his two colleagues are returning to a growing German audience later this year:

– We are set to tour Germany this November, and we’re also planning two blocks of touring in the same territory next year – plans are being made as we speak.

With a solid foundation in traditional Norwegian folk music, fiddler and composer Gjermund Larsen explores other genres and styles through playful and convincing improvisation. His tunes range far and wide, spanning the spectrum from blistering fast passages to songs that almost come to an introspective standstill. At the interception between tradition and innovation, Larsen and his companions represent a veritable cornucopia of genuine musicality.

Gjermund Larsen enjoys a position as one of the most respected and active performers and composers on the contemporary Norwegian folk music scene. The Norwegian State Academy educated fiddler and composer is a member of ensembles Majorstuen, Frigg, Brødrene Larsen, Ragnhild Furebotten trio and Christian Wallumrød ensemble.

The Gjermund Larsen Trio is comprised of Andreas Utnem on pump organ and Sondre Meisfjord on double bass. Their Womex concert features a mix of traditionals and original compositions penned by Larsen; all of which are performed by a trio with total command of the dynamics, interplay and finesse needed to play the delicate and minimalist tunes

Review excerpts:
“…anyone that can write a piece of music as haunting and beautiful as ‘Midnattsang’ has the world at his feet.
Jon Lusk, Songlines

A very fine album indeed from Norwegian fiddler Gjermund Larsen… All his own compositions, they remain distinctively Scandinavian sounding with ringing double-stopping and singing tone, projected with great poise and heart.
Jim Gilchrist, The Scotsman