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«Slåtter fra Gaupdalen IV»

Johanna-Adele Jüssi is an Estonian fiddler living in Rundhaug, in the far North in Norway, after spending much of her life journeying around the Nordic countries as well as Germany and the Shetland Islands. She plays music from an imaginary place that exists only in her dreams, Gaupdalen, or Lynx Valley. In this utopian-visionary, dream-state realm Jüssi mentally teleports whenever she is performing and composing. It is also a musical jigsaw puzzle pieced together from the many northern European regions, cultures and traditions Jussi has traveled. It may sound familiar but it always has her unique twist.

Slåtter fra Gaupdalen IV (Tunes from Lynx Valley) is the sophomore album of Jüssi’s trio, following Lood Ilveseforust, ta:lik, 2021), and featuring guitarist Bendik Lund Haanshus (who was also responsible for the recording and the mixing) and double bass player Christo Stangness. Vocalist Eline Hellerud Åsbakk sings beautifully the song «När solen» (she, in her turn, hosted Haanshus and Stangness. In her recent solo album).

The nomadic Jüssi describes the far North as a place where she felt a strong sense of belonging and where her musical wanderings could rest and develop further. She is well-versed in the folk music traditions of Norway and the many styles of playing the Hardanger fiddle as well as Estonian folk music, but she is also influenced by modern jazz, the Philip Glass school of minimalism and likes to spice her music with touches of mysterious electronica.

The eleven pieces offer warm and touching, evocative and soulful songs and stories from the frozen region, the imaginary Lynx Valley that Jüssi insists that anyone can feel at home. The trio enriches her musical vision and proves that traditions come alive when they are injected with influences from outside. To further prove her claim, she hands in her tour seed packets from the Lynx Valley so that audiences can grow their own carrots from the mythical region.

Eyal Hareuveni

Johanna-Adele Jüssi (fiddle, viola, vocals), Bendik Lund Haanshus (guitars, guitar synthesizer),  Christo Stangness (double bass), Eline Hellerud Åsbakk (vocals)