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THE BEAR CHAIN, GUESTS AND THE OTHER ORIGINALS!

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February 7, 2016
by Morten Alfred Høirup

Over the years, musicians and bands around the world have recorded and released some of my original compositions and tunes. This is not least about 'Bjørnekæden' ('Danish 7/8'), which I composed many years ago, together with Sonnich Lydom, and which I myself have recorded in different versions, and with different bands.

The English band 422 recorded and released in 2000 'Ringen/The Ring', from my solo album Vingården (1998), and another English band, Kerfuffle, published in 2004 the CD K2, with an unusually beautiful version of the title track from Vingården. Kerfuffle unfortunately stopped in 2010.

German Fraunhofer String Music released on their album Dreizig (30) from 2007, the tune 'Funeral March to a Dear Friend' under the title 'Dänische Traurmarch', a few years after a band from Texas, whose name I can't quite remember, released their version of ' Guest bid/The Feast'.

The group Pflantzplätz from Switzerland and the German group Fiunferley, have both recorded fine versions of 'Bjørnekæden', the latter on the album Rooted, and the Canadian band, Celtara, have released 'Bjørnekæden' on their first album More Than One True Love, and 'Gæstebud/Feast' on their second album, Until The Morning Light.

I composed the first two pieces of 'Bjørnekæden' in 7/8 sometime in the late 80s, and played them for my friend and colleague, Sonnich Lydom, who went straight home and composed a C piece for the next day. Another good friend and colleague, mandolin player and guitarist, John McGann from Boston Massachusetts, became super happy with 'Bjørnekæden' when we toured in Scandinavia together with the American Café Orchestra, and suggested spicing it up with a little rhythmic twist in the C piece, and many have struggled with that ever since.

A German group, Fei Shou, have recorded 'Gæstebud/Feast' on their album Vom Landler zum Funk (2012), also released Finnish Häävi in 2013 their debut album, where you also find a really nice version of 'Bjørnekæden', in Finland also known by the nickname 'Danish 7/8'. The Canadian band After that from Vancouver BC, released their own pretty version of the tune that same year, on their debut album, Ceremony.

The American violinist, Adrianna Ciccone, came in 2015 with his debut album as Bruce Molsky produced, and which i.a. offers her interpretation of my melody "Lys Polska", which I composed for the TV series "The Castle", and later recorded and published with the duo Haugaard & Høirup.

At the beginning of 2016, the Canadian group arrived Aerialists then with their very own version of 'Bjørnekæden', and now it will be exciting to see what will happen next.

I am of course very happy that others can use my music as part of their own repertoire, it is always fun and thought-provoking to hear new interpretations of one's compositions, and it is great that the music goes its own way that way, and comes out to a larger audience!

By the way, I have most of my compositions on sheet music – including Bjørnekæden – just tell me!