Henning Andersen with Marit Mattisgard - Underlege makter (The Bels Ring) - CD
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cd cover Henning Andersen with Marit Mattisgard
Underlege makter (The Bells Ring) (Ta:lik)

The songs of the church bells of Valdres, Norway, performed by the duo of Henning Andersen and on voices, fiddles, jews harp, folk flutes, zithers and of course, the bells of Valdres themselves. Henning Andersen writes in his notes: "From time immemorial the church bells have rung in to festival and feat, to sorrow and joy. For people here in Norway the church bells have been a sound and safe landmark for over a thousand years. Over the years they have served various purposes but primarily have been God’s voice here on earth. They have summoned the congregation to church service, baptisms, confirmations, weddings and funerals. Gradually they gained other duties than the sacral as they were used to warn of war and mobilisation, accidents and catastrophes. The bells marked the passing hours, the start and end of the working day and the commencement of church holidays when tired bodies could rest..."


The devil in the church tower
Tøstein Langbei
Sylkegulen hass Bendik I Nø’en
Hestebjøøutn I svartedauen

"... Here in Valdres church bells have rung for nearly a thousand years and we can hardly conceive a church without them. If we think back to when the first churches were built in the valley, we can try to imagine the impression they made on the inhabitants when they were finished and the bells rang out over the countryside. Both the sight and sound had never been experienced there before. Perhaps at first the bells sounded menacing. It was strange, frightening, powerful and alien. The church bells represented God. They were God’s voice that spoke to the people. That is why they were allotted such significance and magic powers. And in the same breath that of all the customs which Christianity brought with it there are few that made such an impact as the ringing of bells. That is why in ancient times old folks claimed that Christianity triumphed in the north because it was rung into the minds of the people."

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