Cittern - Skåne

Hailing from the Skåne region in southern Sweden, Ale Carr was raised in a family of folk musicians, performing with the family band his whole life. This created a strong foundation for his musicianship in that music had always been about interaction and connection with friends and family as well as the exciting and meaningful link between the artist and the listener. 

Growing up, he developed an arsenal of instruments including violin, guitar, drums, piano, double-bass, mandolin - until finally as a 14-year-old he got his hands on a cittern which today has become his signature instrument. Self-taught on the cittern until he began his formal studies at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, Ale has been inspired and learned much from musical pioneers like Ale Möller, Roger Tallroth, and Olle Lindvall. Today, Ale is recognized as one of the leading players of plucked string instruments within the Nordic music tradition. 

Also a prominent fiddler, Ale became a Riksspelman at the age of 19. In 2017 he became the world champion of clog-fiddle, a traditional instrument from Skåne. Since 2015 Ale is the artistic director of Folkrot, a festival that celebrates the traditional music from Skåne. 

In his early teenage years, Ale determined to challenge and seek to develop the traditional music that he loved. This led him into composing and to broaden his musical spectrum, leading to many new exciting collaborations. Influenced by his father’s Danish heritage, He found his way into Denmark’s folk music scene and together with Nikolaj Busk and Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen founded the band Dreamers’ Circus in 2009, as well as joining the Danish band Basco in 2010. Other collaborations include duos with Esko Järvelä and Bjarke Falgren, and through his various projects, he has performed his music with symphony orchestras, big bands, choirs, and chamber ensembles like the Danish String Quartet. Ale now performs on stages all over the world as diverse as Sydney Opera House, Roskilde Festival, Washington Performing Arts, and Hayao Miyazaki’s personal atelier in Japan. He has been awarded 10 Danish Music Awards, including Artist of the Year and Composer of the Year. 

Ale particularly enjoys teaching - as he believes the essence of tradition is based on sharing experiences and one’s cultural inheritance. He has wide experience in delivering workshops and music classes at festivals and concerts internationally and has been teaching at the Malmö Academy of Music since 2011, as well as being a guest teacher at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo and the Academy of Music and Drama in Gothenburg among others. 

For his cittern course at the Folk Music Academy, Ale presents a detailed deconstruction of his style of playing nordic traditional melodies on the cittern, in an attempt to show what he has discovered during his journey up to now.

Here are the exact strings that Ale is using in the videos:

D-bass | Hannabach "Classic Strings", Doublebass-guitar D-4th Nylon, E8414 MT D-4th Silver-plated, 90cm (105cm totalt) (0.060 string gauge)
D-8va | Thomastik-Infeld SB30 Bronze Flat Wound .030" (D: ins 030, mm 0.75, lbs 25.7, kp 11,7)
G-bass | D'Addario Classical Guitar Medium High Tension Composite Polymer Core E6th. J4506C. (0.044 string gauge)
G-8va | Thomastik-Infeld AC519 Bronze Flat Wound .019" (E: ins 019, mm 0.47, lbs 13.8, kp 6.3)
D | Thomastik-Infeld SB30 Bronze Flat Wound .030" (D: ins 030, mm 0.75, lbs 25.7, kp 11,7)
A | Thomastik-Infeld AC516 Bronze Flat Wound .016" (A: ins 016, mm 0.41, lbs 19.0, kp 8,6)
D | Thomastik-Infeld P10 Plain Steel .010" (E: ins 010, mm 0.26, lbs 17.2, kp 7.8)

Interview with Ale Carr

Learn about Ale's musical background and what folk music means to Ale.

Ale's' courses

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