“A Saami Requiem” in Rehearsal

Photographs by Claudius MayWoehl, Woehl-Orgel-Projekte

A Saami Requiem

A Saami Requiem is an extraordinary meeting-place of musical cultures – western classical, Sámi yoik, Nordic folk-dance, electric rock, blues, improv and more. It takes the form of a journey to Saajva, the Kingdom of Death in Sámi religious practice. With it the Swedish organist Gunnar Idenstam and Sámi artist Ola Stinnerbom provide a parallel to the Christian Requiem, with Ola Stinnerbom as Noite, the shaman who acts as guide to the Kingdom of Death – and back to this life, celebrated in the uplifting closing hymn. Some of the percussion sounds are sampled from traditional Sámi drums made by Ola Stinnerbom after ancient models; the electric guitars provide a link to rock groups like Deep Purple and King Crimson; and Gunnar Idenstam’s unmistakable style marries the French organ tradition with the alluring world of Swedish folk-music.