Media Release: Festival continues to cross the traditions this year


CROSSINGS between old and new, different traditions and countries continue to feature in the Northern Streams Festival 2015, with performers from Scotland (Orkney and Fife), Norway, Denmark and Sweden.

One of Europe’s oldest instruments, the bowed lyre, crossed with the Vikings over the North Sea – even over to Canada.

Archaeologist, Simon Chadwick, who now unearths musical treasures, has created a replica and uses music and song to chart its journey.

He also tells the stories of Scottish Princess Margaret travelling to Trondheim for a royal wedding and the ‘Maid of Norway’, crossing over the North Sea to Scotland.

Fiona Driver and Graham Simpson, a duo from Orkney, cross old and new with a repertoire from the Northern Isles and Scandinavia with Fiona’s own award-winning compositions.

Fjärin, three young musicians from Denmark and Sweden, cross between the contemporary, Celtic and Scandinavian traditions to create new tunes inspired by all three.

The trio, Oleman, cross between the Swedish – Norwegian border and the West Coast of Norway.

And one of the Festival workshops explores the links between Scotland and Scandinavia through dance.

Fiona Campbell, Festival co-organiser, said: “We think this is an exciting, diverse programme of crossings and contrasts that will challenge and delight those who choose to journey with us through time and geography.

“And again we are pleased to be able to bring new performers who will be new to many people in Scotland and festival participants who come from further afield.”

The Festival programme includes workshops for children and adults, from beginner to intermediate levels, on the Bowed Lyre; Orkney tunes; Swedish songs; Norwegian, Swedish and Danish tunes – old and new; and Scottish and Scandinavian folk dances.

There is also a sharing session and two evening concerts – all again at its new home venue, the Grassmarket Centre, a community social enterprise which helps build skills and confidence in people.

Northern Streams is organised by the Traditional Music and Song Association (TMSA) Edinburgh & Lothians Branch. Details about the Branch at: and TMSA –

For details & to book: visit; email:; tel: 0795 191 8366 or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Notes to Editors and Listing Details

* Publicity photos of all the performers are available electronically please tel: 07951 918366 (Fiona) or email: for them or any other queries.

* Further details on the events taking place and performers (including weblinks) are at or on Twitter: @northernstream1 and Facebook:

* Throughout the years Northern Streams has showcased performers often new to Scottish audiences, offering opportunities to learn about different cultures around the North Sea through a mix of concerts and workshops.

* We are again at our new festival venue, the Grassmarket Centre, is the home of the Grassmarket Community Project — a social enterprise helping many people in the city gain new skills and confidence, with profits used to create new opportunities and activities. A café/bar is available at venue plus plenty of other options available locally.

* The TMSA is registered as a Scottish Charity SCO03819 and a company limited by guarantee No: 199976. Registered Office: 54 Manor Place, Edinburgh EH3 7EH.

Programme and Listing Information

All events take place at the Grassmarket Centre, 86 Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh EH1 2QA

Friday 24 April: Evening Concert @ 7.30pm Tickets: £10/8

Simon Chadwick (Scotland)

Simon will take us, through storytelling and music, on a journey following Princess Margaret’s trip to Trondheim for a royal wedding, and back with ‘the Maid of Norway’ bound for Scotland’s shore. He will also give us a taste of the bowed lyre, which used to be played all over Northern Europe, including Sweden, Norway, Shetland and Iceland – connecting the different traditions and bringing back to life the times when the Vikings travelled between Scandinavia and Scotland and beyond.

Fjärin (Denmark/Sweden)

Fjärin is Kasper Ejlerskov Leonhardt (Guitar/Bouzouki/Mandolin); Johannes Vaht (Double Bass) (Fiddle) and Søren Stensby Hansen (fiddle) – a Copenhagen based folk trio playing their own tunes, inspired by the music from both Celtic and Scandinavian traditions.

Søren, Johannes and Kasper met at the Music Conservatory in Copenhagen where they were studying contemporary music; but all three of them were drawn by the sound of traditional folk music, as they find it liberating and unpretentious and, for them, it creates a direct relationship with the audience.

Their albums cover their love for the beauty of Nordic melancholia and the search for new ways of combining different genres and traditions.

Sat 25 April: Northern Streams Workshops Tickets: £7.50/5.50 per workshop

Choose one of the two options per time slot. (Children aged nine-plus are able to attend workshops, as long as they are at the level specified and accompanied by an adult):


1. Swedish Songs with Ebba Jacobsson from Oleman. No Scandinavian language knowledge required! Suitable for all, including beginners OR

2. Orkney Tunes with Fiona Driver and Graham Simpson. Suitable for all melody instruments and easy intermediate level upwards.


1. Introduction to the Bowed Lyre with Simon Chadwick. Learn some tunes played by this instrument & songs that it accompanies. Suitable for singers (beginners upwards) and melody instruments (post-beginners upwards) OR

2. From East to West with Anette Thorheim and Olof Misgeld from Oleman. Learn tunes from the border of Norway and Sweden and the west coast of Norway. Suitable for all melody instruments and Intermediate level upwards.


1. Danish tunes – old and new with Fjärin. Suitable for all melody instruments and Intermediate upwards OR

2. Scottish dances with Scandinavian links with Fiona Campbell – Scottish dance tutor and Northern Streams co-organiser. Suitable for all including beginners and those with two left feet!


Sharing Session for all invited guest performers and participants to get a chance to share what they have learnt from the workshops and performances.

(Free with any workshop or concert ticket).

Saturday 25 April: Evening Concert @ 7.30pm Tickets: £10/8

Fiona Driver & Graham Simpson (Orkney/Scotland)

Fiona Driver and Graham Simpson are a popular and exciting fiddle and guitar duo from the Orkney Islands with a large repertoire from Orkney, Shetland, Ireland, Scandinavia and further afield, and Fiona’s own award winning compositions. Self-taught, Fiona, won the Orkney Young Musician of the Year Competition, at the age of 16. She has written around 240 tunes, and teaches fiddle to children and adults every week. Graham is a superb drummer and guitarist, and a perfect accompaniment for Fiona’s fiddle!

Oleman (Sweden/Norway)

Oleman is a Swedish-Norwegian trio of consisting of Norwegian Anette Thorheim (accordion), Olof Misgeld (violin/viola) and Ebba Jacobsson (stepping in for Emma Johansson) on vocals – both from Sweden. Oleman was formed in the late 90s when the three members met at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. They bring the lively music of forgotten and unforgettable songs from the border between Sweden and Norway, with a musical interplay that stems from many years of playing and exploring music together. or

For booking and more details: visit; email: or tel: 0795 191 8366. Twitter: @northernstream1; Facebook: TMSAEdinburghandLothians. Online bookings are available through EventBrite. An all-in-one Festival Ticket is available £30/£24 (two concerts and three workshops -save up to £12!). Concessions: over 60s, student, unemployed, disabled, plus Young Scot and TMSA members. Relevant proof maybe required to be produced when at the venue or when pre-booked tickets are presented. Please note tickets are not available at the venue except during the Festival.

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TMSA contact details…

Contact: Fiona Campbell
Phone: 07951918366