Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sofia Joons, Emma Hardelin, & Meelika Hainsoo - Strand...Rand (2001 Estonia) [320]

Long ago, Swedes settled on the islands and coasts of northwestern Estonia. They farmed, fished, hunted seals, and exerted some amount of cultural influence on nearby Estonian communities. During the 18th century, some of them migrated on to the Ukraine. Because of the isolation, Swedish dialects developed on the islands that were closer to the old Swedish and possibly as understandable to modern Swedes as Estonian is to Finns. Also because of the isolation, the culture survived until the Soviet era, but the Russians were unkind, using one island as a bombing range, for example. Most of the Swedish Estonians left for Sweden or beyond, but some are returning.

Strand... Rand is an album of "Folk chorales and songs from the west coast of Estonia," sung solo a cappella, or with sparse accompaniment, by the sweet but reserved voices of three women: Sofia Joons, from Sweden but with ancestors from Estonia, Emma Härdelin (of Sweden's Triakel and Garmarna), and Estonian singer Meelika Hansoo. The songs and hymns are traditional, and target the island of Vormsi near the mainland; some seem to be composites of songs or texts put to music. The lyrics and credits are printed in Swedish, Estonian, and English, but with no map or text in explanation the songs float in a beautiful, sharp-edged aesthetic haze of isolation. Isolation is the major descriptor. Strand...Rand begins with the sound of waves against the shore and a "field recording" of singing, and proceeds to Joons' solo song from Vormsi, "Emsamt (Alone)." "My milk is as thin as spring water and I haven't got any butter."

Most songs are hymns, actually recorded in churches in Sweden and Estonia. Hainsoo sings a 17th century hymn in Estonian, again from Vormsi, "Kas Sureb nii mu kõige armsan elu?" strumming simply on a kannel, or lap harp; she sings a "See jõulupäev," an unaccompanied Christmas song. But most are in Swedish, most are from 17th and or 18th century sources, and they bring to mind religion as a gentle anchor rock in a relentlessly harsh sea. "Wedding in Cana" is especially eerie and Bergmanesque, with Härdelin on vocals and Triakel's Janne Strömstedt on harmonium. Two tracks have slow but folkier accompaniment by Toivo Sõmer on noted and strummed kannel, and Joons and Hainsoo play hiiukannel, a bowed zither, on "Tvåsamt (Together)," a dance song more spirited than the rest.

Stand...Rand is a beautiful album, pristine and austere, gray weathered buildings on a forested shore. "When the wine of joy should have been poured to remove sorrow, there was nothing but water in the pots. He turns water into wine and shows mercy." - Judith Gennett

Sofia Joons - bowed harp, fiddle, vocals,
Emma Härdelin - vocals,
Meelika Hainsoo - song, lyre, harp,

1.    Prologue    1:47
2.    "Ensamt" / "Alone"    3:17
3.    Beställ om ditt hus    2:13
4.    Kes Jumalat nii laseb teha?    4:06
5.    Ack mitt skepp    2:37
6.    Mig dagen flyr    3:23
7.    Världens frälsare kom här    3:35
8.    See jõulupäev    2:49
9.    En stjärna gick på himlen fram    2:34
10.    Ett bröllop uti Kanan stod    6:08
11.    Kas sureb nii mu kõige armsam elu?    3:07
12.    10 jungfrur    4:07
13.    I himmelen / Neil kõrgustel    4:01
14.    "Tvåsamt" / "Together"    3:52
15.    A boija båne    1:03
16.    Epilogue / Thanks, Ormsö!    4:59


Skylamb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CrimsonKing said...

Wow, Skylamb!
Thank you (again) for this new bunch!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this! But: password doesn’t work for me, file won’t decrypt.

Anonymous said...

I think an error occured during the upload. The RAR doesn t open.

Chesco said...

Hello from Barcelona. I want to thank you for the great music that you offer us. It is a great work and love of folk selection. I would ask you please: the file is corrupted. I downloaded it twice and decompressed several times, but it is impossible. Always the damaged file or message says incorrect password, no files to extract.

Please help.

Thank you very much and good luck in life.

KaTs said...

Great music! But the pw does not work for the rar. At least for me...

Anonymous said...

the password does not work
Thank you

Jon said...

I also get the message "corrupt file or wrong password."

Anonymous said...

PW failed !

Skylamb said...

New link:
pw: folkyourself

Jon said...

Just downloaded and ran it through winrar with no problems. Please note everyone,password is exactly as given, not the normal longer version used most of the time. Thank you Skylamb for this and all of your other contributions.

Skylamb said...

Folks were having problems when I used the "normal" password. I was able to decrypt all my files using, but downloaders reported problems. So I made new files :)

Jon said...

Skylamb just as an FYI and then we can leave it alone. I also was able to decrypt all of the files using The only one I encountered a problem with was the original file for this posting.

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