Helene Blum (born 1979) is a Danish singer and musician who specializes in folk music. Since 2005, when she won the Danish Music Awards Folk prize for her album En sød og liflig klang, she has performed widely in Denmark, North America and Germany, frequently appearing with her husband Harald Haugaard.
Born in 1979 in Gelsted on the Danish island of Funen, Helene Blum was the first singer to graduate from the folk music department at the Carl Nielsen Academy of Music in Odense when she received her diploma in 2004. Together with her husband, the fiddler Harald Haugaard, she has given over 700 performances in Denmark, Germany and North America. Composing most of her songs herself, she combines folk, pop and chanson.
Singing soprano, Blum has also performed in the ballet Medea at the Schleswig-Holsteinische Landestheater in Flensburg and in the opera Konsuma in Odense.
The composer, Rasmus Zwicki, wrote a special part for her. She went on to perform in the Helene Blum & Harald Haugaard Quintet, singing and playing the violin. The other players are Kristine Elise Pedersen (cello), Mattias Perez (guitar), and Sune Rahbek (percussion). In 2017, the Helene Blum and Harald Haugaard Band also included Mikkel Grue (guitar) and Mathæus Bech (bass).
Now averaging a hundred concerts a year, they have performed together in Germany, the United States, Austria, Norway, Canada, Japan and Denmark.
The Daily Telegraph included her Men med åbne øjne as one of the best folk music albums of 2013. Calling the album “an unexpected treat”, the critic Martin Chilton praised Blum’s “haunting voice”, even if nearly all the lyrics were in Danish. (wikipedia)
Helene Blum is one of the female musicians who have taken Danish folk to a whole new level. Her inventive, contemporary interpretation of traditional songs reveals their timeless beauty. This musical proficiency coupled with her expressive voice have brought her high acclaim in her native country – and also enabled her to captivate enthusiastic audiences elsewhere in Europe, the USA, Canada and Japan.
In 2004, Helene Blum was the first singer ever to graduate with a degree in folk music from the Carl Nielsen Academy in Odense. The following year, she received a Danish music award in the category Folk Debut of the Year for her first solo album. She finally nailed her success as an artist in 2009 with her personal breakthrough ‘En gang og altid’ (‘Once and always’), which received rave reviews from not just the music press but across the board in the Danish media.
In retrospect, Helene’s artistic development appears preordained. In actual fact, things could have taken a very different turn for this singer born in 1979, for she started out playing classical piano.
Learning the piano and the violin as a small child, she spent much of her time making music with her three sisters. She also sang and played Danish songs, and grew up with church music. Yet even at the age of nineteen, she still wanted to be a pianist.
But then Helene discovered folk, which sounded to her like a huge promise: “I found an incredible freedom that I had to explore – and felt the urge to delve into roots.” Repeatedly forging something new from traditional music has since become a labour of love for her. Performing solo and in various line-ups, including excursions into musical theatre and the opera, Helene Blum seeks creative challenges. She finds inspiration in contemporary poetry, art and Nordic myths as well as the landscape of her native island of Funen, with which she feels a deep-seated bond.
This is all reflected on her album, ‘Men med åbne øjne’, which the Daily Telegraph (UK) declared one of the top ten folk albums of 2013. That same year, the Helene Blum & Harald Haugaard Band won the prestigious European folk music prize ‘Eiserner Eversteiner’. Helene Blum’s fifth and current CD Dråber af tid (‘Droplets of time’) released in 2017 was met with high critical acclaim. One track on the album, ‘Friheden Station’, was a number one hit on Danish radio. (taken from her website)
And here´s her 4th solo-album:
Listening Post 113. The great Jim Croce could only dream of capturing Time in a Bottle, but on her fifth solo album the Danish folksinger and songwriter Helene Blum succeeds in making the clock stand still. Each song on Dråber af tid (Droplets of Time) revolves around a defining moment—a marriage proposal, a lullaby, a separation, a war’s end—the narrative unit around which life stories are built. The album offers stunning music, evocative imagery and, above all, Blum’s spellbinding voice—bright and poignant, magically fusing opera house resonance with small café intimacy. In a collection that includes traditional songs, works by Danish poets and Blum’s own compositions, the pinnacle is Friheden Station (Freedom Station), capturing love’s first moment: “I dreamed you floated over to me and whispered in my ear about our future,” she sings, “Time stopped when you took my hand”. Always surrounding Blum are her husband/master fiddler Harald Haugaard and their band, with arrangements perfectly sculpted to her voice.
The spark of inspiration animates En lille dråbe blod (A Little Drop of Blood), giving new life to a century-old poem by Sophus Claussen—“Take your pen and write what’s in your heart/A new time is coming…and maybe it just needs you” (video 2). Some of the frozen moments have competing facets: Din fod skal gå (Your Feet Will Take You Far), about the miracle of birth, dances between pensive verse and soaring chorus; Et øjebliks stilhed (A Moment of Silence), inspired by the Danish-Prussian War of 1864, shifts from melancholy memory to stirring peace march; the mystical strings and steady voices in Som stjernerne på himlens blå (Like the Stars in the Sky) echo heaven and earth. If you haven’t heard Helene Blum’s music, it’s about time. (by Atigay)
Helene Blum (vocals, piano)
Mads la Cour (flugelhorn)
Mikel Grue (guitar)
Sune Haansbaek (guitar)
Ulrik Kofoed Hansen (french horn)
Harald Haugaard (violin)
Palle Mikkelborg (trumpet)
Soren Mikkelsen (piano, bass)
Christoffer Moller (piano)
Kristine Elise Pedersen (violoncello)
Sune Rahbek (percussion)
Anders Ringgaard (trombone)
Tapani Varis (bass)
Rasmus (Zeeberg) (mandoline)
Trine Lunau – Karin Mose
01. En Lille Dråbe Blod (Blum/Claussen) 3.01
02. Friheden Station (Blum) 3.31
03. Vores Historie (Blum/Juncker/Larsen) 4.26
04. Barn Rødkindet (Gudmunsen-Holmgren/Standgaard) 4.13
05. Din Fod Skal Gå (Blum) 4.08
06. Lad Våren Komme (Blum/Jacobsen) 3.27
07. Tusind Tanker (Traditional) 4.20
08. Som Stjernerne På Himlens Blå (Traditional) 5.04
09. Et Øjebliks Stilhed (Blum) 4.05
10. Det Haver Så Nyligen Regnet (Blum/Traditional) 4.36
11. Solen Er Så Rød Mor (Nielsen/Bergstedt) 3.16
More from Helene Blum & Harald Haugaard:
The official website: