Tag Archives: Finnish music

Áššu Wins the German Record Critics’ Award


Áššu – Áššu

Áššu’s album Áššu has won The German Record Critics’ Award (Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik), Longlist 3/2019, Weltmusik (world music).

Áššu

Áššu includes Ulla Pirttijarvi (Finland) on vocals, joiks; Harald Skullerud (Norway) on percussion, calimba, calabas, harmonium; and Olav Torget (Norway) on baritone guitar, konting, oilcan guitar.

Áššu – Ulla Pirttijärvi

On behalf of the jury, Johannes Kneihs stated “Rough and with electrifying energy, singer Ulla Pirttijärvi from the Finnish part of Lapland “joiks” about people and others bring West African elements into the game – which fits surprisingly well and clearly convincing better than other pop-joik adaptations from Finland or Norway in past years. A rousing debut album, it makes you curious and wants more.”

Áššu – Harald Skullerud
Áššu – Olav Torget

Áššu recently performed at Etno-Espa in Helsinki 9th of August, 2019.

Share

Artist Profiles: Kardemimmit

Kardemimmit (Finland)
Kardemimmit (Finland)

Kardemimmit is a quartet band of four remarkable women playing the Finnish national instrument, kantele (lap zither). The ensemble was formed in 1999 in the musical institute Juvenalia in Kardemimmit’s home town Espoo, in southern Finland.

The ensemble’s members are Maija Pokela, Jutta Rahmel, Anna Wegelius and Leeni Wegelius. The four musicians were attracted to folk music even though they also liked playing others types of music.

Kardemimmit creates and manages its own music. The artists compose, arrange, write lyrics and produce their recordings.

Kardemimmit

Together with 15 and 38 stringed kanteles, vocals have an essential role in Kardemimmit’s sound. The quartet’s original pieces combine modernity with Finnish, Eastern European and Scandinavian musical traditions. Kardemimmit incorporates Finnish reki-singing style, 19th century dance music, Perhonjokilaakso kantele playing style, Eastern Finnish ancient improvisation and early runo singing.

In 2004, the four musicians attended the influential Kaustinen Folk Music Festival. They got to see two of the finest Nordic bands, Väsen and Värttinä.

In 2005, Kardemimmit won the International Kantele Competition.

The group has released several album, including Viira; Kaisla; Autio huvila (Abandoned Villa), selected Finnish folk album of the year 2012;Onni (Happiness); and Kesäyön valo 2018. Kaisla was reissued in 2012 as The Rough Guide to the Music of Scandinavia compilation’s bonus CD under the title Introducing Kardemimmit.

Discography:

Viira (Musiikkiopisto Juvenalia, 2006)
Kaisla (Frigg, 2009)
Autio huvila (Frigg, 2012)
Onni (Kardemimmit, 2015)
Kesäyön valo (Kardemimmit, 2018)

Share

The Elegant Progressive Folk of Pekka Nättinen

Pekka Nättinen – Usein Kasvoin

Pekka Nättinen – Usein Kasvoin (Pekka Nättinen, 2014)

Usein Kasvoin is a superb genre-defying album by Finnish multi-instrumentalist Pekka Nättinen. On Usein Kasvoin, Nättinen brings together Finnish folk, medieval influences, contemporary jazz, global percussion, blues and progressive rock elements.

Pekka Nättinen plays a wide range of fascinating flutes and other wind instruments along with spellbinding kantele, guitars and more.  He’s joined by masterful musicians who come from various musical traditions.

The lineup includes Pekka Nättinen on wind instruments, kantele, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bouzouki, dobro, vocals, and programming; Tony Elgland on electric bass and double bass; Juha Kujanpää on piano, keyboards; Seppo Santala on vocals and programming; Osmo Blomqvist on percussion; Antti Heerman on violin; Jarmo Hovi on percussion; Emmi Kujanpää on kantele; Saara Lehtonen on flute; Hannu Leppänen on drums, percussion; Iida Nättinen on vocals; Markku Rinta-Pollari on tenor saxophone; Henric Sandås on bandoneon; and Hannu Tähtelä on kantele.

Buy Usein Kasvoi

Share

Solju’s album Odda Áigodat Wins Canadian International Indigenous Release 2019

Solju – Odda Áigodat

Odda Áigodat (Bafe’s Factory, 2018) by Solju is the winner of the The Indigenous Music Awards (IMA) – the Best International Indigenous Release 2019. The award was given by Manito Ahbee Festival May 17th, 2019.

