Secrets of the North is a project inspired by a tale by Isak Dinesen (née Karen Blixen) and produced by Animal Stone Productions. “Shimmering and haunting, Isak Dinesen's story transports us, through its author's deft guidance of our desire to imagine, to the mysterious place where all stories are born.” (Goodreads) Apart from the composer’s long interest in Dinesen’s mystical stories, each rooted in otherworldly ritual, he is drawn to the inspiration of Scandinavian roots music, with the distinctive sound of the nyckelharpa (Swedish key fiddle), which is like a hurdy-gurdy played with a bow.
The tale of a young sailor comes to life in this evening of music interwoven with storytelling and dance. Broadway actor David Lutken (Inherit the Wind, Ring of Fire) narrates Dinesen's tale to music composed by Andy Teirstein for string quartet and Swedish nyckelharpa. Two young dancers portray the story’s leading characters. The composer plays the nyckelharpa, mouth bow, and concertina along with the internationally acclaimed Cassatt String Quartet.
In Dinesen's universe, the magical enchantment of the fairy tale and the moral resonance of myth coexist with an unflinching grasp of the most obscure human strengths and weaknesses.