Dreamers’ Circus trio to share reimagined Nordic folk music April 3 at Schwab

March 04, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK—Dreamers’ Circus, a trio that draws inspiration from the traditions of Nordic folk songs and morphs them into novel and enticing soundscapes, will make its Penn State premiere in concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, in Schwab Auditorium.

In 2009, violinist Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen (also a member of Danish String Quartet) and Ale Carr, who plays the Nordic cittern, were in a Copenhagen, Denmark, pub jamming together on some folk tunes. In came Nikolaj Busk, who sat down at the piano and began playing along. The three wound up performing together all night, and Dreamers’ Circus was born.

The musicians display inventiveness in their approach to music from Denmark, Sweden and Iceland—plus the far reaches of Greenland and the Faroe Islands.

The trio’s third album, 2018’s “Rooftop Sessions,” is the ensemble’s first recording released outside of Denmark.

“Between them, Swede Ale Carr and Danes Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen and Nikolaj Busk play a music shopful of instruments, including cittern, violin, accordion, piano, harmonium and the zither-like kokle, and they draw on their native folk traditions to create music that is haunting, gently mysterious, gorgeously atmospheric and always superbly considered,” wrote critic Rob Adams in his review of “Rooftop Sessions” for the Scottish newspaper The Herald.

“The opening ‘City Gardens’ paints a vivid scene by stealth, with Sørensen’s violin initially cutting a lonely figure before the others’ cittern and accordion arrive with the lightest of touches, and the collectively written ‘Rooftop Sessions Part I and II’ are almost symphonic with a simple melody corkscrewing off into the distance,” Adams wrote. “Busk’s ‘Then We Waltzed’ lives up to its name and Carr’s ‘Mormor’ dances charmingly between Nordic and oriental leanings before ‘Afterwards’ keening reflection has the listener’s index finger hovering over ‘replay.’”

The trio, making its North American debut on this tour, has won five Danish Folk Music Awards for its previous two albums and has toured across Europe, Japan and Australia.

“… ‘Rooftop Sessions’ sees the band enjoy a worldwide release at last,” wrote Neil McFadyen of the website FolkRadio.co.uk. “The album itself matches this extending of their horizons, with a collection of self-written instrumental pieces that move a few degrees more towards the conceptual; in a series of intricate musical narratives on the spaces that provide respite from an ever more demanding and fast-paced world.”

For more information, visit Center for the Performing Arts online or call 814-863-0255.

Eileen Leibowitz sponsors the presentation.

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  • Three musicians stand on stage and play their instruments to an audience.

    Dreamer's Circus performs at Roskilde Festival 2015. The trio, which adds its own touch to Nordic styles of folk music, will make its North American debut with this tour.

    IMAGE: Kristoffer Juel Poulsen

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 04, 2019