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Exotic Canadian-Norwegian folk artists to play DL

"Canwegian," a duo of young Canadian-Norwegian folk artists, will make its Detroit Lakes debut Sunday, Oct. 15, at a 7 p.m. concert in Trinity Lutheran Church.

Sarah Branskou and Sarah Nagell complement each other's skills well.

Granskou, an experienced performance artist, is a modern 'scald' (Nordic bard), and makes this exotic Scandinavian music accessible. By living amongst the people, she has grown deep roots and outreaching branches in the traditions of her Norwegian and S?mi heritage, having learned to sing and compose in the tongue of her ancestors and to play and carve the Hardanger fiddle.

But she didn't grow up steeped in the traditions of her Norwegian heritage -- in fact, she had never heard the music of her ancestors until she went to Norway to meet her relatives there.

"I was working for a puppet theater company in Scotland and had Christmas off, so I went and found my (Norwegian) relatives," said Granskou in a telephone interview Thursday. "I fell in love with the language."

Granskou learned the more traditional Norwegian music by skiing from farm to farm with her Hardanger fiddle strapped to her back.

While she was there, she "fulfilled a childhood dream" by following the reindeer migration north, with the Laplanders.

"Later, after I went back to Canada, I just ditched my scholarship to go back to Norway -- and I don't regret it."

While Granskou draws on ancient art forms, her humorous and moving stories and songs relate to a contemporary audience. She has performed extensively for all ages at festivals, schools and community venues. Granskou is granddaughter to former St. Olaf College president, Clemens Granskou.

Sarah Nagell complements Granskou's talents with her own deep and wide-ranging knowledge of world folk traditions, from bluegrass to Celtic. She has studied voice, both classical and folk, in such unrivaled institutions as St. Olaf College and the New England Conservatory. Nagell recently returned from a year at the Telemark University College in rural Norway, where she studied voice and Hardanger fiddle and competed in both local and national folk music festivals.

There will be no admission fee for the Oct. 15 performance; however, a free will offering will be taken. Coffee and bars will be served following the performance.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454