The wandering fiddler – Alexander Rybak – summer 2008

Next week Alexander Rybak will go from door to door in Giske municipality and play violin and get shelter and food in return.

Souce: Paper issue of Sunnmørsposten, published 19. July 2008. Text and photo: Nils-Ove Støbakk.


– I have read stories about “øyloffing” (island hopping) and wondering where people stayed on such a trip. Then I decided I would stay with strangers.
Alexander Rybak is not exactly the prototype of a traveling troubadour, although he will until next Sunday be strolling
around the islands Valderøya, Vigra, Giske and Godøya with the violin under his arm.
Last year Alexander was instructor at the Summer School orchestra School at Borgund Folkehøgskule. He got the chance to see the view from Fjellstua, and then he got the idea.
– It was the best view ever! It looked very nice on the islands, so I thought that I would try loffing there.


The 21-year-old from Nesodden is perhaps best known from NRK’s talent competition “Kjempesjansen” (The big opportunity), where he went all the way to the top in 2006. Last year Alexander had one of the main roles in the play “Fiddler on the Roof” at Oslo Nye Teater and was awarded a Hedda Award as this year’s debutant in Norwegian theater. And now he will find out if the islanders are hospitable towards a young musician on a trip.
– I tried the same in Valdres a few years ago. It went well
eventually, but I got ten no before I got a yes, says Alexander.
– So I’m very nervous. It’s a bit personal.

Alexander Rybak has set aside 9 days to get to know the roads in Giske municipality better. The 21-year-old admits that he is nervous, but hopes that both food and accommodation will be arranged along the way.


Fortunately, the young violinist doesn’t look very scary. Alexander Rybak doesn’t want to be a mysterious musician, but refers to himself as “jovial and somewhat confused”.
– I like to give of myself, he smiles.
The young man studies a bachelor’s degree in violin. He could release a CD after the TV-show victory, but have decided to
wait a bit. Maybe some of the inspiration comes during wandering the walkways and mountain tracks in Sunnmøre?
– I want to play for people and hear what kind of music they like,
he explains.
– When I was wandering in Valdres, I was inspired to come up with a melody. That became the song I won with in “Kjempesjansen”, Alexander says happily.


The goal of the summer trip is not to go as far as possible or wear out many pairs of shoes.
– The dream is to come to a family that I can be a little familiar
with. I bring my camera and notebook and plan to send Christmas cards to the people I get to know, the happy hiker advertise.
– Then I would like to hear stories from people I meet and see
a lot of Norway up close. Exercise is another important argument, says Alexander.

Kjetil and Kari Marie Frøyse gladly opened the door to
the vicarage for the young musician


The first day at Sunnmøre the hiker didn’t have to knock on more than one door. Friday afternoon Alexander was a guest in the afternoon broadcast of NRK Møre og Romsdal, and Kjetil Frøysa at Valderøya heard that interview. The vicar immediately picked up the phone and sent a message, thus, the first place of accommodation was arranged.
– I asked my wife if we should invite him, and she said yes, tells Frøysa.
– It was really spontaneous. But we have a big house, young people in the house and like music. Now we’ll see how long he wants to stay here. Friday night the Frøysa family would bring the guest to Alnes to watch the sunset. Today a mountain trip on Valderøya is absolutely relevant. Then the rest of the municipality eventually will be explored by an actually a bit shy  but curious and sporty young violinist.

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