Concert: Maja Heurling and Ola Sandström Perform Irrbloss

May 3, 2021

Concert: Maja Heurling and Ola Sandström Perform Irrbloss
Free and Open to the Public
May 7, 2021 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm CT
Virtual (Zoom): Registration recommended

Our friends at the Sustaining Scandinavian Folk Arts in the Upper Midwest Project are hosting this free online concert in collaboration with the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study.

Signe Aurell was a Swedish immigrant and poet, and one hundred years after their publication her poems have been set to music by Maja Heurling and Ola Sandström. In 1913, she traveled alone from Sweden to Minnesota, where she worked as a laundress and seamstress. When not working in the homes of others, she wrote labor poetry. In 1919, Signe self-published a poetry collection in Swedish, Irrbloss (Will-o’-the-Wisp), featuring her lyrically powerful work. Her poems, mostly unknown until now, tell of homesickness and the struggle for a better tomorrow. Today, Heurling and Sandström’s musical compositions highlighting a selection of poems from Irrbloss blend folk music and the Swedish visa tradition to amplify the importance and continued relevance of Signe’s words.

Marcus Cederström, Community Curator of Nordic-American folklore for the Sustaining Scandinavian Folk Arts in the Upper Midwest Project, wrote his dissertation about Signe Aurell in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Ph.D. in Scandinavian Studies and Folklore from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, which he earned in 2016: In Search of Signe: The Life and Times of a Swedish Immigrant.

Maja Heurling – Vocals and guitar. Maja is a songwriter with a feel for nuance of lyrics and melodies. Her previous work includes songs based on the life and work of Swedish author Moa Martinson.

Ola Sandström – Vocals and guitar. Ola is a composer and musician who is critically acclaimed for setting Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer’s poetry to music.

The concert will take place on Friday, May 7, at 2:00pm Central Time and will be conducted over the Zoom webinar platform. Registration is recommended and is free. You will receive a Zoom link to the event via email prior to the event.

Email the Sustaining Scandinavian Folk Arts in the Upper Midwest project with any questions.