Villoi varsa, the second album by Finnish folk music trio Celenka, will be launched at the Haapavesi Folk Music Festi-val on 1 July 2021 (Finland release). The international launch will take place on 17 September 2021. The album is released on the German Nordic Notes label. It is recorded and mixed by Eero Grundström and mastered by Taito Hoffrén over the winter and spring of 2021.
Celenka (Engl. green / fresh), founded in 2013, finds their inspiration in Karelian, Slavic and Balkan musical traditions. They released their first album in Finland in 2015 to acclaim (on Kuu Records) and in Germany in 2016 (on Nordic Notes). The band also accompanied vocalist Emmi Kujanpää for the launch of her 2020 solo album Nani (Nordic Notes).
On Villoi varsa, Celenka brings to the fore old Karelian female singers who performed the traditional songs from their villages and families to folk song collectors in the early 1900s. The album includes songs by Olga Kottina, Matro Tika-no, M.F. Makarova ja P. Ivanova, and even lyrics recorded under a pseudonym ”One wife” whose actual name the collector didn’t bother jotting down. The songs are in Karelian, Veps, Finnish and Russian and represent a multilingual and multicultural Karelia in the midst of a period of war and persecution.
Many of the songs by Karelian women are straight out of Chekhov’s plays: in Vanusha a better life is sought in Mos-cow, in Brihat hebot lovers meet in a cherry orchard and the title track Villoi varsa takes us on a wild wooing ride. Although the world depicted in the songs is obviously patriarchal and every woman, man and horse has their scripted part to play, the stories and ageless melodies touch us even today. In 2021 we dream of better days just the same.
GENRE: Folk Finland