Vilma Timonen Quartet
“Drops” (Bafe’s Factory, 2015)
Vilma Timonen Quartet is releasing their third album, Drops later this month. This superb ensemble from Finland fuses Finnish folk music with global music elements. What characterizes the sound of the band is the mesmerizing sound of the ancient kantele (a zither found In Finland, Estonia and Karelia) with a variable number of strings) and the gorgeous vocals of Vilma Timonen.
The group describes itself as a fusion band and indeed they perform a fusion of various musical elements ad traditions. However, this is not the jazz fusion where musicians play extensive improvised solos. Instead, the pieces are highly structured and melodic with a focus on the pristine voice and the kantele.
In some pieces, the quartet uses multiple vocals, creating wonderful polyphonic effects. In addition to being the lead vocalist, Vilma Timonen is also the kantele player and she takes the musical instrument into new dimensions, away from the traditional style, delivering spellbinding performances.
The repertoire includes all original compositions by Vilma Timonen, Jaakko Kämäräinen and Tuomas Timonen with some traditional lyrics.
The lineup on Drops includes Vilma Timonen on Kantele and vocals; Jaakko Kämäräinen on bass and vocals; Topi Korhonen on guitar, trumpet, mandolin and vocals; and Tuomas Timonen on percussion and vocals.
Finland is a relatively small country that produces an astonishing amount of excellent recordings rooted in its folk traditions. Vilma Timonen Quartet’s previous recording, Forward, won of the most prestigious awards in Finland. Drops is a beautifully crafted album that deserves special attention from the international world music community.
Purchase Drops in North America
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Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.