US Fall Tour, October 7 - 18, 2023
8 Cities in Vermont, New Jersey, Arizona, California
Original Nordic Folk Music
“…One moment they were whistling and vocalising over a perky accordion melody, next they were into Vivaldi’s Four Seasons…They ranged gleefully through brisk Scandinavian dances…fiddle, accordion and cittern ebbing and flowing with unadulterated zest.”
Tuesday, October 10, 7:30 pm / San Luis Obispo, CA
Cal Poly Arts / Info & Tix
Friday, October 13, 8:00 pm / Los Angeles, CA
UCLA Center for the Art of Performance / Info & Tix
The trio, based in Copenhagen, are hugely popular and critically acclaimed in Denmark. They made their London debut this summer at Kings Place. They have taken home five Danish Music Awards and were named 2023 Artist of the Year by the Danish national classical radio channel P2 (the first non-classical group to earn that honor). Their official line-up is fiddle, cittern and piano/accordion, but collectively, they also play ukulele, guitar, keyboard/ synthesizer, kannel (a Northern-European box zither), and clog fiddle (a Swedish instrument made from a wooden clog), among others.
The trio says, "We think of Dreamers' Circus as a group of friendly musical disruptors! The various strands and traditions that form the roots of the remarkable variety of American music inspire us, and we love coming across the Atlantic to celebrate those traditions and introduce (or re-introduce) some of our own tunes from the Nordic countries. We’ve got some new music and some very old music to share with you. Looking forward!'
Swedish multi-instrumentalist Ale Carr (cittern) is recognized as one of the leading players of plucked string instruments in Nordic folk music today. He has won five Danish Music Awards in addition to the ones he earned with Dreamers’ Circus and appeared this summer at the BBC Proms at Royal Albert Hall with The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. Nikolaj Busk (piano/accordion) is a composer and pianist who grew up on traditional Danish songs as well as Louis Armstrong and the Beatles before being “adopted,” as he puts it, by folk music. Violinist Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen is probably best known to US audiences as violinist in the Danish String Quartet, which just released PRISM V on ECM records. Lesser known fact: Rune also studied church organ and was formerly concertmaster of the Copenhagen Philharmonic.
“Dreamers’ Circus does for Nordic folk music what Astor Piazolla and the tango nuevo did for Argentinian folk music.”
Last fall, Dreamers' Circus released Handed On: a published book of 58 of their own pieces of Nordic folk music, arranged for varying degrees of difficulty, along with beautiful, professionally recorded videos to accompany each tune. Handed On is about to be introduced into Danish schools to introduce folk and traditional music to young students. Rune spoke about the project with The Strad podcast and with The Violin Channel.
[Video: About Handed On]
Their most recent recordings of original tunes are Blue White Gold (for which the Trio was awarded the prestigious Carl Prize for Composer of the Year in 2021) and Lost Swans (2022), available to stream and as a double-album on vinyl.
[Video: Blue White Gold album teaser]
Dreamers’ Circus Projects and Collaborations
In addition to writing and performing their own music, Dreamers’ Circus is a frequent collaborator on projects with other musicians, for example:
- Playing the music for the video game Chrono Cross, including: Sailing and Termina, a collaboration with Japanese composer Yasunori Mitsuda
- Performing and arranging music for a collaboration with the DR Børnekoret (Danish Radio’s Children's Choir) on an album of Danish children’s folk songs (June 2022). Watch here.
- Collaborating with renowned Danish fiddler Poul Bjerager Christiansen on an initiative to bring traditional folk music to life from centuries-old handwritten scores. Watch Walz and Gammel Reel.
About Dreamers’ Circus
Late one night in 2009 Nikolaj Busk pushed open the door of a bar in Copenhagen and chanced upon fiddle player Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen and cittern player, Ale Carr, playing some traditional Nordic tunes. Spotting a piano in the corner of the room Nikolaj joined the pair. Within minutes it became clear that there was an instant musical chemistry happening. Read the rest of the story here.