Folk’Avant: Gryningsland

Step away from the urgent world and into the dazzling universe of Gryningsland (Daybreak), by the Swedish-Finnish trio Folk’Avant. Anna Wikenius, Maija Kauhanen and Anna Rubinsztein—who met at Stockholm’s Royal College of Music—call their self-composed songs “experimental Nordic folk,” and they produce a sound that’s both tight (three voices, two instruments) and spacious. Drift on leisurely opening movements that merge into symphonic soundscapes, relish the strings and savor the … More Folk’Avant: Gryningsland

Ánnámáret Ensemble: Gollehelmmot

Our idea of northern latitudes is shaped by stories like The Call of the Wild and Dr. Zhivago—tales that focus on outlanders who venture into the cold for exploration or refuge. One benefit of world music and literature is meeting people for whom a place like the Arctic is not an adventure but home. Anna Näkkäläjärvi-Länsman is a singer-songwriter, musical academy director and teacher from Utsjoki, at the north end of Finland’s longest road … More Ánnámáret Ensemble: Gollehelmmot

Tuuletar: Tules maas vedes taivaal

Nature plays music for those who listen. In addition to the unique performance style that has earned them well deserved laurels, the women of the a cappella quartet Tuuletar listen carefully—to the earth, to the modern urban soundscape and to their own inner voices, all of which contribute their “vocal folk hop,” based on Finnish mythology but skipping across musical borders. The group’s name comes from the goddess of wind and … More Tuuletar: Tules maas vedes taivaal

Tango-Orkesteri Unto: Dark Wings of the Night

The range of human emotion stays largely the same, even in physical landscapes that are poles apart. So perhaps the mystery of Finnish tango lies less in how it flourishes in subarctic ground than in the eternal shadow of passion. One indicator of how rooted the century-old Argentine import is in Finnish culture is the exquisite sound of Tango-Orkesteri Unto—six virtuoso musicians with parallel careers in folk, jazz, classical and theater music … More Tango-Orkesteri Unto: Dark Wings of the Night