Collaboration, compromise, creativity – how these musicians create magic across cultures

Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly column of Your story, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the previous 540 articles, we have presented a Art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festival, telecoms fair, millets fair, climate change exhibition, wildlife conference, boot festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.

The annual Førde Festival of Traditional and World Music in Norway this time hosted a scaled-down live version due to pandemic restrictions. See Part I, Part II and Part III of our coverage, as well as previous highlights from the 2016 edition.

The festival was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, and a limited local edition was held this year. Featured groups, based in Norway, included Mambo Companeros, Camilla Granlien, Kajsa Balto, Ku Meelodi, Tindra, Riid, Kartellet and Kvedarkvintetten.

“The public was just happy to be able to attend a real festival again”, explains Torill Faleide, Festival Communication Manager, in a conversation with Your story.

“Some spectators were really surprised by the diversity and quality of artists – since none of them crossed a border to attend the festival this year. It’s amazing how diverse the Norwegian music scene has become, and it has become very clear this year, ”she says proudly.

The theme of the festival is mainly decided by the artistic director and the festival staff. “At the beginning of the festival’s history, the theme was often that of a geographical character, but a few years ago we came to reality, ”Torill says.

The festival is renowned for its “unique music in a unique environment.” Førde is a small town on the west coast of Norway, 150 km north of Bergen, surrounded by breathtaking fjords, mountains, glaciers and waterfalls.


Ole André Farstad, leader of the group Meelodi, shares a few lyrics from their previous album, featuring the poems of Omar Khayyam. Track Kolli begins with the following verse:

Come on, my friend, let’s forget about the worries of tomorrow

And rather enjoy this moment of our life.

The caravan of life is moving rapidly;

Seize your moment of pleasure, because it is a carnival.

The group members include Syrian singer Nawar Alnaddaf, percussionist Snorre Bjerck, jazz legend Per Jørgensen and bassist Anders Bitustøyl.


“We were delighted with the feedback from the public! Everyone said that we had a “dream team” of musicians with us, and indeed it is, “exclaims the violinist and composer. Sarah-Jane Summers, who had previously formed a duet with Juhani Silvola.

“It was even more special to have so many musicians on stage – thirteen – during the corona pandemic. ‘Unbelievable’ was a word that was repeated several times by people whose eyes were shining with joy, ”she adds.

“It was a real pleasure to have such wonderful comments and to feel that we had contributed to such positivity to so many people during the pandemic, ”says Sarah-Jane.

Summers and Silvola

However, intercultural collaborations also have their challenges. “The deep feel of the dance rhythms varies greatly from country to country, and Scotland and Norway are no exception,” she describes.

“The intricacies of the different rhythms simply cannot be felt naturally and deeply in the same way by people in different musical backgrounds, especially if you’ve never danced on it and there is little rehearsal time, ”warns Sarah-Jane.

“Compromise is vital, as with any intercultural communication, whether linguistic or musical. Something will always be lost in the translation but, above all, new colors will be acquired, ”she says.

In rehearsals of Sølvstrøk’s training, the goal was simply the best possible result. “This means that everyone must do not hesitate to really go there, be themselves and throw their soul into the music, ”recalls Sarah-Jane.

During rehearsals, the rhythmic intricacies were explained, and everyone worked on it. “But we didn’t worry too much about the little details. We adopted the new colors and saw them as enhancing and enriching our music, ”she adds.

“We were, after all, extremely lucky to have fantastic musicians who to work with on this project. We asked them because we wanted them, ”she says.

Sarah-Jane concludes: “What could be better than to showcase their musical expertise and brilliance and improve our music?

Now what have you done today to take a break from your busy schedule and find new avenues for your creative core?

Mambo Companero

Camille Granlien

Frden Kristiansen


Forde Festivalen



Duo Kkviven


Forde Festival in 2021

Kartellet – 2

Mambo Companero 2



See also the YourStory portfolio “Proverbs and quotes for entrepreneurs: a world of inspiration for startups” accessible as apps for Apple and Android devices.

(All pictures by Førde Festivalen)

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