The text of Vuohenki Luohti (The Song of Vuohenki river), written by the leading Lappish poet Nils-Aslak Valkeapää, consists of excerpts from his book Sun, my father. The poems describe living in Lapland and how the tradition is transmitted through generations, still keeping its strong connection with nature.
Some features of the vocal solo part, in particular the use of glottis in the large downward leaps and the rhythmical shapes in several slow passages are brought from yoik singing - which is nowadays used merely in folk or entertainment music - to a contemporary musical context.
The middle section of the poem, beginning from the first slow passage, consists of a dream, where the writer possibly refers to a shamanistic trance.
The piece was commissioned by the north-eastern Finnish town of Kajaani to its 350th anniversary, and the first performance was given by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Okko Kamu, with the mezzosoprano Lilli Paasikivi as a soloist.
© Tapio Tuomela (2002) Instrumentation
2222 4230 01, pno/cel, str, mezzo [pic, cbsn, btrb/tba] Category
Vocal and Choral Works Language
Nils-Aslak Valkeapää Premiere
Lilli Paasikivi, mezzo-soprano, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, cond. Okko Kamu, 350th anniversary concert of the city of Kajaani, Kajaani, May 24, 2001 Commisioned by / dedications
Commissioned by the Finnish Broadcasting Company and the town of Kajaani for its 350th anniversary
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