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A tagelharpa is born ! [English]

JPEGLast december 2020 I won an Instagram giveaway contest organised by the Ukrainian musical instrument crafter « Lyre of the crossroads » from whom I had already bought a magnificent Trossingen lyre. The participants had to imagine a Tagelharpa or Jouhikko design. The first prize for the winner was the concrete realization of the concept... and after a very tight battle, luckily, I won =)



Since December I have therefore communicated closely with the luthier for the realization of this project. Long months of seeing this instrument come to life, slowly but surely in the talented hands of Nicolas and his team. It was so an enriching experience to see a concept art becoming real and now that I have it in my hands, I still can’t believe totally it’s real.


This instrument is so special for me, i put so much personnal things and symbolism inside and I wanted to explain a bit about my inspirations… it’s a long story.

In fact I’m working for years on a Viking Age novel from which I draw some of the stories that I tell with our viking music band @fostbroedra during our shows. The story takes place in Norway, Orkney and Normandy.

One of the characters is a Skald from south Orkney (a Norwegian colony during the Viking Age) and his sister is a woman of temper who breeds horses. A few years ago, I made an illustration that represents her and I wanted to show typical Orcadian things from the Viking age by making them my own. I was then inspired by a carved whalebone plaque found in the Scar tomb boat burial and I reshaped the initial dragons into horses.

The frieze is also a symbol inspired by Pictish typical ornaments from Orkney. Let’s say it’s a tribute to this woman I love so much who, moreover in my story, is a singer with a magnificent voice.

Then there are the mystical aspects. The wolf and the fox who run around the stars or the worlds (the sound holes) have a shamanic aspect. The black wolf with green eyes is a Valkyries who guides my Fylgja (the fox) in a hunt for light. A quest for enlightenment.
I talk about it in my song “Að elta ljósið”.

The runes in elder futhark on the sides compose an ancient germanic Galdr spell to give as a "sacrifice" the music played, both to the listeners and to the Gods. It is a willingness to exchange gods <-> musician <-> listeners

Next, the ᚨᛚᚢ ᛚᛁᚦᚢ (Alu Lithu) runes on both faces are a symbol of very old germanic world blessing with an idea of passage that could be translated as "consecrated I pass". I also composed a piece inspired by this formula with a tagelharpa here Alu Liþu.

But above all, I thought of this tagelharpa as a horse, like a real mount for shamanic trance through music. This is why I wanted to add Sleipnir to the back. On my belly, as if I was literally riding the horses carved on the instrument towards trance. The rune ᚹ “Joy” surrounded by the ravens of Odin (Mind, passion, poetic inspiration...).

Anyway, it’s a bit hard to express but I hope you understand, i don’t like so much talk with esoterically words.

Finally, I wanted something colorful because I’m tired of the systematically "dark" aspect that we associate with Vikings in general and paganism. We know that a lot of things were painted: boats, houses, objects, shiny jewels ... it was a world that loved color and I like to highlight the artistic and positive aspect of this culture rather than reducing them to violence.

I’m sure now that that my horses will carry me in great musical journeys and good moments of sharing and joy =)

I will never thank enough Nicolas de Vents for this great adventure that he set on my path and for the professionalism and kindness he and all his team showed throughout the process of creating this jewelry.

Дякую від усієї серця моєї дружби


03/10/21 par Skiold

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