Furor Musicus


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Fidelkråm’s first CD, Stink im August is available now!
Stink im August toelichting PDF

Fidelkråm Polnischer Furtz

Fidelkråm Todeskreis

Fidelkråm Dzengo B.

Fidelkråm Fummeln

Polleke Saytenkratzer, Räuber Kneiszl and Grommer Imbergen recorded some typical Kŕaʐian wedding, funeral and party songs, such as Polnischer Furtz und Ro der Paprika, Pollekepolka, Der Loddel, Béla B., Fråtzentanz, Todeskreis, Omi Krohn‘s Kuchen, Dźengo B., Fummeln mit dem Sorbischen Dings, Polnische Tomate oder Wurst, Stink im August & Polkapik und dazu das gelbe Stückchen, all performed in the free style that is so characteristic for Kŕaʐian folk music.
The title is stamped on the cover manually, so every cover is unique. You can order this CD for 22,50,- (shipping within the Netherlands included) by sending an email to fidelkram.polabia@yahoo.com .

Fidelkråm’s musicians Polleke Saytenqråtszer (Handfidels) and Räuber Kneißl (Grobfiddl), sometimes complemented by Grommer Imbergen on the Bumfiedl, grew up together in Kŕaʐ , a Polabian village. Over the centuries, complex political and social developments in Polabia have triggered intriguing cultural changes, resulting in a unique mixture of styles and traditions that can only be described as ‘Kŕaʐisch’. Traditions are dynamic, constantly shifting phenomena; they are the result of people imitating what the predecessors of their predecessors’ predecessors have been imitating. Every imitation, every repetition even, brings change. The process of transformation has been fuelled by multiple political and social changes over time.

Traditionally, music was seen as one of the most important crafts in Kŕaʐ , as it gives purpose to all the crafts that are purely necessary for survival, but don’t appease the hunger of body and soul in other respects. The members of Fidelkråm learnt all the requisite skills from the local steel bender, the cook of the inn, the beautiful wife of the knife grinder and the handsome son of the sheep shearer and, through them, from all their predecessors. Today, Fidelkråm is just another step in a long and lively Kŕaʐian musical tradition.

The name Fidelkråm (‘fiddle junk’) is the term used in Kŕaʐ to refer to the many varieties of fiddles used there. The ensemble plays on simply made stringed instruments from the region which were already in use in Kŕaʐ during the 17th century. The instrument are often ornamented with the typical Kŕaʐian dots. fiddlehead

The instruments are strung with plain gut strings made from the intestines of a small brown bear inhabiting this area. The handcrafted strings are manufactured only once a year. Traditionally, the Kŕaʐers start hunting after Christmas in order to prepare for the New Year’s festive meal. The main dish on this day is a stew made of the meat of this bear. These animals are easy to catch in winter as they are in hibernation. The strings are very tough and have a very particular, grainy sound. The bows are made of local wood, while the horsehair comes from the local nags.

Freedom of tempo and frequent use of rubato are very typical features of the local musical style in Kŕaʐ, where it is part of the musical tradition to challenge the dancers and push their abilities to the limit. It is even a local manner of settling minor disputes between people or bringing them together in any other way. The musicians traditionally earn the most lucrative fees when their ‘mediation’ turns out to be successful.

All musicians from this region play using a very individual technique and personal ornaments, with many even tuning their instruments in their own unique way. The pitch is usually not standardised, just the pitch of the day.

Fidelkråm Stink im August
Fidelkråm Stink im August
Fidelkråm interrupting Furor Musicus
Fidelkråm interrupting Furor Musicus

© Jean Michel Bale