Monday, September 17, 2012

Dr Bekken || Southcoast Blues

It's so good to see and hear the Doc playing his bari again. Here he is showing off the sound of another set of  dGBE, or re-entrant, strings from the Southcoast Guitar & Ukulele Company. 

Dr Bekken is from Norway, across the mountains from my mother's birthland of Sweden. When I was in high school I had my ceramics teacher Ed Frakes share a Scandinavian tale from 1917 by Knut Hamsun. It was called, Growth of the Soil, and was a epic tale of a rugged, burly man going off in the woods and creating a simple life. It discusses how he built a family and a legacy and the book was a winner of the Nobel Prize for literature in 1920.

I have found an incredible site for vintage book lovers called, Librovox, which has so many great public domain books in mp3 files, ready for downloading or listening to on your computer. The first book that I listened to was Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, yes about 37 hours worth! Knut Hamsun's Growth of the Soil was much like Tolstoy's in many ways but a more modest 14.5 hours. Great authors seem to have an amazing ability to see so much in the human condition.

I know that I have taken you off of the musical trail but great stories lead to great songs.


  1. Norway has a magnificent literary tradition. Poets and storytellers abound. Ever since the vikings travelled the world to plunder and wreak havoc, Norwegian literature has been on a roll. You better learn some Norwegian, folks.

  2. I have also read Knut's Pan which was a chore to get thru. Wiki says that Knut enjoyed delving into the dark psyche of man. The book had me baffled. Growth of the Soil was rich and deep but dealt with the concept of infanticide and it's personal, cultural and political ramifications as a subplot within the story.

    1. Try great writers such as Sigrid Undset (another Nobel laureate)and Arne Garborg; or latter-day favourites such as Per Petterson...they're all translated into English. Mind-blowing stuff.