The history of the group
The group R7 was formed for the recording of the album "Uppå marmorns höga berg" (Giga) 1996 - a album with repertoir from Susannes traditional "core" Gästrikland (in the middle of Sweden). The setting with 4 singers and 3 stringplayer was a wish for a great sound that was never heard before in Swedish tradition with polyphonic folk singing together with heavy sounding strings.
Listen to "Leja tjänstepiga"
Folkliga Damkören and Rotvälta - on the way to R7
Susanne has already together with Sven Ahlbäck tried out ideas of polyphonic singing in different sorroundings e g FOLKLIGA DAMKÖREN (Folk women choir) and in different project and the stringtrio part was already going in their other group ROTVÄLTA. "Folkliga Damkören" started after a very successful course at Falun Folkmuisc Festival. Since nearly everybody of the participants lived in Stockholm it became possible to continue with the polyphonic singing. Others joined in and members of the FOLKLIGA DAMKÖREN such as Ulrika Bodén, Eva Åström Rune and Karin Holdar then became the singers in Susannes new project later to be R7. Folkliga Damkören did a lot of project an performances and did excist between 1992-1997 and then so to speak transformed into the elit ensemble R7.
Listen to "Nu vilar hela jorden" with R7, an arrangement that Susanne originally made for Folkliga Damkören.
The musical style of R7
The music of R7 is mainly based on the original arrangements of Susanne, Sven Ahlbäck and later also Eva Åström Rune. The style of arranging for vocals in this way was then never tried in Swedish tradition and is more related to the bulgaric voice settings but also to old vocal singingstyle and the polyphony of old choral singing and some arcaic old scandinavian style. Strong, stylish, powerful and modal at the same time. "The stringtrio in R7 are riff based, rythmical and modal and together with the voices creates the special sound of R7 success.
Listen to "Silibrand"
The R7 setting
R7 means "Rosenbergs sjua" (Rosenbergs septet) and the original setting was with Susanne, Ulrika Bodén, Karin Holdar, Eva Åström Rune voice and Sven Ahlbäck, (violin), Mikael Marin (viola) and Annika Wijhbladh (cello). And that was also the setting for the first album (Uppå marmons höga berg). Quite soon Karin Holdar moved to the very north of Norway and Sofia Sandén became the fourth singer of R7. Mikael Marin left the viola part for Hadrian Prett and Ellika Frisell who altered or sometime shared the position so the R7 in the end often was a R8! This eight musician setting is also the same as for the second album R7/Rosenbergs sjua (Drone) that was released in 1999.
Touring with R7
R7 was a great success and did a lot of touring through out Europe on festivals and did concert in remote parts of northen Italy, Tv-shows in Tjeckien and big tours in England and Sweden. In USA the group played both on Broadway in New York and a two weeks gig at Disneyland Florida!
The vocal quartet in R7 did a lot of polyphonic kulnings gig,
listen to "Vallåtar"
in all kinds of settings and also performed together in a producition of Medea that toured the whole of Sweden. They also did several shows on the catwalk together with designer nygårdsanna. Listen to "Bröllopsdag" that originally was created for the catwalk!
R7 did its last farwell gig in May 2000 at a small club on Södemalm in the centre of Stockholm.
The polyphonic singing style and arrangements of R7 can still be herd in different settings of Susannes Folksong ensemble - a group that differs in shape and numbers depending on the gig! The Folksong Ensemble do both concerts with Kulning and with polyphonic folk songs.
contact Udda Toner for more information and for booking of FOLKSONG ENSEMBLE: firstname.lastname@example.org