The artistic research project Music Without Borders, based at the University of Agder, Kristiansand, is now in its second year. In mid-March, Bjørn Ole Rasch, project leader, and myself travelled to Kautokeino in Finnmark to record two Sami vocalists at Arctic Studios, together with musician/producer Roger Ludvigsen. The core of the project is series of recordings of traditional folk music from Setersdal in the south of Norway, and each new iteration is a response to these recordings. So far, musicians from Asia and from the Middle East have responded to the recordings, in many different ways. This time we were working with musicians representing a very different tradition in Norwegian music, coming from the far north, in the county of Finnmark. Kautokeino is a small town on the Finnmark Plateau, a centre of cultural activity for the Sami population and it lies in the midst of a spectacular landscape. Both musicians we recorded on this occasion are highly accomplished exponents of the Sami vocal tradition known as "Joik" - deeply immersed in the tradition of this music, but equally able to improvise and to respond directly to the recordings that were played to them. It was a privilege and an inspiring experience to work with Roger Ludvigsen, Per Tor Turi and Sara Marielle Gaup Beaska!
Arctic Studios, Kautokeino
Overview of Kautokeino from the top of the old ski jumping structure