Media Release: A decade of music, song and dance from around the North Sea

Hal & Nikolaj performing

FOR ten years, Scottish audiences have had the experience of award-winning and emerging artists from Scandinavia and Scotland.

The Northern Streams Festival continues this experience in 2013 with:

• Marit Fält and Rona Wilkie (BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2012) – a Norwegian-Scottish Fiddle/Mandola/Voice Duo who also won a Danny Kyle award at Celtic Connections.

• Irmelin – a trio of Sweden’s foremost folk singers. Eva Rune joins Karin Ericsson Back and Maria Misgeld, who performed as a duo at Northern Streams 2012, to bring again the best of North Sea traditional vocal music to the festival.

• Danish Folk Award winners – Hal Parfitt Murray and Nikolaj Busk, back by popular demand to delight Edinburgh audiences with their mesmerising fiddle, vocals, piano and feet skills.

• the dancing male Danes – ‘3 Men and a Bottle’ return with accompanist, Pia Nygaard.

• the first time attendance of Scottish/Swedish fiddler: Kirsty-Jacqueline Lingard.

“We’re pleased we’ve been able to showcase performers who are often new to Scottish audiences through various workshops, concerts and sessions during the Festival for a number of years now,” says Fiona Campbell, festival co-organiser.

“It gives people an opportunity to learn about the different cultures of our neighbours around the North Sea.”

Based on an initial idea from two young Edinburgh based musicians, the festival is organised by volunteers from the Traditional Music and Song Association (TMSA) Edinburgh & Lothians Branch.

It is also part of the new Tradfest umbrella festival – Edinburgh’s annual showcase of traditional arts, held in the spring of each year (replacing the previous Ceilidh Culture).

This year, Northern Streams will take place 26-27 April 2013 in the Pleasance and Scottish Storytelling Centre in Edinburgh.

Further details on the events taking place and performers are at or on Twitter: @northernstream1 and Facebook: TMSAEdinburghandLothians or tel: 07951 918366.

Notes to Editors:

• Publicity photos of all the performers are available electronically please (Fiona) or 0786 661 1954 (Clare) or email: for them or any other queries.

• Tickets are available from the Scottish Storytelling Centre 0131 556 9579 or or on the door. Weekend ticket £27/£21 (two concerts and three workshops—save up to £14!) Concessions: over 60s, student, unemployed, disabled, Young Scot + TMSA members

• The Festival is and has been supported over the years by bodies such as the Royal Norwegian Consulate General, the Embassy of Sweden, IKEA, the Nancy Massey, Hope Scott and Craignish Trusts.

• Details about the Branch are at: and TMSA Or see the performer information section at the end of this media release.

Listings of events:

Friday 26 April: Songs and Music of the North Sea @ 7.30pm

The Pleasance Cabaret Bar, 60 The Pleasance, Edinburgh EH8 9TJ

Swedish singers, Karin Ericsson Back, Maria Misgeld and Eva Rune, as the group, Irmelin, delight with their a capella virtuosity. Marit Fält and Rona Wilkie (BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2012) are a Norwegian-Scottish Fiddle/Mandola/Voice Duo who also won a Danny Kyle award at Celtic Connections.

Tickets: £10/8.

Sat 27 April: Northern Streams Workshops

Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street, Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 1SR

£7/5 per workshop


1. Danish tunes for melody instruments (Hal Parfitt Murray) OR

2. Norwegian and Gaelic Songs (Marit Fält abd Rona Wilkie)


1. Harmony singing (Irmelin) OR

2. Swedish and Scottish tunes (Kirsty-Jacqueline Lingard)


1. Danish folk dancing (3 Men and a Bottle) OR

2. Harmonising Danish tunes (Nikolaj Busk)

Children’s Singing Workshop 10.30-11.45am

Discover mouth music or ‘diddling’ with Swedish singers, Karin Ericsson Back, Eva Rune and Maria Misgeld – members of Irmelin, the Swedish acapella group performing Friday night. No need to read music or know Swedish! Suitable for all ages. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets £5 per child attending – accompanying adult free.

Sat 27 April: Nordic Dance, Music and Song @ 7.30pm

Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street, Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 1SR

Back to delight Edinburgh audiences with their mesmerising fiddle, vocals, piano and feet skills, Hal Parfitt Murray and Nikolaj Busk (Denmark), are joined on the bill by the amazing dancing male Danes – ‘3 Men and a Bottle’ and their accompanist, Pia Nygaard, as well as Scottish/Swedish fiddler: Kirsty-Jacqueline Lingard. Tickets: £10/8

Northern Streams 2013 – Performers information

Irmelin: Karin Ericsson Back, Eva Rune and Maria Misgeld – singers (Sweden)

Karin Ericsson Back, Maria Misgeld and Eva Rune have been singing together as Irmelin since 1999. With an array of songs from Sweden and the North Sea area, Irmelin’s captivating acapella harmony is instantly recognisable and has earned them accolade from throughout Europe and beyond. Three of Sweden’s foremost folk singers, for over a decade they have worked together in the vocal trio Irmelin and other projects.

The desire to sing and tell stories drives them to constantly develop and renew the vocal folk music tradition of Sweden. In recent years, they have been specifically interested in the British folk music and songs from the North Sea area. Lullabies, hymns, sea shanties blend with mouth diddling tunes and bittersweet love songs. Besides concert performances, Irmelin also run workshops and courses where they teach parts of their repertoire. Usually they teach everything by ear and they are specialised in working with improvised vocal harmonies. Their approach to teaching suits both experienced singers and beginners.

