The Finnish and Scandinavian fiddle group, Frigg, will perform at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17, at Kaufman Auditorium in Marquette. The concert will kick off this year’s Northern Michigan University International Performing Arts Series. On the morning of the performance, Frigg will conduct a free dance workshop at 10 a.m.in the Wildcat Den of the University Center. The public is invited to attend. The seven-piece ensemble released its latest album, “Economy Class,” on Sept. 23. Most of the pieces are originals based on traditional tunings and rhythms using acoustic instruments, but with unexpected compositions or consciously powerful arrangements. The band emphasizes creating a specific ambience with each piece and the themes of traveling, drinking and collaborating are woven throughout. Group members who hail from Finland are Antti Jarvela on double bass, his cousins Alina and Esko Jarvela on fiddle, Petri Prauda on cittern, mandala and Estonian bagpipes and Tuomas Logren on guitar and dobro. Lending the Norwegian influence to Frigg, named for the Norse goddess of love and fertility, are brothers Gjermund and Einar Olav Larsen. They play both ordinary and Hardanger fiddle. While listeners of bluegrass and Celtic music will find some similarities, Frigg takes it a step further with the energy of a rock band and off-kilter rhythms and missing beats that accentuate the unexpected reserved-meets-over-the-top sense of humor common in Finland. A few of their tunes reflect the experiences touring the United States. Tickets for the concert are $6 for students, $15 for NMU faculty/staff and seniors (over 60), and $20 for the general public. Season tickets, which give purchasers the value of one free performance, are $75 for NMU faculty and staff, $30 for students and $100 for the general public. All are available at NMU EZ Ticket locations. The series is co-sponsored by the Finn Grand Fest Foundation at NMU and the MEEMIC Foundation. Dan Truckey, director of the Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center at NMU, is the new director of the International Performing Arts Series.
September 30, 2008