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 experimentation 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.
Avant Joik was presented for the first time at Sónar Festival in Barcelona in June 2018, as a co-production with Insomnia Festival, Tromsø. The group has performed at Sonar (Barcelona), Ultima (Oslo), BASTARD (Trondheim), Radar (Århus), Artefact (Leuven), CTM (Berlin) and Bergen Kunsthall to great critical acclaim:
“…Ratkje’s radical vocal experiments were matched with Barruk’s joik – a traditional Sami song form – and the results were captivating, accompanied by one the best visual displays I’ve ever witnessed.” (Fact Magazine, review of Insomnia 2018)
“…It is hardly describable, all the more intense and touching, even when you don’t belong to the Saami minority yourself, and you can’t understand the lyrics of the shamanistic songs and you inevitably limit yourself to emotion-based listening. In any case, the joik is not about text… Accompanied with noises elicited from electronic controllers or [Ratkje’s] unbelievable variations of her voice… The joik survived centuries of suppression of Saami culture, as well as the Ume Saami language, of which Katarina Barruk is one of the 20 remaining speakers.” (Taz.de, review of CTM 2019)
Check out debut album Avant Joik: Live in Bergen, released on Bergen Kunsthall Records 2021!