Kari Tauring – Nykken and Bear


SKU: OMM2109 Category:


Traditional songs and original poems from Minnesota, Norway & Sweden about water sprites and shape shifting bears.

Kari Tauring uses runes, rhythm and breath to tell the stories of the Northlands. She is vlvakona (Old Norse), the staff-carrying woman who maintains cultural knowledge, values, and spiritual practice. Author of two books on the runes and an iPhone app, Karis even been a contestant on the Norwegian reality TV show Alt For Norge.

About this recording, she says, “This is a collage of poems, songs, and stories about the Nykken (a water spirit) and the Bear (in all its forms) that help me tell some of the story of my Norwegian American heritage. I have finally recorded Villeman og Magnild (a longdans) as an American folkrock gallop and Runarvisa (heard as a medieval ballad on my Rune App) as a courtly lovesong in English. We have styled our Heiemo og Nykken after Kirsten Braten Berg’s aching version but with eerie e-bow dulcimer and creepy vocal effects. Another song comes from Sweden, a polska, reinterpreted. The Bear section has a waltz, a longdans, a German childrens game and a ritual dance.”

Joining Kari on this project are:

  • Drew Miller on bass, dulcimer and baritone ukulele; founder of legendary Celtic rock band Boiled In Lead and Omnium Records. He initially suggested funding the project via Kickstarter.
  • Scott Nieman (Felonious Bosch) at dubNemo Studios is a brilliant producer, musician and composer, having worked on Karis two previous
    Nordic recordings (the Volva Songs EP [Omnium, 2008] and Live At The Capri [2009]).
  • David Stenshoel (Boiled In Lead) on fiddle has family roots, like Kari, in Norways Sognefjord. He enjoys playing many different styles, from hot club swing to Persian classical music.
  • Aneesa Erinn Adams (cover painting) is a Minneapolis artist, teacher and Staver in the House for the new millennium.