It’s Cold Up North!

While the temperatures may be low in Scandinavia, much of the music is so uplifting that you forget about the icicles dripping from your instrument. In particular, you may be unfamiliar with a music genre known as Yoik. It has nothing to do with the exclamation “Yoiks” but refers to a traditional form of song of the Sami people of the Nordic countries and Kola peninsula of Russia. Originally, yoik (sometimes spelled joik) referred to only one of several Sami singing styles, but in English the word now tends to refer to all types of traditional Sami singing. As an art form, each yoik is meant to reflect or evoke a person, animal, or place and the sound is comparable to the traditional chanting of some Native American cultures.

A composer who is at the forefront of this genre is the Norwegian yoiker Frode Fjellheim who was responsible for the main theme in Disney’s “Frozen”. Frode has subsequently received praise from the Norwegian Sámi President for spreading yoik to new audiences. Similarly, the Norwegian female choir that appeared on the Disney soundtrack have also garnered some notoriety for the same reason and are busy capitalising on this success with the release of a new album called “Northern Lights”.

The choir was founded in 1986 and consists of around 30 amateur singers based in Trondheim. Despite being an amateur choir, they have attained an extremely professional international standard winning several international competitions over the last few years. Their cool new album was just begging to have a handful of tracks featured on our Album Playlist which is exactly what we have done!