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Ural Pop / Norway/Finland

A very special meeting in the circle of musical experiment based on Sami/Lapp music and the Finno-Ugric sound influence. Torgeir Vassvik with his new line-up – Kristiina Ilmonen and Rauno Nieminen – combines their deep knowledge and performing mastery to give ole traditions a new, contemporary sound.

The Ural Pop project is a constant exploration and improvisation, in which the main role is played by archaic performing forms, instruments and sound, founded on the oldest regional tradition of folk music.

Torgeir Vassvik is a Sami singer and Norwegian composer. He comes from the far North. He combines the joik singing technique with throat singing, traditional instruments and the guitar with the sounds of nature. He authored two albums Sáivu (2006) and Sápmi (2009). He is a member of the quartet Global Fever Orchestra and his own group Vassvik. He draws inspiration from ritual, shaman vocal forms and percussion. This year he was a leading artist at the Rudolstadt Music Festival. He was also on a concert tour with the dancer Hallgrim Hansegård with the performance Leahkit which received excellent international critical reviews. His music is ruled by the rhythmic loop with odd or non-standard metre and flexible expression leaving a lot of space for improvisation. The oldest known joik recordings inspired him to create the Ural Pop project.

Kristiina Ilmonen – a musician, composer and researcher focuses in particular on traditional wind and percussion instruments. She is renowned as a pioneer of contemporary Finnish folk music. She cooperated with such groups as Ottopasuuna, Suomussalmiryhmä, Utua, The Helsinki Koto Ensemble and Suunta.

Rauno Nieminen is a Finnish multi-instrumentalist, constructor of instruments and musicologist. He plays the kantele, the jouhikko, the lyre and many other instruments. His long musical career started in Primo group three decades ago. Later he also played with Jouhiorkesteri. The musicians are assisted by  Audun Strype  – in charge of technical support, who since the 1980s produced concerts with many artists, including, among others, the Mortal, Agnes Buen Garnås, Nils Økland, Maja Ratkje and Arve Henriksen. Torgeir Vassvik practiced traditional songs of the Sami people – joik – preserving the traditional sound the Sami language, entered on thee UNESCO Red Book of Languages in Danger of Disappearing.


The concert took place in 2017.

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