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The traditional music of Sweden has been preserved through the playing of multi-instrumentalist and composer Ale Moller. A former member of folk groups Filarfolket and Friot, Moller helped to spark interest in Swedish folk music in the late '80s and early '90s. He currently works with violinist/vocalist Lena Willemark, drone-fiddler Mats Eden, and percussionist Tina Johansson in the Nordic Quartet, a group dedicated to resurrecting the medieval ballads of Scandanavia. Together with Jonas Knutsson, Moller has directed the 14-piece Stockholm Folk Music Big Band.
A native of Malmo, Sweden, Moller initially gravitated to jazz and rock as a youngster. Post-bop trumpet player Clifford Brown provided his earliest influence. After meeting Christos Mitrencis, a Greek bouzouki player who was living in Malmo, Moller became fascinated with the musical traditions of Greece. Acquiring a bouzouki of his own, he soon mastered the instrument. During the longest of his many trips to Greece, he played with Neo Minore's Orchestra, a group that often accompanied Mikos Theodorakis. Returning to Sweden, he began exploring the music of his own roots. His understanding of traditional Swedish music was then strengthened when he moved to Dalarna, an area known for its traditional fiddlers, in the late-'70s. Although he attempted to play the fiddle tunes on his bouzouki, he found that he was unable to duplicate the tunings of the fiddle and switched to the mandola, an octave mandolin. Moller also plays harp, birch bark horns, hammered dulcimer, and spelpipa, a small wooden whistle with eight fingerholes. Moller has built a solid reputation as a composer. His 1999 solo album, The Horse and the Crane, was composed for a theatrical production about the expansion of Sweden's railroads. He previously released two albums — Bouzoukispellman and Kompassmusik — that were available only in Sweden.