Benny Andersson and Orsa Spelmän celebrate 30 year collaboration

On Sunday 18 June 2017, Benny Andersson and Orsa Spelmän marked the 30th anniversary of their musical partnership with an appearance as guest artists on the long-running Swedish television programme Moraeus med mera.

Benny Andersson with Orsa Spelmän duringthe recording of TV show 'Moraeus med mera'
Benny Andersson with Orsa Spelmän during the recording of the TV show ‘Moraeus med mera’

As in previous years, the filming took place in front of a live audience, under a big top tent on a lakeside campsite in Orsa.

Benny Andersson and Orsa Spelmän rehearsing
Benny Andersson and Orsa Spelmän rehearsing.

With Benny joining them on accordion throughout, Orsa Spelmän  played three tracks; Monas vals, Underbart (which reached the semi-finals of Melodifestivalen in 2010)  and the traditional piece Rättvikarnas Gånglåt, on which they were joined by a 50 strong group of local folk musicians.

Afterwards, Benny explained to icethesite why he had chosen that particular tune:

“When I was just 19 or 20 years old and had my first flat in Stockholm, I used to play Rättvikarnas Gånglåt on a small plastic gramophone first thing every morning, day in-day out,” he said. “It’s wonderfully uplifting music…but not very rock’n’roll!”

Moraeus med mera is hosted by Orsa Spelmän founding member, Kalle Moraeus and Benny can still recall the occasion when he and Kalle first met in 1986:

Benny Andersson
Benny Andersson on Orsa Spelmän: “It was as if they had given my music life.”

“We were celebrating photographer Anders Hanser’s 40th birthday here in Dalarna,” he said. “Anders and Kalle were old friends and Kalle had brought his fiddle along to the party.

“We played a few tunes together and I asked him if he had any pals that would like to be on my next record.”

When the pair met up again the following year, they were joined by Kalle’s brothers, Per-Erik (Perra) and Olle Moraeus along with Nils-Erik (Nicke) Göthe and Leif Göras.

“When they took out their fiddles and played the first few bars of some tunes I had sent them, it was such an incredible feeling. A magical moment I shall never forget,” Benny said. “It was as if they had given my music life.”

After involvement in Benny’s Klinga mina klockor and November 1989 solo albums, Orsa Spelmän went from strength to strength, recording several albums of their own and performing at many prestigious events around Sweden.

And of course, perhaps most significantly, it was the Benny Andersson/Orsa Spelmän union which in 2001 formed the basis of a new Swedish dance band, Benny Anderssons Orkester.

In 2010 the group joined Benny on the specially commissioned Benny Andersson/Kristina Lugn song Vilar glad. I din famn, during the royal wedding of Crown Princess Victoria.

The inauguration of the magnificent Piteå organ in 2012 and the Trondheim Orgelfest last October saw ‘Benny and his fiddlers’, as they are now often affectionately referred, join forces for very occasional concerts.

Benny told us that he has so many happy memories from working with Orsa Spelmän over the past 30 years, however, there is one occasion that truly stands out for him:

“Bringing them to the UK to play old Swedish folk tunes in front of 50,000 people at the Thank You For The Music concert in Hyde Park was a once in a lifetime event,” he said. “It was such an overwhelming experience and I am so happy that we were able to do that.”

Sunday’s recording of Moraeus med mera, which also featured Lisa Miskovsky, girl duo Good Harvest and hip-hop star Linda Pira, is scheduled to be broadcast on SVT in the autumn.

The recording will be shown on SVT in the Autumn
There’s more…

4 Replies to “Benny Andersson and Orsa Spelmän celebrate 30 year collaboration”

  1. Mike said: One of the highlights of Hyde Park, was the BAO, we have since been to Sweden to see BAO and they are fab. Benny mentions bringing his music to life, I don’t think he needs to worry about that. However BAO do bring magic to his work. Congratulations on 30 years of friendship with Orsa Spelmän.

  2. Shane said: Benny looks so handsome and he looked like a ball of sunshine. I love how happy he gets playing music and celebrating THIRTY YEARS is an honor and something special to celebeate!!

  3. Jeen Francois said: Just hope they record a couple more BAO CDs before “King Benny” call it quits…

  4. Ignacio Baztan wrote: What Splendorous day that was!
    By chance I spent that very same morning at Stockholm, Being it first time in my life, as part of an unique Southamerican-Spanish family re-gathering that took place on a cruise trip to the Baltic sea, I decided to accompany them on the city visit rather than go for the city ABBA trail that decades ago i would have dreamed of, except for a chance of getting Benny-related music if I could arrange an escape.
    Thru a fbook group, I contacted one of the few open CD shops on a Sunday, with my request list (Sisterpolskan, Ainsbuck, G.S.Kammarkor album+CDsingle, Chess Deluxe, K 3CD, BAO’s K.O.K Jubeltid, Tommy Korberg’s and J:son Lindh’s CDs mostly).
    Someone anonymously kindly answered offering to reserve them
    I was delighted with the prospect, but I just couldn’t foresee what I was actually going to receive.
    Now, several days have past from those events, so I’ll copy here the message sent as a way to show my gratitude to him (later found) and now, – by way of this post- to thank Benny and the people at Stockholm who made possible such a plentyful experience.

