Wardruna: The return of the old way

Photo Credit: thestranger.com

Photo Credit: thestranger.com

Music has been part of civilization since the first man hit on a hollow tree with a club and heard the sound echo back to his ears.

Over the centuries, music has changed drastically, from skin-stretched drums to electronically produced beats. However, at the moment where it seems the old ways will be lost, Wardruna has stepped forward to preserve culture.

This Norwegian music group was formed in 2003 by Einar Selvik, Ghaal, and Lindy Fay Hella. Since then, they have strived to resurrect the old Norse music that speaks of the many gods of Valhalla and Hel. They have gone so far as to use instruments like deer-hide frame drums, flutes, kraviklyrs, tagelharpes, mouth harps, goat horns, and lurs. 

The name Wardruna has been described in many different ways by Selvik. He has said it means, “the guardian of secrets,” “she who whispers,” and “warden/guardian of runes.” Although all these have the same meaning, it all depends on how people interpret it. 

Now, earlier there were many instruments listed. Some may be quite familiar, others not so much. Here are provided descriptions of those that may not be so familiar.

  • Kraviklyrs: A lyre is a small instrument, commonly seen in Greek paintings. It’s pretty much a tiny harp
  • Tagelharpa: This instrument is a cross between a lyre and a violin
  • Lurs: Lurs are horns that can be shaped in any way, but they have no finger holes

With this combination of old instruments, and the songs telling ancient tales, Wardruna is able to bring the old ways back to life.