Folk & World

Kulning: Powerful Female Vocals of the North

Part of Nordic Matters

Discover the unique and old Swedish vocal technique of kulning with two of the most prominent bearers of this tradition today.

Kulning was used by women to call for cattle and to communicate over long distances in the Swedish summertimes, when women moved to small wooden chalets in the mountains to live with the cattle and let them graze in deep forests. The powerful herding calls, kulning, was necessary to be heard far away and to gather the flock for milking time.

The women took the opportunity to improvise and also make melodies while calling. Kulning has now developed into a rich and interesting music that forms the foundation of folk tradition in Sweden.

Nowadays, kulning is used mostly on stage and has become an important part of the traditional vocal style in Sweden. In this unique event, Johanna Bölja Hertzberg and Ulrika Bodén present kulning to you from different angles; ornamented melodies and powerful calls, as well as improvisations. They also demonstrate how different the calls sound depending on what animal you call.

Dates & times

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Royal Festival Hall
Blue Side Foyer, Level 4