Solju includes Ulla Pirttijärvi and Hildá Länsman, who were the first Sámi artists nominated for the awards.

The Manito Ahbee Festival celebrates Indigenous arts, culture, and music in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. The 14th annual festival will be held May 15-19, 2019 and feature the Indigenous Music Awards, Manito Ahbee Pow Wow, Indigenous Music Conference, Indigenous Marketplace and Trade Show, Getting Jiggy With It, Art Challenge, and Youth Education Day.

Share

Artist Profiles: Solju

Solju

Solju is a Finnish group led by Ulla Pirttijärvi-Länsman and her daughter Hilda Länsman. They are Sámi musicians from Utsjoki, Lapland, which is the northernmost municipality in Finland.

Ulla and Hilda bring together their heritage of northern Sámi language and traditional chant, known as yoik, with a desire for new and innovative music, providing a dialogue of traditional and modern Sámi culture.

Solju

Solju’s debut album “Odda Áigodat” (New Times) was released in April 2018. In May 2019, Ođđa Áigodat won an award in Canada, The Indigenous Music Awards (IMA) – Best International Indigenous Release 2019.

Hildá Länsman is also a member of Finnish duo VILDÁ, featuring accordionist Viivi Maria Saarenkylä.

Discography:

Odda Áigodat (Bafe’s Factory, 2018)

Share

Artist Profiles: VILDÁ

VILDÁ

VILDÁ is a Finnish duo that performs a unique mix of mystical joiks and sounds of the Sami people together with vibrant accordion. VILDÁ includes Hildá Länsman on vocals, joik, frame drum; and
Viivi Maria Saarenkylä on accordion and backing vocals.

When Hildá and Viivi listened to each other’s music for the first time, they came up with the idea of combining traditional yoik and accordion.

Hildá Länsman is a rising yoik singer from Utsjoki who has performed at the New Music Competition and at the Helsinki Music House’s great concert arena. She won the Risteys (Crossroads) award for her vocals at Finland’s first Ethno Gala in 2017.

VILDÁ

Viivi Maria Saarenkylä is an internationally acclaimed accordion player. She was declared accordionist of the Year in Finland in 2018.

Arctic fells, frosty winds, wide waters and deep forests. That is our home – the North. For us it is the birthplace of our attitude as well as many memories, a source of inspiration, stories and tradition, a vast play ground full of endless trails to travel. “

Discography:

Vildaluodda / Wildprint (Bafe’s Factory, 2019)

Share

Tsuumi Sound System To Release Blinking Light

Tsuumi Sound System

Finnish world music band Tsuumi Sound System is set to release its new album Blinking Light on December 25, 2018.

Blinking Light is the band’s fourth album. Tsuumi Sound System combines Finnish folk traditions with classical music, jazz, Balkan and Celtic influences.

Earlier recordings include Floating Letter, Hotas, and Growing Up.

Share

Sans Tops the September 2018 Transglobal World Music Chart

Kulku, the album by Sans, a collaboration between Finnish and British musicians, is the number 1 album this month on the Transglobal World Music Chart.

2. Vigüela – A Tiempo Real – ARC Music
3. Bixiga 70 – Quebra Cabeça – Glitterbeat
4. Gaye Su Akyol – İstikrarlı Hayal Hakikattir – Glitterbeat
5. Bokanté + Metropole Orkest – What Heat – Real World
6. Minyeshu – Daa Dee – ARC Music
7. Damily – Valimbilo – Les Disques Bongo Joe
8. Baul Meets Saz – Namaz – Seyir Muzik
9. Dur-Dur Band – Dur-Dur of Somalia: Volume 1, Volume 2 & Previously Unreleased Tracks – Analog Africa
10. Doctor Nativo – Guatemaya – Stonetree

11. Afro Celt Sound System – Flight – ECC Records
12. Ammar 808 – Maghreb United – Glitterbeat
13. Cimbalom Brothers – Testvériség / Brotherhood – Fonó Budai Zeneház
14. Grupo Mono Blanco – ¡Fandango! Sones Jarochos de Veracruz – Smithsonian Folkways
15. Lemma – Lemma – Buda Musique
16. Stella Chiweshe – Kasahwa: Early Singles – Glitterbeat
17. Dawda Jobarteh – I Met Her by the River – Sterns Music
18. Tautumeitas – Tautumeitas – CPL-Music
19. Moonlight Benjamin – Siltane – Ma Case
20. Danças Ocultas – Dentro desse Mar – Danças Ocultas

