Hurdy Gurdy


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The idea of an album using two hurdy-gurdys -- the ancient cranked fiddles that were called the medieval synthesizers -- seems straightforward enough. But in the hands of Garmarna's Stefan Brisland-Ferner and Hedningarna's Totte Mattsson, it becomes a whole different ball game. They've been performing live together for a few years, but in the studio they decided to make an electronic album that was just hurdy-gurdy -- meaning every single sound and note came from the instrument. They put it all on computer and began to slice and dice. The result is something that truly combines the ancient and modern, from the urgent rhythms that propel "Delirium" to the mournful melodies of each piece. Most of the material is traditional, but you'd be hard-pressed to tell in this setting. It's a masterpiece of the imagination to even conceive of this, let alone execute it so perfectly. It might be out of left field, but it's curiously mainstream. Together, they reinvent the hurdy-gurdy for a new age. This isn't a prototype at all; it's the finished article

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