Live reviews

“Camara and Sanderson’s skillful embellishes meant the fiddles would weave in and out of each other beautifully…fully appreciating each other’s skill”

Julaba Kunda at St. Ethelburga’s centre for reconciliation & Peace, Louise Ungless, 2012

“A highlight of this year’s Golowan Festival in Penzance was the show from Griselda Sanderson and Amadou Diagne, who performed to one of this year’s largest audiences. The complement of nyckelharpa and West African melody and rhythm was delicious, and warmly received. Months later people are still talking about this gig!”

Amanda Pickering, Golowan Festival booker 2012

‘Radial’ reviews

The video of the track ‘Carnera’ (featuring Moroccan Gnawa master Simo Lagnawi) from Griselda’s album Radial was listed at no. 4 in World Music Network’s video charts for October 2015 and no. 1 in Ethnocloud’s December 2015 chart. The album was featured at no. 16 in the TGWM charts and at no. 30 in the European World Music’s ‘best albums of 2015’ chart. Tracks have been played on radio shows as far afield as Argentina and Australia, with Mundofonias featuring tracks on several programmes as well as UK airplay from Cerys Matthews on her BBC 6 Music show. A track also featured on Swedish folk/world music magazine Lira’s February 2016 covermount.

Press Quotes


Sling! (a medley of two slängspolska tunes) marries some classical-style bowed flourishes with vibrant slapped flamenco-like rhythms, yet retains a level of delicacy that’s almost as sublime as it is infectious. Delicacy and clarity of both texture and expression are a perennial feature of the disc, its recording and its playing, and perhaps nowhere is this better illustrated than on the delectable jazzy middle-eastern modality of Louis’ own composition Crazywell Pool. Gris achieves a miraculous tapestry of sound by blending nyckelharpa with fiddle and viola on a traditional Boda village tune, and the spinning lilting joy of Macklin’s Waltz (a vals from Orsa). But in truth every single one of Radial’s tracks has its own special delights. Radial is an album of many enchanting moods, and one where it’s not always possible to pick a favourite track since this accolade will invariably change with one’s own mood But then, this more mercurial aspect of Gris’s music-making will exert considerable appeal on the responsive listener.

David Kidman

 World Music Central

“Radial is the exquisite new album by Scottish musician, composer and producer Griselda Sanderson. Griselda Sanderson has released an exceptionally expressive recording of memorable instrumental pieces rooted in European and African tradition.”

Angel Romero


“A set of compositions that is absolutely stunning. Yes, Gris pushes the envelope sometimes but Swedish traditional music can be a bit out there too – I’m still trying to count the beats in ‘Journey To The Mill’…”

Dai Jeffries

 Folk Radio UK

 “A virtuoso performance, which seamlessly merges technique and passion. Radial is a fascinating showcase for Griselda Sanderson’s nyckelharpa playing and it also reminds the listener that traditional forms of music can easily find their place in the 21st century…the ideal pick-me-up for jaded musical palettes and well worth seeking out. Radial is a reference to the ancient Viking travel route, which linked the Baltic countries, Scotland, Ireland and North Africa. Consequently, it took in “a kaleidoscopic pattern of musical cultures” and the fourteen instrumentals (several of which are derived from traditional compositions) on the album reflect on that diversity, with the nyckelharpa as the unifying sound tying it all together. Opening track ‘Carnera, The Biggest Horse’ – one of the album’s highlights – successfully displays this ambitious fusion. ‘East Wind, Fishing’ is a thoughtful and delicate composition with Griselda’s nyckelharpa soaring effortlessly over the intricate, multitracked playing of Louis Bingham – an excellent showcase of both Louis’s skills as a guitarist and Griselda’s mastery of the nyckelharpa. Griselda does a fine job of accentuating the nyckelharpa’s fiddle-like characteristics without veering into pastiche. The result is pleasingly sparse while still managing to evoke music from both the Baltic countries and North Africa: quite an achievement by anybody’s standards!”

Helen Gregory


“Griselda is keen to widen the repertoire of the nyckelharpa and so you get Celtic music, jazz and even North African influences expanding the set. Griselda’s technique has a degree of roguishness…a good introduction to and ambassador for that rare musical encounter, the nyckelharpa.”

