Pauliina's 2nd solo album "Lunkula" came out in July 2016 (Folk Music Institute & Sibelius-Academy recordings). The music is partly based on the compositions of her 1st doctor's degree concert Lunkula (2013).
This album includes traditional kantele music from Perho river valley, western Finland:
Published by the Folk music institute - Kansanmusiikki-instituutti 2013
The players are Tapani Peltoniemi (old master of the style), Hannu Saha, Pauliina Syrjälä (kantele) and Antti Kettunen (mandolin). This album was chosen to be the kantele album of the year 2014 by the Kantele Association of Finland!
Pauliina's first solo album came out 2005. She likes to search for acoustic effects and kantele is also used in a percussive way, hitting the strings with metal finger-picks.
This album is historical, as it’s the second-ever played in the stick-plucking style. It also has a significant cultural value: the style almost disappeared from Finland. Due to Pauliina’s restoration work, many young players have adopted this way of playing and the tradition can continue.
“A hundred years ago many players in Finland used wooden sticks to pluck at their kanteles. However, by the time I became interested in the style, it had almost disappeared. The strong, grainy soundscape created using sticks has inspired me to experiment with new sounds ---
Improvisation lies at the heart of my music: music lives in the moment, reflecting my moods. I like to search for strange and unfamiliar tones of sound, resembling those of another instrument or an electric sound effect. “
Monet nävöt album-review (FolkRoots Magazine 2006)
“ --- Using traditional and innovative techniques she gets a remarkable range of strong, exciting sounds out of the instrument, rippling clusters, ringing harmonics, abrasive chopping, koto-like bent notes, scratching, clicking and wonderfully deep chiming bass. --- it's so multi-layered and full-sounding it's hard to believe there's no double-tracking or editing. Not only this is one of the very few recordings featuring Saarijärvi kantele, it's one of the most interesting and impressive kantele recordings available.”
- Andrew Cronshaw
--- The artist's virtuosity with her instrument is immediately obvious to even a layman listener. So is the incredible range of structural and tonal shades a single kantele is able to produce.
The tracks on this album can be divided style-wise into three categories. First of these is a very modern-sounding fusion-folk, which builds up and intensifies towards its apexes while constantly transforming in small ways along the road. --- The opening track "Timotei" and especially "Mehtä" fall into this category.
The second style is a more "traditional" (read: fitting the layman stereotype of kantele music) one, yet one that has lots of unusual nuances and loads of power. The "Muanitus" and Koivusaari are representatives of this type of song. The third style, the one I myself found most intriguing, was that of acoustic drones. The
12-minute song "Kamprovisaatio" is essentially three different drone-waves in a row, all of which have a highly hypnotic quality to them---.
The creative emphasis of all tracks on Monet Nävöt is clearly in improvisation, but it is obvious that a folk musician who has graduated from the Sibelius Academy has a huge store of elements she may draw upon
even when creating something uniquely her own. This has resulted in an astonishingly effective combination of familiar-seeming music that keeps surprising its listeners repeatedly. Especially the wealth of variation in every piece makes sure that both the listener stays interested and the music is very rewarding at all times.
Thus, for a fan of either kantele-playing, modern folk music, or both, this is a mandatory purchase. In addition, I can easily recommend it to open-minded fans of neofolk - as well as those who favor ambient,
because despite differences in the instruments used, Monet Nävöt most closely resembles that genre in mood and feel. It is a great musical experience, as long as one is open enough to its influences.
-Jiituomas, Kuolleen Musiikin Yhdistys (Finland)
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