Sunday, June 5, 2011

CD Review: Torgeir Vassvik's 'Sapmi' From Norway


The Norwegian musician extraordinaire, Torgeir Vassvik, assembles a set of ten songs from the land of the Sami people. Historically, the Sami people inhabit the Sapmi region--for which the album was named--and includes the countries of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. The mysterious sounds of the viola, saw, bells, percussion, frame drums, field recordings, and guitars are played in such a manner to evoke images and sounds of the natural world. For instance, some of the sounds resemble falling rocks or clanging ice crystals. Moreover, the folksy melodies border on avant-garde. Torgeir's vocals are in the form of yoik singing, which is a form of throat-singing comparable to Inuit and Mongolian chanting. In fact, the instrumentation and singing is most similar to the music of Huun Huur Tu, coincidentally from the Mongolian/Tuvan region. Sapmi is an album that sticks with you long after the last note commences. Anyone with an interest in throat-singing, yoik chanting, or music from Scandinavia, should lend their ear to Torgeir's masterpiece. ~ Matthew Forss

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