The roots of Gotland is clothed in history and legend. Even the name of the band conjures up memories of ancient Gotlandic mythology. According to the legends, Tjelvar was the first man to inhibit Gotland. With the help of fire he broke the curse that had plagued the island, forcing it under water during the hours of daylight. Gunnfjaun was Tjelvar´s grandson, and Gunnfjauns Kapell preserves the rich legacy of Gotlandic folk music.
Lots of work and many hours was spent the first years to find the right sound and the right material. The first album, Gunnfjauns Kapell, was recorded in 1984 in an old mansion in the countryside of the eastern parts of Gotland. It was made straightforward, two channels and no dubs. A new sound was presented to the gotlandic folk music scene. Carefully developed arrangements to find a form that harmonizes with the song or tune performed with personal style as well as a living relationship, all on a firm musical base in the folk music from Gotland. Influences from other folk music traditions, such as the irish, added to the flavor.
In 1984-85 Anneli and Caroline left the band. Annika, Gunnel and Sören joined. The variety of instruments played by the band increased as well as the potential for variations in the treatment. The flute, the whistle, the oboe and another guitar was introduced. The next album, Gåttar ei vällingi (1986), shows a further elaborated sound.
The second half of the 1980s was spent touring all over Sweden. Summers on Gotland with weekly folk music courses and the yearly folkfestival in Katthammarsvik. The third album, Dammet lättar, was recorded in 1989. The second and third albums were compiled on CD, Sjelvar, in 1991.
In 1990 Sören made his withdrawal, and Owe entered the band with fiddle, bagpipe and the gift of the gab. In 1995 the fourth album, Naudljaus, was released.
Jan jotted down the first notes to the music of the folk musical drama Volund in 1996 while Eva Sjöstrand wrote the first textlines. The drama had its first performance in Visby the 24st of june 1997 with Gunnfjauns Kapell and the choir Visby Allmänna Sången. The album, Volund, was released in 1998.
Gunnel developed her solo carreer in the late 1990s, and Charlotte entered the band as new singer in 1999. The sixth album, Dansä läite, was released in may 2001.
In 2002 Gunnfjauns Kapell had done its first twenty years, and celebrated the event with a Jubilee Tour 2002-2003.
A waltz by Jan Ekedahl is the farewell gift to everyone that leaves the band. The waltz is included in the repertoire, and thus no one ever leaves the band for real. The former members are always there, ready to reinforce the band when needed. The performances will show a variety of member constellations, all with the famous Gunnfjaun sound!