Mark T


Feature in the December/January 2015-16 issue of fROOTS

Living Tradition

“The essential linchpins are Griselda (nyckelharpa, fiddle, viola, piano, percussion) and Louis Bingham (guitar, bouzouki, tenor guitar, e-bow), supported by Moroccan player Simo Lagnawi (guembri or bass lute) in a fascinating musical dialogue. Beautifully recorded with sparkling clarity, Griselda and Louis’ abilities to fully realise the rhythmic and melodic potentialities of their respective instruments and to interweave them to sophisticated effect, provide compelling interest throughout. The nyckelharpa’s full sonic spectrum, from earthy ethereal ambience and resonance to svelte classical chamber grace and stateliness, expressing moods from mellifluous and mellow to melancholic, areencompassed in the radial range of the venture, with the crisp and propulsive supporting fretted guitar work proving to be the ideal sinuous symbiotic companion.”

Kevin T Ward


Griselda Sanderson has imagined a musical landscape for her nyckelharpa which is probably nothing like its origins but which has its own beauty and consistency. Radial is unique and fascinating, a new side to this exotic instrument, a real eye-opener.

Alex Monaghan


“Sanderson’s music has the core repertoire of the nyckelharpa at its hub but it radiates outwards, gathering interesting inflections on the way.”

Julian May

‘Harpaphonics’ Reviews

“With its ornate curves and multiple strings and keys, the Swedish nyckelharpa makes Jimmy Page’s double-necked guitar look like a ukulele…Griselda tames the unwieldy beast and deliver’s enthralling performances”

Clive Davis, The Sunday Times

“Sanderson’s nyckelharpa travels the world”

David Honigman, Financial Times

“The interplay of nyckelharpa and percussion, the brilliant sound quality and the melodies are all wonderful”

John Crosby

“Creative, mesmerising and diverse”

Matthew Forss, Inside World Music

On Harpaphonics Griselda ingeniously incorporates the nyckelharpa’s many and special sounds into an impressive array of settings, moods and textures… I too swiftly became addicted to the fabulous sound of the nyckelharpa itself, finding it hard to prise this brave, enchanting and most rewarding disc from the player”

David Kidman, fROOTS & Netrhythms, November 2008

“A musical love letter to the instrument by one in thrall of its powerful charms. Harpaphonics pulls all the right strings.”

Tim Cumming, Songlines Magazine

“Griselda Sanderson creates a brave new music in this rich and varied album”

Norman Chalmers, Scotland on Sunday

“The nyckelharpa is allowed free rein and the musical journey begins, with intriguing results”

Lars Fahlin, Rock’n’Reel (R2)

“An impressive adventurous album”

Keith Hudson, Taplas Magazine

‘Yakar’ reviews

“Diagne’s hushed, smoky voice and unhurried acoustic guitar is accompanied by striking string arrangements and elegant, sophisticated production…lifted up by quite stunning violin accompaniment by Griselda Sanderson. Indeed her string arrangements, combining hints of Celtic melody, a swirl of Egyptian classicism and the sound of the Swedish nyckelharpa, are outstanding throughout”.

Nigel Williamson, Songlines Magazine issue 95, October 2013.

“The contributions of the latter [Griselda Sanderson], who also produces, add a whole new dimension to Diagne’s acoustic guitar-driven songs…her understated presence adds a sense of drama.”

Dave Haslam, R2 issue 41, Sept/Oct 2013

“Griselda Sanderson has got previous when it comes to this sort of thing, having collaborated with Juldeh Camara on the estimable Julaba Kunda project a couple of years back. But however good that was (and it was) I think Yakar is even better and Sanderson’s sympathetic playing is a major contributor.”

Jamie Renton, fROOTS issue 361, July 2013

‘Traders’ reviews

“The resulting hybrid of African rhythms wrapped up in highland jigs is built on a telling combination of inspiration and hard work…lovely stuff and full of endless surprises”

Nigel Williamson, Songlines Magazine

“A truly beguiling listen”

MH, Daily Telegraph

“An extraordinary dialogue…It’s fascinating how well the two instruments work together, deftly weaving in and out of traditional tunes. Lovely!”

LG, New Internationalist

“They conjure up a magical range of timbres and tones…one of the most original albums of the year”

Jan Fairley, The List

“A super-fluid feel throughout. Not one weak track exists on this album…not to be missed!”

Matthew Forss, Inside World Music

“One of the most improbable of musical cross-pollinations”

Stephen William, African Business