Did you ever see two robins chasing each other on a spring day? In a fury of trills and twirls, they manage to stay one right behind the other, with effortless acrobatics. When Emma Reid and Alicia Björnsdotter Abrams take on a tune, they launch into a playful chase much like that. The two fiddles bend and tease, take a turn, and then one follows smoothly the other. Some of the raw, ancient qualities of Swedish music are mixed with elegant harmony parts.

Swedish fiddle music being dance music, the two of them almost dance on stage. And it is hard not to join in - their love of the music is infectious. These two young women step boldly right out of the Swedish fiddle tradition and range into the British Isles. Emma and Alicia both have a performance degree in traditional Swedish music from the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm and Emma is currently studying towards a Master in Music at Newcastle University in England. Alongside Swedish music, the vibrant fiddle tradition of the Shetland Isles has a special place in their duo repertoire. They have each studied with a Shetland fiddle master; Alicia with Aly Bain and Emma with Catriona MacDonald.

Alicia Björnsdotter Abrams is a fiddler in the Swedish tradition but her repertoire stretches into Norway and Finland as well as the British Isles. She started playing and singing at an early age and enjoyed schooling in both classical music as well as the choirs of Adolf Fredrik Music School, before settling for folk music. Alicia has a strong sense of melody and timing and a playing that is both ornate and powerful. In Swedish traditional music, the fiddle often plays the role of a second voice, with harmonies and counter melodies. These come through in Alicia's music. Alicia has played and studied with many of the influential fiddlers in Sweden, including Mikael Marin of Väsen, as well as with Shetland fiddler Aly Bain. She has a performance degree in Swedish folk music from the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm. Alicia plays solo, as well as in the Swedish group Ditt Ditt Darium and Swedish-Breton group Anak among other musical projects. She currently lives in Philadelphia.

Emma Reid was brought up in the northeast of England with a Swedish mother. She started playing the fiddle at the age of three and soon gained a strong passion for traditional Swedish music. Twice finalist of the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award, Emma has performed both at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and Royal Albert Hall in London. At eighteen she moved to Stockholm to study Swedish folk music performance with Ellika Frisell and Sven Ahlbäck at the Royal College of Music, graduating in November 2003 with a concert in Stockholm's Concert House. The distinguished fiddle traditions of Orsa and Bingsjö in Dalarna are particularly prominent in her style. Emma is currently studying towards a Master in Music at Newcastle University. As well as performing solo she works extensively with the free-bass accordionist Tuulikki Bartosik, and is a member of the groups Ditt Ditt Darium, Fyrland and Tandoori. Emma has performed in Sweden, Finland, Estonia, England and New England, and is a popular teacher at summer courses. She has also enjoyed collaborations with actors, storytellers and dancers.

Nisswa-stämman is very excited to be bringing these fiddlers to Minnesota! As part of the stämma, they will also be conducting fiddle workshops. To read more about the workshops go here: FIDDLE WORKSHOPS

to read more about Alicia and Emma, go to the Två homepage

©2005 Nisswa-stämman - All Rights Reserved