Folk songs are authentic testimonials of language, culture and tradition. They are so called because they are sung by countless human beings across the world. The simplicity and honesty of this music and the way in which tales are told, is moving. In earlier times folk songs were spread orally: somebody would sing a song and an another would learn it. They were not associated with a particular musician or singer.
The majority of folk songs that we know are around 150 to 250 years old. Many of these songs originated during social upheavals, some through revolutions. When the question is asked, as to who created the lyrics and the melodies of folk songs, there is often no definitive answer. Cultural and regional articulation could be diverse.
Because folk music was passed on by ear and through imitation, it was in a constant process of variation and creation. Variation, new creation, playing by ear, imitation, change, creativity are core elements not only of folk music, but also of jazz and improvised music. So, it is logical that the musicians of the SONIQ Collective, all of them rooted in the cosmopolitan jazz of the 21st century, wish to take up, revive and reinvent folk music traditions in their current project.
At a time when Europe is growing together on the one hand, and nation-state thinking proliferates on the other, it is important to SONIQ that inner-European cultures communicate intensively, exchange ideas in a multilayered manner, speak with one another, sing with one another. To learn another language, or learn songs in another language, means showing empathy and being open to other traditions.
As the most direct means of musical and verbal forms of communication, Soniq and their guests chose the oral tradition for New Folk Songs: selected Norwegian and German folk songs will be learned, memorized, developed further, improvisationally changed and rearranged during rehearsals.
The emotional and content-related messages of the other culture conveyed by the songs are communicated instantly, because the cognitive “obstacles”, usually associated with reading music, are no longer present.
Rehearsals and concerts are planned in Germany during December 2021. In the spring of 2022, more concerts will follow as part of a tour through Norway, probably at the following venues: Victoria, National Jazzscene, Oslo / Cosmopolite, Oslo / Nattjazz Festival, Bergen / Dokkhuset Scene, Trondheim.