Posted by: Sandy Steinman | March 20, 2011

Botanical Music

With all the precipitation including Friday night’s hailstorm (The biggest one I have seen in the Bay Area.  People were skiing and sledding on Solano Avenue in Albany), it was a good time to for an indoor activity.  Last night I saw the traditional Swedish Group VasenThe botanical connection is Vasen was commissioned to make the music for the celebration of Carl Linnaeus’s 300th birthday in 1998.  Carl Linnaeus (May 23, 1707 – January 10, 1778 was a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, who is known as the father of modern taxonomy, and is also considered one of the fathers of modern ecology. (Wikipedia)  Using music from an 18th century music machine that belonged to Linneaus, They both recorded and wrote music of Linnaeus’s era.

Vasen play traditional Swedish music including an instrument called the nyckelharpa.  The nyckelharpa is a traditional Swedish instrument that looks somewhat like a fiddle but actually predates it and is related to the hurdy gurdy (both the nyckeharpa and hurdy gurdy use key-acutated tangents to change the pitch).  At the Vasen myspace page you can check out some of their music from the age of Linnaeus.  You can find more about the group at their home page: Vasen

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