Eckermann Drums
Eckermann Drums
Svend Kjeldsen
 
 Danish-born Galwegian, Svend Kjeldsen, hails from Aarhus in Jutland. At a young age, he started playing traditional Danish music on the fiddle under the tuition of his father Børge Kjeldsen, soon becoming bimusical, as he also went to classical violin lessons with maestro Vagn Rasmussen (1929-1996). As a teenager Svend played in a youth symphony orchestra and in string quartets, just as he played in his first folk band named "Af Kærligheds Ild". In spring 1973, he met Irish fiddler Ted Furey and his son guitarist Eddie Furey, which resulted in nearly total surrender to Irish music. This led to intensive studies of Irish music through which Svend became familiar with the bodhrán, which subsequently became his main instrument. Self-appointed study visits led him to Irish bodhrán players such as Andrew 'Junior' Davey and Johnny McDonagh. In 1994, he was awarded a grant from the Danish Arts Council to study bodhrán with Dr. Mel Mercier, Frank Torpey and Tommy Hayes.
 
Having founded a number of bands (Moving Cloud, ErrisLannan, The Humdingers, Crónán) Svend has toured extensively all over Europe since 1988 and recorded a vast number of albums. In collaboration with Irish master producer Dónal Lunny, he has produced three acclaimed albums for Moving Cloud, released on the Danish label Go Danish Folk Music.
 
Over the years, he also performed with Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, Mel Mercier, Nollaig Casey, Arty McGlynn, Frankie Gavin, Palle Mikkelborg, Lena Willemark, Liam O'Flynn and Helen Davies, among others.
 
In 2000, he graduated with an MA in Irish Traditional Music Performance (First Class Hons) from the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, subsequently joining the show Riverdance.
 
During the study period in Limerick Svend conducted extensive research regarding the origins of the bodhrán in Irish traditional music and aspects of its placement in Irish folkways, just as he researched Sean Nós (old-style) bodhrán-playing* and the playing of the contemporary bodhrán**. This research was also the consolidation of a fruitful collaboration with Eckermann Drums in Vienna, Austria. They reconstructed the forerunners to the contemporary bodhrán, such as sieve's, dallán's and tambourine-bodhrán's. In an ongoing close collaboration they have designed contemporary bodhrán's such as the groundbreaking tabla bodhrán and subsequent prototypes.
 
In 2010, Svend graduated from the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick, with an MA in Ethnomusicology (First Class Hons). During this study period he carried out a comprehensive research project recording and analyzing ensemble-performances by players such as Dónal Lunny, Mel Mercier, Jim Higgins, Brian Morrissey and Colm Phelan***.
 
Having developed his own bodhrán tuition method based on konnakkol/solkattu in the Karnatak tradition, Svend has been in demand as a bodhrán teacher in Ireland and all over Europe since 1992, and has written a number of textbooks for this context.
 
He has an ongoing interest in drums that, similar to the bodhrán, change pitch while being played (unofficially classified as glissando drums), such as the South Indian kanjira and the West African talking drum.
 
Inspired by Ganesh Kumar he has played the kanjira for years.
 
Svend is currently pursuing a PhD at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, where he is also involved in teaching and different musical projects.
 
*) Svend Kjeldsen: "The Coleman Handstrikers. Old Style Bodhrán Playing in South Sligo". Master Thesis, 2000. University of Limerick
 
**) Svend Kjeldsen: "Bodhrán Practicum". Practicum Thesis, 2000. University of Limerick.
 
***) Svend Kjeldsen: "Bodhrán-playing in Ensembles: The Creative Spacing Process". Elective Thesis, 2010. University of Limerick.
 
Eckermann DRUMS
Westbahnstraße 35/9, 1070 Wien | Tel. +43 (0)1 9047166