Norwegian, Sámi musician Torgeir Vassvik lives at the northernmost point of continental Europe, in the Nordkyn peninsula in Norway, between two fjords: Laksefjord and Tanafjord. A Place Behind The Gardens Of The Houses. BÁIKI is the third solo album but the first he recorded, mixed and produced by himself.
Vassvik’s art carries a profound, healing message and reflects a life-long mission. His music represents the breathtaking power of nature and living by the elements; the indigenous Sámi culture and its inherent aim to decolonize the world, including how we think, believe and act, and how to be in harmony with the universe and nature and take care of it; and the constant crossing of artificial country and genre borders. The traditional Sámi routes do not follow the border posts that have been moved back and forth between countries throughout history.
Likewise, Vassvik refuses to surrender to stylistic boundaries. His music is timeless and genre-binding and encompasses influences from all over the world, the «places behind the gardens of houses», BÁIKI. His Koik vocals are unique and innovative and integrate Tuvan overtones singing and his sonic palette employs more than fifteen instruments, from traditional Sámi to modern guitars, bass and electronics.
Vassvik says that his music «mirrors all the places and states of mind, I have experienced». It is unorthodox, uncompromising, and unconventional. The 20 short pieces celebrate life in all its forms – Sámi culture and Vassvik’s own ancestors, fascinating natural sceneries, family gatherings during holidays and dances, evoking dear memories, introducing the Joik vocal art as a living tradition, and corresponding with Lithuanian, Tuvan and Siberian musical traditions, divided by contemplative guitar and dobro solos. Vassvik’s daughter, a Sámi activist for the rights of indigenous people, Tuula Sharma Vassvik, joins him for the last song and keeps enriching the Sámi in her own way.
Vassvik enriches the animistic Sámi Joik with new, imaginative sounds and visions. The listening experience of this timeless album inspiring album matches fascinating sound trips, musical meetings and different places of Vassvik’s own life journeys melt together.
Torgeir Vassvik (joik, g, b, igil, birbyné, mouth harp, mandolin, elec, frame dr, wind, stones, bones, wood, p, rozhok, gong), Tuula Sharma Vassvik (v, guitarlele)