Flute player Olof Jönsson (1867–1953), aka Ol’Jansa, lived in the Härjedalen province in the middle of Sweden, and was, as was common among folk pipers, a musician mostly in private. His instrument was härjedalspipan, the Härjedalen flute, and his music must have been seen as quite intriguing, even exotic, as Swedish radio recorded his tunes on no less than three separate occasions between 1935 and 1951.
During the spring of 2017, Göran Månsson have, in collaboration with Emma Ahlberg, Patrik Källström, Karin Nakagawa and Martin von Schmalensee, recorded a new album with music inspired by Olof Jönsson. The commission from Svenskt visarkiv (The Centre for Swedish Folk Music and Jazz Research) and public record company Caprice Records is to make new interpretations of the old recordings and documented tunes.
The music is brought to the present, and developed by musicians of different genres inspired by this repertoire. This is a border-crossing cooperation, with influences from different styles building a new music out of the traditional, giving a new identity to the instrument and its clime.
The musicians come from rock, folk, classical music, and jazz. Among others, we get to hear the Japanese koto meet the Swedish härjedalspipa in new versions of the old Ol’Jansa tunes.