Avant Joik: Live in Bergen

Bergen Kunsthall: «Live in Bergen» captures Avant Joik’s two amazing concerts during the opening weekend of Joar Nan- go’s Festival Exhibition at Bergen Kunsthall in 2020. The album is based on the recordings from two con- certs held at Landmark, Bergen Kunsthall on 4 Sep- tember 2020 and presents for the first time the groundbreaking music of Avant Joik on vinyl.

Avant Joik is Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje (vocals and live electronics) and Katarina Barruk (vocals/joik) with live visuals by Matti Aikio, and blends joik and vocal experi- mentation with an electronic, experimental palette, evoking the eerie, contemplative atmospheres of the North, while the turmoil and distortion of an untamed, forceful nature lurks beneath.

“Live in Bergen” consists of three collaborative compositions by Ratkje and Barruk. Aikio’s visuals from the concert feature in the cover design of the new album.

Stuora Várrie is a traditional joik that the performers bring into a windy mountain landscape, where organic sounds are mixed with joik and abstract impressions of nature.

Ubmejen Jiännuo (Ume River) is another traditional joik. The joik is from an era when the Ume-river was not yet built. But Barruk says that in her lifetime she has never seen it like that, and when she joiks it she can see how the river was when it was still running free. For this composition Ratkje uses just vocals as accompaniment.

Surveillance features Barruk’s own lyrics and melody based on joik, where she tries to take herself and the listeners to an emotinal state of mind and a certain event and place. It is inspired by a story that has been told to her. In both versions of Surveillance Barruk uses traditio- nal Saami brooches as instruments, picked up by Ratkje’s software and accompanying the vocals. The sparkling brooches are matched by Aikio’s visual images of light being reflected by water and ice:

To show, that they have, that they have, power. Have skinned our silver, because they do not know. Because they do not know.
But we know, among us, among us, there is power.

Buy album (LP/digital) on Bandcamp.

Record reviews


A1. Surveillance jah Sïlbbaskiđđeme, A2. Stuora Várrie, B1. Ubmejen Jiännuo, B2. Surveillance jah Fámmuo

Recorded live at Landmark, Bergen Kunsthall, 4 September 2020

Live sound by Jonas Skarmark. Mixed by Njål Paulsberg. Mastered by Maja S. K. Ratkje. Cover art by Matti Aikio. Cover design by Blank Blank / Petri Henriksson.

Produced by Avant Joik: Katarina Barruk, Maja S. K. Ratkje and Matti Aikio.

Released by Bergen Kunsthall Records, April 2021

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