Orsa by Night

2005 -? Country & Eastern

Five years after meeting, author/musician Thomas Tidholm and composer/saxophonist Jonas Knutsson has made the traditional music from the old village of Orsa in Sweden, grow to embrace the world.

 This is the story:

”We met at a course teaching the playing of folk tunes on wind instruments in connection with the Hovra Meet in northern Hälsingland. Jonas taught, Thomas was an enthusiastic participant. Something clicked, and after three days of talking and playing we were on stage in Bönhuset (The House of Prayer) – Jonas blew and Thomas read.
The year after, we we played together in Bönhuset. By then we had both – thanks to Björn Ståbi, host of the Hovra Meet – fallen for the music of Orsa, but Pers Hans from Rättvik who was waiting in the foyer was happy to hear one of his own polskas.
Our contact developed, and in 2007 we made a CD with poetry and horns called Himlen Har Inga Hål (Heaven Has No Holes).

From there our common musical journey continued, now in a little room on Brännkyrkagatan in Stockholm.
The music from Orsa was still there somewhere in the centre – tunes with singular twists, full of tales. We wanted to hear these more clearly, and therefore we started playing them more slowly. Sometimes we had to stop in the middle and look around in order to understand properly. Drones and shifts arose, we played the tunes ever more freely. Lots of associations came and we made room for them – canticles and songs, tales of our own, new tunes. Shostakovich often sat in a corner, Gil Evans made a polska, anything could happen.

We never left Orsa, but the world became a little bigger every time.
We started recording. We met on and off for five years.
When Jonas came home from tours in Europe, Thomas took the train down to Stockholm.
This turned into a CD – Orsa by Night. But it’s not over.” – Thomas Tidholm

This Country & Eastern album (CE35) was released on September 9, 2015.

Viktor Gårdsäter has caught them in Jonas’ studio during work on this album:

Reviews for the album are starting to show up.
In Swedish:
and in English:
Eyal Hareuveni in Salt Peanuts


  1. Orsa by Night (1:59)
  2. Polska efter Gil (3:22)
  3. Vår och Vimplar (6:29)
  4. Lillpolskan (3:19)
  5. Polska efter Höök Olle (3:41)
  6. En Ros Utsprungen (5:34)
  7. Efter Lunch (8:49)
  8. Nu är det Sommar (3:49)
  9. Brännkyrkagatan (4:07)
  10. Pellar Anna (5:13)
  11. Raga efter Grins Hans (8:42)
  12. Sorglösa Vals (5:33)

more info

Thomas Tidholm, clarinet, words
Jonas Knutsson, saxophones, percussion

Release date September 9, 2015
Recorded and mixed by Jonas Knutsson at Almost Studios, Stockholm
Mastered by Claes Persson, CRP
Photos by Viktor Gårdsäter
Inside photo by Nino Ramsby
Graphic design by Jon Edergren, Spektra.
Produced by Jonas Knutsson and Thomas Tidholm
Executive producer, Bengt Berger
Thanks to Kulturrådet for support