Scott and Johanna Hongell-Darsee
Scandinavian/Celtic Songs - From ancient epics to medieval and traditional ballads
About The Songs
People have sung stories since times immemorial as a way to memorize and record history and myths. A kind of stone age data base. The songs we today call medieval and traditional ballads have their roots among Nordic epic sagas, French romantic lays, Celtic lore and World mythology. As the songs have traveled they have metamorphosed and melted into various musical traditions, weaving a world of fantasy and mystery.
About Scott and Johanna
Scott and Johanna are a duo who perform early traditional Scandinavian/Celtic ballads and tales.
Their wanderings have led them from Finland and Iowa respectively - through Europe, Scandinavia, India, and the U.S. On the way they have picked up tales and songs that they perform together with the stories behind them, in particular exploring the links between Scandinavian, Celtic, North American and other story singing traditions.
Three of their recordings have been nominated for Best Vocal Performance by the New Mexico Music Awards (2014, 2016, 2020).
Their performances have been described as magical, inspiring, haunting, mesmerizing
After relocating to New Mexico from Scandinavia in 2001, Scott and Johanna have performed all over the U.S. at festivals, theaters, arts councils, universities, schools, libraries, and live broadcasts including:
Provincetown Playhouse and Scandinavia House, NYC
Outpost Performance Space with AMP Concerts, Albuquerque, NM
Wildwood Sounds, Del Norte, CO
Folk Festivals: Traditional Music Society, Los Angeles, CA; and Albuquerque, NM
Scandinavian Festivals: Estes Park, CO; Atlanta, GA; Los Angeles, CA; Thousand Oaks, CA; and Lindsborg, KS
Storytelling Festivals: Los Angeles, CA; Four Corners, NM; Taos, NM; and Albuquerque, NM
Universities: NYU; UNM, ENMU, San Juan College and College of Santa Fe, NM; UA; Coe College, IA
NPR Affiliates, KUNM, KSFR, WFHB
TV 2KASA Morning Show
New Mexico Humanities Council – Inducted as scholars in 2005
Johanna Hongell-Darsee began her performing arts career in 1986.
She received her education in mime and theater at the Lecoq School in Paris, France and later studied Classical Indian Dance with Gurus Sri Kama Dev and Smt Savithri Jagannatha Rao. She also studied Abhinaya (the mimic part of the dance) with Guru Kalanidhi Narayanan and her students Uma Maheshwari and Nityakalyani Vaydjanathan. The past 20 years she has researched and performed medieval and traditional ballads.
Before moving to New Mexico in 2001, she led a dance and theater company (Teater Bava) in Malmö, Sweden as well as toured throughout Sweden and in Europe, USA and India. She has performed at festivals such as Avignon in France, La Batie in Switzerland, Tampere in Finland, Differenta Sensationi in Italy, Theater of Creation in Pennsylvania, USA, Kobenhavn Sommerscene in Denmark, and Dance and Theater festivals in Stockholm, Malmo, Uppsala, Vilhelmina, Falun, Varmland and Skane in Sweden.
She has taught Bharata Natyam as a guest artist at University of New Mexico Department of Theater and Dance.
Scott Darsee is an artist and musician who spent many years in Europe before moving back to the USA in 2001.
Parallel to his artistic pursuits, he worked as a consultant at Ballet companies such as Dance Theatre of Harlem, London Festival Ballet, The English National Ballet, The Royal Danish Ballet and Hamburg Ballet. He also taught at the Danish State School of Modern Dance and worked at Teater Bava as a sound engineer and painter. Scott composes innovative arrangements and original themes on string instruments.