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Leaf Music and Skye Consort with Emma Björling Present “Ode & Ballade”

(Halifax/Kjipuktuk, NS) Leaf Music and trans-Atlantic chamber folk ensemble Skye Consort & Emma Björling announce the launch of Ode & Ballade (LM287), available May 17 in both digital and physical versions. Ode & Ballade by Skye Consort & Emma Björling presents stories of medieval saints and sacred wells, fair maidens outsmarting presumptuous knights, beautiful or boisterous drinking songs, thieves meeting their fate, heartbreaking love songs, groovy dance tunes, and celebrations of the return of Spring. The album combines elements from world music and classical traditions to narrate poems, tales, legends, and sonnets from Sweden, Ireland, Scotland, France and more. 

Skye Consort & Emma Björling ( was formed in 1999 to bring an art-music aesthetic to the folk music of different world traditions. The ensemble performs music from Scandinavia, Ireland and the British Isles, French Canada, and tunes of their own devising. They find enchanting stories and melodies, bringing them into the 21st century with worldly chamber-folk settings. The band has performed and toured extensively with various collaborators and released seven full-length albums. In November and December of 2018, in collaboration with Emma Björling, Skye Consort created a new repertoire sourced from Scandinavian, Québecois, and Celtic roots. Skye Consort & Emma Björling won the OPUS award for Best World Music Album 2019.  

Ode & Ballade features Emma Björling (lead voice, percussion), Seán Dagher (lead voice, Irish bouzouki, banjo), Amanda Keesmaat (cello, voice), Alex Kehler (nyckelharpa, violin, voice) and Simon Alexandre (nyckelharpa, violin, voice). The musicians sing in three languages (Swedish, French, English), and the words “ode” and “ballade” resonate with meaning in all three: poem, song, tale, sonnet, folly, chant, and dance. The music of this album combines elements from world music and classical traditions to offer audiences thoughtful arrangements and creative compositions: a Swedish Polska accompanied by Québec foot percussion and 18th-century Scottish-style chords, a French song with Norwegian-sounding interludes between the verses, a Purcell/Playford-style dance tune with Swedish texts and accompanied on the banjo. 

The album was recorded in July and August of 2023 at Alchemist Studio in Montreal, with recording, editing, and mixing by Stratsimir Dimitrov and Jeremy VanSlyke as Executive Producer. The recording was produced with assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts.

Leaf Music is an independent recording label based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, making and distributing high-quality classical music recordings by artists and composers from across Canada. Our growing catalogue of solo, orchestral, and chamber music is distributed by Naxos of America to the world’s most important music retailers, download providers, and streaming services. Leaf is also a provider of professional audio and video production, post-production services and integrated music marketing and distribution in Canada.



For more information/photos or to arrange interviews, please contact Peggy Walt, (902) 422-5403 (office) or (902) 476-1096 (cell).