Composed by the acclaimed concert organist and folk musician Gunnar Idenstam, Songs for Jukkasjärvi ('Jukkaslåtar' in Swedish) is a suite written for the 400th anniversary of the church in Jukkasjärvi, a small Swedish community beyond the Arctic Circle.
Jukkasjärvi was one of the traditional meeting places of the Sami people as they moved their herds of reindeer between the seasonal pastures in the mountains and the lowlands. For centuries the village has also had a permanent population of both Finnish and Swedish origin. Songs for Jukkasjärvi is a celebration of these various peoples and their lives, as well as the nature and the seasons in this land of the midnight sun.
Written for two singers - of which one specializes in his own, characteristic Sami yoik singing - folk fiddle, saxophone, percussion, organ and synthesizers, the music is highly atmospheric, calling up visions of the first October snow, the aurora borealis, large reindeer herds being driven along the frozen Torne River, and the breaking up of the ice in springtime.
Purely instrumental pieces are interspersed with songs in the Sami language, and in a unique mix, the sound of the Sami yoik is married to the Swedish folk music tradition and the sonic possibilities of a large church organ, taking in influences from symphonic folk rock. This exciting title is packaged in an attractive, full-colour digipak including photography from the Jukkasjärvi area as well as an introductory text in four languages and the Sami song texts with parallel English translations.
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