    “Samuel,
    I am very grateful for your dedication, how you managed to get together such fantastical and diverse collection of music, not that common and hence hard to come by at one place…But you did it, Also have to thank Reality who has been leading my steps in such a way that I am still touched (and will be forever I see)

    Yesterday, I did arrived at your shop around 11 and was surprised and a bit disillusioned it was closed. I thought of a national holiday someone mentioned that happens around these days, walked a bit feeling the loss and trying to let the feeling go, but i decided to get back to re-check and then I saw that on Sundays the shop opens at 12!.

    So with a smile relighted on my face went walking nearby enjoying the design shops and admiring/observing the people and general flow on that sunny Sunday morning, until I reached to an open plaza with ample stairs where varied people sit and gather. Spent some moments there, when I noticed a green corner, and hinting another plaza/park went towards there.
    To find… a beautiful gathering of people, plenty of mature older people with their white hairs shining the sun rays against the greens of the trees and plants, around the many fair stands. It was a beautiful antique fair, as one could see little examples of the nouveau art, deco and varied oldies stuff on the tables.

    I took some photos out of the vibrant colorful scene, and decided to blend into it. Quite soon, on a corner, I noticed some boxes with used CDs, something that I am always attracted to, so I gave them a look and suddenly I was like; Oh! Fiolen Min!!, this is a Mono music release! and then Schubert improntus. Instantly found me asking “How much for the CDs, Sir?” as they had no visible price. “20 all” Oh! so i continued with gained confidence… Soon realized I was been gifted, found the Tommy Korberg CDs I asked you about (but no luck from the Shop), Bennys’ 1989 (already have)… 10 CDs in total. “That’ll be 150kr, Sir”. he tells me while packing them. Took me a few seconds to react “Sir, this is such marvelous music that take the 200kr please”. “It’ll be 150, Sir”. with a smile in his face I couldn’t resist or insist upon. (very different to the latin or anglo anti-bargain honor defying pushing).

    I left the place already moved and in that state, sort of slowly pivoted myself feeling the place, when I noticed a stunning large figure on the left of the plaza. It seem to have wings? from the perspective i was. so i kept floating naturally attracted to the sculpture. Found that the colossus has quite smaller – but still larger than human – figures surrounding him, each with a different attitude and expression.
    While I was nearing those, focusing my cellular camera for some pictures, I felt that familiar two-notes rhythmic pulse, made by a birdsong like synthesizer that punctuates that Ooh final song…
    Struck by it all, and it being a too popular song to allow my social defenses to release (despite the open emotional state I was), I continued focusing in the minor personages of the sculpture rotating around it, while Frida’s wailings singed with the clouds coming from Benny’s synths, on The day before you came.
    oming from Benny’s synths, on The day before you came.

    At a point I raised my sight to realize the colossus rather extreme rotating body position, which projected himself into one extended arm with his hand passionately open to the sky in what were not wings, neither horns; it was a stringless Lyre!! a musical instrument being reached by the hand of men, which touched the nonexisting strings, as if the notes were flown from the Sky, from the above into him… and below the figures showing the various reactions/emotions; all becoming the picture of a same multidimensional moment.
    Suddenly It at came to me;
    ///Us brothers are being gathered by our father in this trip, plus this very same day was father’s day and so a few hours before I thanked and hugged him. I had been brought there, Furthermore, I had been carefully given those little -but profound- longings I had inside and no-one openly knew. not that anyone could program or plan this against a pentagram or an agenda…
    I had been merely strolling by and, if anything, emotions and flow, art and human cues had guided and opened my heart until this point… At the end, the music was being played upon me, from deep.

    After the bare seconds that all these realizations came to me,.., I asked… more so; it was not a formulated question; I just tried to focus on whatever profound/source I could switch to, just in awe suddenly realizing someone has listened to my inner being or resonated close enough to be sharing the delicate language.
    Then, I knew:
    I could welcome, i can thank.
    And so I directed my aim to above, in that day, that moment , i could name the ancient, the earlier, humbly (far from imposing names) i say Father.
    in gratitude.
    It was a very personal moment, in the midst of time and the big sculpture to the side, the voices of people in the fair, the song, the birds sings. The moment was eternal but brief apparently in this world, next I was floating into the fruit and then flower places and continued into a side street walking on air, while returning to the city, feeling the transformation, feeling the city, the street, crystal panels, and shops, till i got to your place, where I asked for you to a nice young lady with clear and futuristic innocent eyes
    You know the rest of the story.
    Thank you again Samuel.”

    And now I know that that very same day Benny was with Orsa, at a park, celebrating music and what made them come together and share those timeless times, of which many of us continue to marvel.
    Like we are part of the music.

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