The Jämtland Journey 1951
On the 2nd of April, 1951, Matts Arnberg asked of the Director of Swedish Radio to ”be allowed to speedily continue those recordings of folk music which were commenced upon in connection with the collecting of folk music that has now been completed.” He justified this by pointing out that: ”It is totally impossible to get to grips with this musical material by the use of notations; the only passable way is recordings”. He continued: ”Since we are still able to make folk music programmes with genuine music in our country – a privilege that other countries greatly envy – we should see to it that this traditional music is preserved, so that we are also able to produce such programmes in the future.”
In his application, Arnberg suggested that he should do a recording trip in Jämtland that very year. It would liken an ”expedition” in which Arnberg would first do a reconnaisance trip in the Jämtland area, then follow up the contacts thus established by maiking a trip with a recording bus and a technician. He also mentions that the music department will in future budgets request a special allocation for recordings of folk music.
The Director approved Arnberg’s request to make recordings of folk music in Jämtland. The recording trip took place in September 1951 and comprised traditional tunes, songs and herding calls. The following parishes were visited: Frostviken, Alanäs, Ström, Föllinge, Mörsil, Kall, Offerdal, Mattmar, Alsen, Gåxsjö, Marieby, Oviken och Klövsjö. A total of 31 tradition bearers were recorded.
In his report on the trip he tells of its planning, which differed from earlier trips: ”First I made a reconnaisance trip alone by car for 14 days, whereupon the recordings themselves could – thanks to this thorough planning – be completed in 14 days.”
Now the recordings were made with a tape recorder, but since the tapes in those days were extremely expensive and their durability was uncertain the recordings were transferred to shellac discs back in Stockholm.