Harmonium and harmonica player Eero Grundström and five-string violin and nyckelharpa wizard Emilia Lajunen first joined forces for their gold-selling double album Pelimannit/Hiljainen haltioituminen, which made a clear distinction between traditional pelimanni music and archaic kantele and jouhikko tunes. The duo’s new album Korpin marssi, however, explores the contact points between these two traditions and the common journey of dance rhythms and the concept of long aesthetics. As such, the new album contributes perhaps even more to the slowly changing history of folk music, which continues to live in the hands of today’s musicians.
The album provides quite a physical listening experience: starting from the earthy opening sounds, the listener feels a metaphoric punch to the gut, getting a strong message that this music will not bow to anyone, even though the clever, nuanced and even delicate arrangements have in actual fact been drawn from all possible genres, including classical music. The dance tunes, from the solemn minuets to the jaunty maanitus tunes on the kantele, positively force you to bounce along. Several tracks even made me laugh out loud when the insightful arrangements, the joy of playing and the musicians’ way of seizing the moment came right through to the listener.
If I had to choose one recording to preserve for the future or to send off to space in order to illustrate humankind’s history and humaneness, this album would get my vote.
JUURI & JUURI: Korpin marssi [March of the Raven]
Emilia Lajunen - five-string violin, nyckelharpa
Eero Grundström - harmonium, harmonica
Nordic Notes NN115
Translation: Hanna-Mari Latham