More about the chart: www.transglobalwmc.com

Share

Elegant and Fascinating Kulku

SANS – Kulku (Cloud Valley Music, 2018)

If I had to guess you didn’t wake up this morning thinking about how your life was lacking some lovely Finnish singing. Likewise, you probably didn’t wonder why there wasn’t more kantele, the traditional Finnish and Karelian zither, in your daily routine, or how to incorporate a Scottish Gaelic song or Spanish dulzaina into the mix or how an Armenian duduk would mesh into the whole lot. I’ll bet that none of those things crossed your mind. But that’s where music, that fantastical audio magic carpet ride, wraps up all those needs into a neat, tidy package and in this case the first studio recording from SANS entitled Kulku set for release on September 1st on the Cloud Valley Music label.

First appearing together on the CD The Unbroken Surface of Snow, and later live as a quartet at the 2011 Kaustinen festival in Finland, vocalist and kantele player Sanna Kurki-Suonio, multi-instrumentalist and zither player Andrew Cronshaw, multi-instrumentalist reed player Ian Blake and Armenian duduk master Tigran Aleksanyan released their first live recording in 2014 entitled SANS Live.

For Kulku, the group holed up in a converted oak barn along with Ms. Kurki-Suonio’s vocalist and kantele player daughter Erika Hammarberg and Scottish musician, composer and leader of La Banda Europa Jim Sutherland to serve as the Kulku’s producer, and to provide the occasional handclaps, play the barn floor and provide the needed ting (not making this up, it’s in the liner notes).

Kulku is treasure trove of delights. Interspersing tight, neat vocals of the group into expanses of more crystalline vocals wrapped in zither and clarinet, opening track “Pursi – The Rowing Song” transports listeners to a musical landscape that’s exotically thrilling.

Equally delicious is “Tuudittele Tuuli – Cradle, O Wind,” a duduk and clarinet laced lullaby. “Rauta – Iron” utilizes melody from a Spanish dulzaina with Finnish lyrics to conjure up a masterful track that comes across as fresh while tugging at ancient traditions.

Instrumental “The Edge of Autumn/Hayreniki Karot” is the epitome of elegance with the shimmer of zither and the lazy swirl of duduk. Fans get a dose of quirky with the catchy romp “Kulkija – The Walking Song.”

Additionally there is the vocally extravagant “Astele Oro – Step Careful, Stallion,” the delicate grace of the traditional Scots Gaelic tune of “The Recollection of That Day: O Chiadain An Lo/Lusabatz Ararati Vra” framed by lines of Mr. Aleksanyan’s duduk and the achingly lovely “Kazvatti – Four Sorrows” with traditional Karelian lyrics.

Kulku closes with the lush and fascinating “Kaik Mia Ilot Unohin – I Forgot All Joy, Stopped Singing the Songs” composed by trio Mr. Aleksanyan, Mr. Blake and Mr. Cronshaw with song melody by Ms. Kurki-Suonio.

While you might have gotten up not have known you needed a little Finnish singing in your life or that the kantele has the ability to float you in the air or firmly root you to the music of the earth or that duduk lines could float above a music composition like a soaring bird, there’s Kulku to take to a place you didn’t even know you wanted to go.

The album is available from andrewcronshaw.bandcamp.com

Share

Briliant Accordion Work by Matti Kallio

Matti Kallio – Waltz for Better Times (Matti Kallio, 2018)

Waltz for Better Times is the first solo album from accordionist, composer, arranger and music producer Matti Kallio. It’s a set of delightful contemporary instrumental pieces inspired by Finnish folk music.

Matti Kallio is a superb instrumentalist who extracts a wide-range of expressions from the accordion, from dazzling speed to delicate slow tempo performances. Throughout the album he’s joined by equally talented musicians on various string instruments who contribute finely crafted solos and interplay with the accordion.

The last track on the album features one of the finest accordion players from Finland, Maria Kalaniemi who engages with Matti Kallio in an exciting dual accordion interaction.

The lineup includes Matti Kallio on accordion; Petri Hakala on mandolin, guitar, and mandocello; Hannu Rantanen on double bass. Special guest: Maria Kalaniemi on accordion.

 

Get Waltz for Better Times from badcamp

Share