Marja Mortensson & Daniel Herskedal
- Saturday 27 May 16:20 - 17:10 (MYSTIC)
- Saturday 27 May 19:10 - 19:30 (ALL EARS AREA)
Ancient Sami tradition in a new guise
What strikes you first is that intriguing female voice. You don’t understand a word of the wondrous sounds emanating from her throat. Now and then they remind you of overtone singing from Central Asia. The accompaniment is just as strange, full of quirky gasping and grunting in the deepest regions. This remarkable music comes from Norway. Except, Marja Mortensson does not sing in Norwegian but in the language of her people, the Sami. Or, to be precise, the almost extinct Åarjelsaemien Gïele or South Sami, spoken today by just five hundred people. For she believes that she can only truly express herself emotionally in that language. Unlike colleagues such as Wimme Saari, she doesn’t opt for wordless joik, in which the voice mimics natural sounds, but instead sings songs about subjects such as reindeer calves and their mothers, and about traditional customs. Herskedal, her accompanist and partner in life, is both a composer and a virtuoso player of the tuba and bass trumpet with a background in impro and jazz. And you can hear that in the music of this remarkable duo who, although deeply rooted in an ancient tradition, still sound very contemporary.
Marja Mortensson – vocals
Daniel Herskedal – tuba, bass trumpet