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The Dreamers’ Circus Trio Releases Book of Original "New Nordic" Music

The award-winning folk trio has released a music book titled “Handed On,” including 58 original melodies inspired by traditional songs and accompanying videos


Dreamers’ Circus has launched a new project with the aim of renewing Scandinavian folk music, creating new traditions, and ensuring the music’s journey to future generations. “Handed On” is a songbook publication with 58 original melodies accompanied by video recordings available on YouTube. The trio recently celebrated its launch with a concert in Denmarks’ Den Sorte Diamant.

Formed in 2009, Dreamers’ Circus comprises Danish violinist Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen, Swedish cittern player Ale Carr, and Danish pianist and accordionist Nikolaj Busk. Each with their unique approaches to music, their sound is characterized by their Nordic roots with both cheerful and wistful styles.

The trio released their first EP in 2010, and have since created four critically acclaimed albums — earning their place in the international folk scene — winning five Danish Music Awards (DMA) and the 2021 Carl Prize for Composer of the Year (Roots category).  

Having grown up with folk music, the trio became aware that for the tradition surrounding the genre to survive into new generations, it could not remain stagnant — a key reason behind the creation of “Handed On.” Knowing that folk music possesses a unifying quality — one that has lasted hundreds of years — Dreamers’ Circus hopes to continue its legacy.

“All three of us share a great love for the traditional folk music that we grew up with in Denmark and Sweden respectively,” the trio said in the press release. “Folk music is characterized by being ‘social music,’ where precisely the transmission and renewal are important for the genre to survive,” they explained. “Now we want to give some love back to folk music by launching the project ‘Handed On,’ which should be seen as a contemporary addition to the existing repertoire.”

Consisting of melodies categorized into Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Master playing levels, “Handed On” ensures its accessibility to both beginner and professional musicians of any age and level of music education. The Bronze chapter also includes sticker awards for the learner. 



Additionally, YouTube videos by Dreamers’ Circus are available to play along with for each of the melodies in each playing level. This video initiative is also designed to encourage the sharing of learned melodies and uploads of new melodies which can be shared with others.

To purchase “Handed On,” click here.

This month, the trio invited 50 guest artists to perform with them each time a “Handed On” melody made its stage debut. In a celebration of Nordic music, the artists included the Zapolski Strings, Poul Lendal, the Vesselil folk band, Mads Hansen’s Kapel, as well as young people from Roskilde Music School.


Dreamers’ Circus was recently appointed as one of three new special ensembles of The Norwegian Art Foundation. They were also appointed “City Musicians” in Denmark’s Roskilde Municipality for 2021 to 2023. Having performed twice this summer at the Roskilde Festival alongside the Danish String Quartet — in which Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen is a member — and with a folk dance number, the trio also completed tours of both the U.S. and Japan earlier this year.

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