Reviews: “…a sparkling acappella performance.” Rob Adams – The Herald

“…their voices entwining, echoing, overlapping and enchanting in variously honeyed, piquant and always vivacious harmony.” Sue Wilson – The Scotsman

“These three ladies are capable of grabbing any note out of thin air and add harmonies that emulate the experience of floating in the clouds and nail the dissonances that keep you on the edge of your seat, then resolve it all back to a euphoric state. With creation of rhythmic harmonic foundations and answer and question style melodies their voices fill the room with comforting and enjoyable sounds.” Peter Schwingle, New York, Jan 2012

Kirsty Jacqueline Lingard – fiddler (Scotland/Sweden)

A dynamic and sensitive fiddle player, Kirsty plays traditional and self-penned tunes from around Scotland as well as those which explore her family’s Swedish roots. Her music is inspired by her experiences of living and studying both in Scandinavia and the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.

Rona Wilkie and Marit Fält – fiddler, singer, mandola (Scotland/Norway/Sweden)

Rona (BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year 2012) is an exceptional fiddle player and Gaelic singer from the Highlands, with a poised and elegant playing style. Marit is an inventive Låtmandola and cittern player from Norway, of Swedish parents. Capturing both the elegance and raw beauty of Norwegian and Swedish traditional music, this Danny Kyle Award-winning duo also bring a great rhythmic intensity to their approach to Scottish music.

Hal Parfitt Murray: Violin, viola, vocal and Nikolaj Busk: piano, accordion (Denmark/Scotland)

Back at Northern Streams by popular demand, Danish duo Hal Parfitt Murray and Nikolaj Busk create an astonishing musical experience with fiddle, viola, Mandolin, piano, accordion, glockenspiel, vocals and foot tapping. These two young musicians have solid groundings in both Celtic and Scandinavian traditions, but also play their own compositions with an unsurpassed originality and musical presence. Hal and Nikolaj won two Danish Folk Music Awards 2009 as ‘Debut of the Year’ and ‘Composer of the Year’. In 2012 their second album, ‘Music from the edge of the world’ was released.

Hal Parfitt-Murray grew up in Scotland and Australia, and has a solid background in the celtic fiddle tradition. He studied tradtional music at the Carl Nielsen Academy, in Odense, Denmark, and composition at the International Centre for Music Studies at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. In November 2012, he received a Danish Music Award Folk as ‘Vocalist of the Year’. Nikolaj Busk, trained at the Rhythmic Academy in Copenhagen, and grew up on a musical diet of traditional Danish songs, Louis Armstrong and The Beatles, and was later adopted by folk music. He now lives in Stockholm, where he studies composition at The Royal Academy of Music.

Bringing together these backgrounds and cultures creates a repertoire of contrasts and harmonisation. With their understated virtuosity and inventive arrangements, the two musicians make good use of the tools at their disposal, giving their audience a unique musical experience. “It’s unbelievable that two musicians should have achieved such a high standard at so young an age. -******” “Busk goes straight to the top of the international league for piano-drivers” – Andrew Cronshaw, fRoots

Nikolaj was Instrumentalist of the year at Danish Folk Music Award 2008 and has worked with many artists including Natalie Haas and Svøbsk who featured in the 2008 Northern Streams Festival. With Hal, he also was part of ‘One Fine Day’, a group created by Calum Stewart – flute player (Mabon and Manran), including Daniel Carlsson – Swedish saxophonist and Heikki Bourgault – Breton guitarist which has performed at the Blas Festival and Celtic Connections.

3 Men and a Bottle – dancers (Denmark)

These young internationally travelled dancers (Henrik Johansen, Chris Pedersen and Henning Christensen) showcase rare competitive Danish male dances. They are joined by accompanist Pia Nygaard.

They met as part of the Dancing Danes – a group of young people brought together when the Danish Folk Council decided to select a team to represent Denmark at the C.I.O.F.F. World Folkloriada 2000 in Japan. Since then the Dancing Danes travelled around the world to take part in festivals, where to display traditional folkdance and costumes from the 18th and 19th centuries. For examples of the Dancing Danes:

These three male dancers decided to continue their collaboration after an invitation to Northern Streams 2011 to take part in the Male Dance theme – enlisting the aid of Pia to accompany them. We are pleased to invite them back to delight audiences with their mixing of the traditional with modern twists.

Background on the Traditional Music and Song Association (TMSA)

The aim of the Traditional Music and Song Association (TMSA) of Scotland is to promote and develop interest and participation in traditional music. Run on a voluntary basis by local people primarily for local people, the local branches actively promote Scottish traditional music and song by running events, ceilidhs, sessions and workshops. Run by the Edinburgh & Lothians Branch, the Northern Streams Festival has also involved the Glasgow and Borders branches in the past, combining their efforts to bring new cultural experiences to their communities. The Branches are keen to increase involvement and encourage participation in cultural activities – particularly passing on the tradition from one generation to the next. The Branch also works in partnership with other local and national organisations to promote the rich heritage of Scotland’s cultures and those of others. The Edinburgh & Lothians Branch was set up in 2002 and runs the biennial Singers Gathering and Muckle Sing programmes in conjunction with West Lothian Council Arts Services amongst other projects. Details about the Branch are at: and TMSA

Thanks to support from the Embassy of Sweden and the Norwegian Consulate General and Northern Streams is part of Tradfest 2013

The TMSA is registered as a Scottish Charity SCO03819 and a company limited by guarantee No: 199976. Registered Office: The Drill Hall, 30-38 Dalmeny Street, Edinburgh EH6 8RG.

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Contact: Fiona Campbell
Phone: 07951918366