Fiddlestycks takes a highly unusual, ancient instrument - the Swedish Nyckelharpa - and creates a spine-tingling set of contemporary atmospheres.
...A nyckel-what-did-you-say? The nyckelharpa is an ancient Swedish fiddle, characterised by its resonant sound. Its 16 sympathetic strings and quirky set of keys gives it bundles of character. The nyckelharpa for this virtual instrument was performed and sampled at 57° North by Lucie.
Fun fact: the virtual instrument was also used in the soundtrack for the video game Monument Valley II by Todd Baker (hear in the soundcloud playlist below).
Fiddlestycks has been blessed by pagan witches and includes 4 different articulations for you to make music with - cryck, tyckle, lynger and whysper :
- Cryck - an epic plucked bass sound, which combines nyckelharpa pizzicato with creaks and squeaks to create a richly textured bass pad
- Tyckle - my personal favourite, ‘Tyckle’ is a dreamy articulation which fuses col legno ricochets with the nyckelharpa’s rich legato tone.
- Lynger - a shivery sul tasto pad, punctuated with the nyckelharpa's characterful key clicks
- Whysper - eerie harmonic slides
There are also 3 unique parameters for you to further enhance your sound world :
North Wind - add a cold North whistly wind
Stagger - a ping-pong delay that adds depth and movement
Shymmer - add layers of sul tasto (scratchy) tremolo
The atmospheres are designed by layering different close-miked articulations together to create immersive sonic tapestries. Perfect for adding a bit more movement and texture to ambient soundtracks.
Watch the video above or listen below to our soundcloud playlist for demos using the instrument!
You can also watch a whistle-stop tour of the instrument on YouTube here.
Nyckelharpa performed by Lucie Treacher