Alexander Rybak on “loffen”
Eleven days this summer Alexander Rybak from Nesodden went from door to door at Sunnmøre (in the north-west of Norway) with his fiddle on his shoulder.
Source: Paper issue of Amta (local paper in Nesodden), published 19.9.2008. Text: Trond Folckersahm. Photos: Trond Folckersahm and Alexander Rybak. The interview was done at the Opera House in Oslo.
Translation by TessaLa, revision by Anni Jowett.
– A nerve-racking, exciting, challenging, eventful and fun experience, says Alexander, who has had a very active year.
He has, among other things, been on the stage in the role as the fiddler in “Spellemann på taket” (Fiddler on the Roof) at Oslo Nye Teater. There has also been time for the recording of a movie. Alexander has a musical role, as the gypsy Levi, in the big production «Yohan», which will premier in Norwegian cinemas next year. Concerts have of course been on the schedule. But the “raisin in the sausage” may have been the ten days on “loffen” in Giske municipality in Sunnmøre with his fiddle on his back. A maybe some unusual “stunt” from a classically trained violinist.
Text to photo: Alexander has been on the theater stage, film studio and on “loffen” this year. Who knows, maybe the opera stage is next.
It’s not the first time Alexander has been on “loffen”. He did the same two years ago. That time in Valdres, but it became a little more half-hearted.
– Nobody knew who I was, and people were probably a little afraid of what I really had in the violin case. This made it not so easy to get the accommodation, says Alexander.
No doubt. The sign is quite clear. “WANDERERS with violin WELCOME” Photo: Alexander Rybak
This time everything went much easier. During the eleven days he met a dozen families and stayed with eight of them.
– Basically you are a little afraid to get the door thrown in your face when you ring the doorbell of stranger. But now I got a pre-talk both in the local newspaper and on the local TV station. That helped, people knew who I was, and I received many invitations. I could just walk from house to house all the days I was at Giske. I was welcomed with open arms. All in all, it was a great experience. Both the people and all the great nature made an impression on me, says Alexander.
Some of the inhabitants were especially curious about the violin case. Photo: Alexander Rybak
The parish priest
The first invitation came from the Frøysa family. Kjetil Frøysa is a parish priest in the municipality, and the whole family is a music-happy gang that would like to have Alexander visit for joint music.
– At another family, all the relatives were invited to a really nice party with house concert and social gathering, says the young wanderer.
The repertoire varied from day to day. Initially, Alexander had 20 songs he had rehearsed. But there were many changes in the playlist along the way. In one case, the concert developed into a jam session with banjo and bass and jazz.
– I tried to entertain as best I could. When you are invited home to people you don’t know, it is important to make a good impression. Also, I met so many great girls on the trip. They both played and were probably clever farmer woman too, says Alexander with a clever glimpse in his eyes.
It was a lot joint music during the stay at Giske. Photo: Alexander Rybak
During the trip, the young violinist had the opportunity to see a lot of the islands in Giske. It became several hours on foot, and even though he got some lifts along the way, it was tough for the apostles’ horses (his feet).
– I got really painful in my feet, but it’s amazing how much great landscape I experienced.
But not only great landscapes, the wandering also led him to a true Sunnmørsk wedding ceremony.
– I was invited to play at the wedding. A fun experience, says Alexander.
Alexander really got a close up experience of the nature at Sunnmøre. Photo: Alexander Rybak
For Alexander Rybak, the trip to Giske municipality has been both joy and inspiration.
– I have made many new friends, and got confirmed that I can contribute to the society. It is a great way to practise and at the same time get to see a lot of beautiful scenery. In fact, I went back to Ålesund just a few weeks after I had been there. There were some concerts with music within many genres. I also sang and used the violin as a guitar as an accompaniment. Guitar I only play at home. I’m not good enough to show it publicly, the musician thinks.
The young violinist Alexander Rybak: Ready for new challenges. Photo: Trond Folckersahm
Will do it again
For Alexander it will definitely not be the last time he goes on “loffen”.
– I’m tempted to do it again. I don’t currently know where and when, but it will happen again.
Otherwise, the young violinist, the entertainer, the singer and the composer has a lot on the programme ahead, but he doesn’t want to tell exactly what.
– What do you think of Melody Grand Prix? says Alexander with a smile on his mouth before we say goodbye.
Alexander found the wall exciting and study every detail in the Opera House when he visited for the first time. Photo: Trond Folckersahm