Via Jan Johansson’s ingenious interpretations of folk music Groupa gained nourishment for new impulses in on-going conversation as musicians. Groupa searched backwards, to the old transcriptions, to the written music, and listened to recordings of long since departed role models within singing and playing. With thin watercolour notes they paint their own version of Swedish tunes and songs. They listen in-wards, sometimes subtly and sometimes with irrepressible energy. More often than not they do not know exactly what will happen, but they find the way forward together.Groupa - Kind of Folk
Groupa have for many years developed their own unique sound. Now they take their music one step further and present traditional Swedish tunes in Groupa's own costume.
The recording session with the Kind of Folk project took place in Lydstudio Nesbyen, Hallingdal, Norway, 13-15 March 2016.
Listen to Kind of Folk - Vol. 1 Sweden, at Spotify
Listen to clips from the previous CD, Silent Folk, at Soundcloud
Interview with Mats on Swedish Radio (in Swedish)
The band played a very much acclaimed showcase at WOMEX in Thessaloniki 18 October.
Groupa live @ Womex 2012, Video 1
Groupa live @ Womex 2012, Video 2
Groupa & Lena Willemark in collaboration with a chamber orchestra
With their characteristic mix of traditional melodies, elements of free improvisation, new compositions and imaginative instrumentation, the folk music group Groupa has brought an influence to bear on an entire generation of musicians. The unique timbre with which they have come to be associated now combines with the special string sound of a chamber orchestra in an original blend.
The very special voice of Lena Willemark has also been added to the brew, and this project offers us new compositions and arrangements for this particular ensemble. Lena has become a key figure in Swedish folk music, as well as a pioneer vocalist in terms of genre combinations. Using Swedish folk music as her point of departure, she has continually extended her range of expression in unexpected directions.
In March 2011 the four musicians were on tour along with the Swedish chamber orchestra Musica Vitae, to critical acclaim.
Media comments on this collaboration with Musica Vitae:
”You feel it in body and soul, whether they are playing light as a feather or heavy as lead”
”Béla Bartók would have enjoyed this.”