Spotlight on Norway’s representatives of the Sami music tradition, Skáidi, fuse joik and jazz into a unique concoction.
Skáidi is a union of two top performers with wildly differing backgrounds; Steinar Raknes – arguably one of Norway’s best jazz double bassists – and Inga Juuso – one of the nation’s foremost female joikers (a performer of the ancient Sámi chanting vocal style). With Skáidi, Raknes and Juuso have managed to derive elements from their respective styles and genres and have literally created a new, raw, coherent and groundbreaking form of expression. Juuso and Raknes have performed frequently together over the last decade, a collaboration that resulted in last year’s critically acclaimed album ‘Where the rivers meet’.
The foundation for the duo’s repertoire is compositions written by Raknes to complement Juuso’s joiks, and the end result is a mix that challenges the preconceptions of genres as well as explores uncharted territory. Improvisation is at the forefront for the two who challenge each other to explore new aspects of their respective forms of expression. Skillful management of dynamics is another field in which Skáidi excel – their tunes range from muted lyrical passages to wild and exuberant cascades of energy.
Skáidi music is lyrical, stripped-down, melodic and highly rhythmical, all the while as the mix of compositional structures and improvisation render the sonic palette spontaneous and playful. Framed by Steinar’s arrangements, Inga’s voice is a sweeping tumult of vitality and life force; often leaving the listener with new-found faith in fairytales and subterranean landscapes. This encounter between two musical traditions is laced with elegance, artistic depth and healthy doses of humour.
The past year has seen the duo reaping the benefits created by ‘Where the rivers meet’s rave reviews, and has performed extensively domestically as well as throughout Scandinavia and in France, Spain and Argentina.