Sähköpaimen trio presents archaic electronic music through Finnish, Karelian, and Ingrian folk music, live looping, effects, machine beats, and soundscape. On their new album "Hämärä," they've also incorporated a modular synthesizer and daring live improvisation.
Adding a distinctive touch to their sound are traditional wind instruments like various-sized shepherd's flutes and wood horns. Shepherd's music was once familiar and everyday to everyone, part of the everyday soundscape in villages and nearby forests from spring to autumn. With the decline of the shepherd culture, shepherd's music has also become rare, even though the sounds of these unique instruments are still captivating and expressive.
Sähköpaimen's beats and loops feel somewhat familiar, yet strange. They play with the idea of what electronic music would sound like if it were not rooted in black rhythm but in Karelian kantele and jouhikko traditions. What if there had been a laptop and a sequencer at the Soutamola gatherings in 1864? The relatively recent tradition of the modular synthesizer is continued in the spirit of classical minimalism and techno, but the melodic elements come from shepherd tradition. Adjusting the knobs takes the sound from melody to noise and back again. Everything happens here and now, and the machine also imparts its own impulses. The machine is a complete being, not just a collection of things playing simultaneously.
Hämärä (Twilight) is a nuanced moment between light and shadow, new and old. It is apt to describe the modern folk music of the Sähköpaimen, which unites the extremes and welds the newlyweds together: the oldest tradition meets modern technology, organic merges with electricity, improvisation hits the beat. Twilight is ephemeral and transformative, as is the improvisation that takes place in the band's performances – it's a magical moment of transition and danger where anything can happen.
Twilight moments have also been crucial for the transition of folklore. During twilight, people have gathered to share stories and beliefs passed down from generation to generation. Sähköpaimen also draws inspiration from another meaning of "hämärä": strange folk tales and odd instruments from the twilight realms. Their repertoire includes not only music from the Finnish-Ugric regions but also from our Nordic neighbors and the Italian Alps.
On the "Hämärä" album, and in live concerts, the Italian minority-language Frankoprovençal-speaking village choir Li Magnoutoun, adds its Piedmontese spells, cattle calls, and folk songs, creating a bridge between Sähköpaimen's music and various corners of Europe. The songs also feature master folk singer Hilja Grönfors and Piedmontese folk singer Gigi Ubaudi.
Eero Grundström | electronic music
Amanda Kauranne | vocals, loopper and Jew's harp
Kirsi Ojala | woodwinds and Jew's harp
Duration approx. 2 h (incl. intermission)
Ticket prices: 20 € normal / 11 € pensioner / 8 € students, unemployed, children (ages 3-17)
Cloakroom fee: 3 €
Ticketmaster Finland across the country. A service fee is included in the ticket price. A separate Ticketmaster order fee of 1,50–2,00 € per order is added. Tickets without a service fee from Culture Centre Valve. A limited amount of Kaikukortti-tickets are available.
A series ticket is available for the Autumn 2023 OMJ Jazz & Etno series. The series ticket is on sale until September 20, 2023. Limited amount. The series ticket includes all 12 autumn season 2023 OMJ Jazz & Etno concert series’ concerts.
Oulu Music Festival Foundation
The OMJ Jazz & Etno concert series is a year-round concert series by the Oulu Music Festival Foundation, featuring a wide range of Finnish artists and guest stars.