Five young Swedish girls playing fiddle in the traditional Swedish way - Plommon are one example how lively and young the current traditional Swedish Music scene is.
The five girls have a lovely fresh and witty performance, they know how to present their traditions to their audience. All five know to play fiddle, but Plommon has also a range of other instruments in their luggage. And all five have beautiful voices, and they know to create great harmonies. Their repertoire is based on traditional Swedish Music, but they have influences and songs and tunes also from other countries.
So is this typical for Swedish Music - five young girls playing together? "Like twenty years ago - I mean the famous persons are mostly men", says Klara RosÚn. "But now there are also new groups with lots of women, maybe it's today just as many women as men who play folk music. But it's not that usual that five young girls play together. But it's starting to come more."
( Ian Carr and Karen Tweed, photo by The Mollis)
The Swedish traditional music scene seems to be very healthy at the moment, with lots of young people playing. When we talked with the English duo Ian Carr and Karen Tweed, who form half of the Swedish/English Band Swåp, they stated that "it always seems that Sweden has more and more young people playing music. There's lots of music courses in traditional music, there's a real academic interest in it there. I mean - maybe this is wrong - but it does seem very energetic there, doesn't it? People are very enthusiastic about it, everybody plays fiddle." - "The other thing is that when you go to a folk festival to perform there, the average age group is much younger than in a British folk festival. And they don't get a great deal of support from the media in Sweden. In Sweden you have got a lot of young people, they know how to dance traditionally, most of them can sing, play an instrument, whatever. It's a great thing if you are on stage and the majority of the audience is under 30 of age."
And it's also great when you sit in the audience, and all of the musicians on stage are under 20 years of age - and all members of Plommon are under twenty years old. When the band started, Klara was just 12 - and they did already concerts in Sweden then. The girls had met on a course at a camp in Southern Sweden where they played all together. "We went to this camp for folk music since we were kids. And then six years ago we decided to start this group because we really liked to play together." In the band are Maria Persson (fiddle, singing, recorder), the sisters Klara (fiddle, tramporgan, singing), Frida (fiddle, singing) and Sanna RosÚn (fiddle, alt-fiddle) and finally Ingeborg Svenennius (fiddle, singing, clarinett).
Just one of the Plommons - Maria - has a traditional background; her father sings a lot and plays folk music. "But in our families was no folk music. Our father or our mother took us to those camps when we were like six or seven years, and since then we did play the folk music." These camps are an important part in the Swedish scene music. "And then we have been to - it's called Spelmansstaemmer - all over Sweden people who play folk music gather to play together. You learn tunes there and you play with different folk musicians, and you pick up songs and you advance. I still today go to these gatherings to learn new stuff and play together."
The girls also went to the music school to learn to play classical music; it's just been in their free time that they were starting folk music. Today Maria studies music - the flute on the university, while the others are studying something else. The music and the touring is just in their free time.
Theirs tours have brought them already to a folk festival in Slovakia three years ago and already in 1992 to Denmark. They went to Germany the first time two years ago to teach Swedish folk music on a camp; and this summer they have been on a successful German tour. In Sweden they do regularly concerts as well as being teachers on folk camps. But, as Klara says, "I wouldn't call us professional."
For Plommon's future, Klara would dearly like to go to the States to make a try to tour there. She hopes that next year they will be coming back to Germany, or maybe Italy or Austria also, if they can arrange a tour. "And we are trying to do our own stuff, now we have just been playing traditional music, so it would be great to do our own stuff."
The future should look bright for these five talented girls as well as for the traditional music of Sweden...
Plommon's latest album - their first CD after a Cassette-only release - is highly recommended to all friends of Scandinavian music. For the CD as well as for booking, you can contact:
Back to the content of FolkWorld Articles
To the content of FolkWorld online magazine
All material published in FolkWorld is © The Author via FolkWorld. Storage for private use is allowed and welcome. Reviews and extracts of up to 200 words may be freely quoted and reproduced, if source and author are acknowledged. For any other reproduction please ask the Editors for permission.