Johanna was born in Berlin in December 1989, shortly after the Fall of the Wall. As the daughter of a young artist couple from East Germany, she grew up in the midst of radical political change and creative playfulness in the backyards of Prenzlauer Berg. During her adolescence in small-town Brandenburg she practiced all sorts of performing arts, from theatre and dancing to playing instruments. Singing proved to be her biggest passion, but having been raised on the breadline, it was never a serious option for her to get into a creative career. Only when she was in her mid-twenties and had a Master’s degree in environmental economics in her pocket, did she dare journey into the unknown but tempting world of music education and workmanship.
In 2016, Johanna packed her essentials on a bicycle and cycled to Norway, where she sought time and focus for music, far away from the distractions of a cultural metropolis.
Johanna developed a passion for playing the hardanger fiddle in the small mountain town of Rauland, Telemark. She spent three years studying and practicing traditional Norwegian music in the department for Folk Arts at the University College of Southeast Norway. Teachers and mentors who have stimulated her musical inquiry at the institute include Ånon Egeland, Anders Røine, Frode Nyvold and Tellef Kvifte. Listening to performers such as Valkyrien Allstars, Sudan Dudan, Benedicte Maurseth and Erlend Apneseth shaped her musical taste, and today you can hear the verve and energy of those performers in her work. She has been a student of Hardanger fiddle master Knut Hamre since 2020.
After graduating from university in 2019, Johanna spent three more years in rural Telemark before she moved to the city of Bergen on the west-coast of Norway. There, she continues her musical quest to unify her love for traditional music with an expression of her inner world as a freelance musician and filmmaker. Her debut album Temporary Pleasure, a collaboration with multiinstrumentalist Sjur Nyvold, was released in February 2023. In august 2022 she premiered as a director and producer of the music documentary Til Stede / from soil to soul. Johanna is active in the local folk music scene in Bergen and collaborates with artists and musicians of other styles and expressions.
Photo credit: Patrick Webb