Lurs

Lur Players

Long before the Vikings, prehistoric metal workers in Scandinavia made giant bronze horns called Lurs, which were curved, unlike earlier wooden versions.

They snaked high into the air in pairs, and two musicians can sustain a powerful low drone on them, slowly hyper-ventilating as they play. Professor Chill travelled to Ystad, Wallander country, to the house of world leading music archaeologist Cajsa Lund to record these instruments being played, building an ambient soundscape from them, inspired by these ancient sounds, and the cold winter of the flat surrounding fields. The track also features other Swedish musicians adding A Viking lyre solo, and a recorder carved out of animal bone, modelled on a mediaeval original.

Bronze lurs

Rock art from the period shows mysterious figures playing these dramatic instruments, and one of the images, from the Scandinavian King’s grave of Kivik, has inspired the imagery used on the Dub Archaeology album that features this track.

It’s a journey through Swedish prehistory, representing the stark horizon of a frozen past.