On the Old Northshore Road by Lake Superior lives a fisherman named Steve Dahl together with his wife, harpist Georganne Hunter. Being a very handy fellow, he began making harps for Georganne to use. With a growing urge to look more closely into his Norwegian heritage, Steve traveled to Gjovik, Norway to learn the art of making the "langeleik". The langeleik is the Scandinavian version of the mountain dulcimer, differing in that it has one melody string and seven drones. It is among the oldest instruments in Norway, preceeding the fiddle by several hundred years and has survived with a living tradition in Valdres, Norway since the middle ages.
Arna Rennan, a neighbor and lover of all things Norwegian, was Steve's first customer for the langeleik. She had the good fortune of learning some basic techniques and melodies from Ronnaug Haave, one of the members of the Gjovik Spelmanslag. Together with Georganne, the two ladies have been getting together regularly to play. The word "leik" means "to play" and is another word for "dance tune". They have developed their own arrangements to traditional melodies, combining at times a harp with the langeleik. The pleasure they experience while playing ranges from a calming effect to exhiliration from the vibrations of the instrument and the melodies that come to life.
Georganne Hunter is an accomplished harpist and founding member of the Celtic group, Willowgreen. She has released two CD's with traditional Celtic and Nordic music along with her original compositions. She teaches harp, hammer dulcimer and piano from her home and is involved in numerous venues locally and far beyond. Her maternal grandmother was from the Shetland Islands, so her interest in both Celtic and Nordic music comes quite naturally to her.
Arna Rennan learned Norwegian folk music from her mother from Trondelag, Norway. After high school, she lived primarily in Oslo, Norway to study art. She was exposed to traditional folk music in Gudbrandsdalen during her summers working at a mountain hotel. Most recently, she studied at the Folk Music Institute in Rauland, Telemark with vocal folk music as her focus, with special interest in midieval ballads. Agnes Buesn Garnaas, Ragnhild Furholt, and Frode Nyvold were her instructors. She also learned to play the "selfjefloyte", overtone flute, from Anon Egeland. Arna has also released a CD called, Nordic Shores.