Norwegian Wood

Keeping it all in the family, the husband and wife team of Hans-Hinrich Thedens and Elizabeth Gaver are joined by their son Mattias to form the trio known as Feleboga.

The family folk trio known as Feleboga may hail from halfway around the world – Norway, to be more precise – but they have roots right here in Carmel.

“We’ve known Elizabeth Gaver (violin/fiddle) for a number of years,” Carl Cherry Center Executive Director Robert Reese says. Gaver grew up in Carmel and has performed locally. So when Reese learned that Gaver performed traditional Norwegian folk music with her family, he knew they would be a good fit.

Elizabeth Gaver and her banjo – and guitar-playing husband, Hans-Hinrich Thedens, formed as a duo in 1999, and were soon joined by their 5-year-old son Mattias onstage. At first he played spoons and danced. But he mastered fiddle and ukulele at age 10, before learning the hardingfele. It’s a curious instrument also known as the hardanger fiddle – a specialized, ornately decorated violin with a group of four or five drone-like strings below the main strings which vibrate sympathetically with whatever is played on the main strings.

The Oslo-based ensemble’s name means “fiddle bows,” and their playlist combines traditional bluegrass, Norwegian and Appalachian tunes, reels and folk dances.

“Old-time American folk is the mountain music of Appalachia,” Gaver says. “It’s the earliest traditional music from Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia – those mountain ballads and fiddle tunes. Old-time folk is pre-bluegrass.”

The threesome make their seventh local appearance this week.

“We’ve had them back year after year because their visit always fills Cherry Hall,” Reese says. “Theirs is a wonderful, light-hearted music.”

FELEBOGA 7pm Friday, July 12. Carl Cherry Center, Fourth and Guadalupe, Carmel. $15. 624-7491, carlcherrycenter.org
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