Kaja
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Kaja

Göteborg, Västra Götaland, Sweden | Established. Jan 01, 2005 | INDIE

Göteborg, Västra Götaland, Sweden | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2005
Band Folk Alternative

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Instrumental music, where Klezmer and Folk Music traditions from Eastern Europe meet Contemporary music. Livet Nord is fondling the violin, creating seducing and sinful sounds. Camilla Åström is handling the accordion and Daniel Wejdin is bouncing about on his acoustic bass. The debut by Kaja is mixing Eastern Europe with Tango, Jazz, Chamber music, Reggae and other genres – without losing ingeniousness and expression. The Chamber music feeling is there throughout the album, but Kaja dare to leave the chamber and make invigorating strolls on musical greens. Try the track Funder, for example.

2007-04-01 - Timo Kangas/LIRA


Instrumental music, where Klezmer and Folk Music traditions from Eastern Europe meet Contemporary music. Livet Nord is fondling the violin, creating seducing and sinful sounds. Camilla Åström is handling the accordion and Daniel Wejdin is bouncing about on his acoustic bass. The debut by Kaja is mixing Eastern Europe with Tango, Jazz, Chamber music, Reggae and other genres – without losing ingeniousness and expression. The Chamber music feeling is there throughout the album, but Kaja dare to leave the chamber and make invigorating strolls on musical greens. Try the track Funder, for example.

2007-04-01 - Timo Kangas/LIRA



Kaja find new paths

Kaja is a Gothenburg trio that creates ebullient and vital music that sounds like nothing else.

With a starting point in various musical expressions from different directions, they mix their own particularly attractive stew. Music with an improvisational glimmer and at the same time, in it’s evident elegance so overwhelmingly skilled and virtuosic, it sounds like it should have been very strictly arranged in the compositions already.

There are three high class musicians who combine high level of playing skills with an equally high level of improvisational feeling and ability. Livet Nord, violin, Daniel Wejdin, double bass and Camilla Åström, accordion and piano. Three musicians with a striking breadth and versatility in their play.

Bustling Klezmer, Tango, Eastern European folk sound, a bit of Swedish folk music, and a lot more is the foundation for the vital, captivating cheerful and sparkling music. Which contains some Contemporary music but flavoured with a great deal of wilfulness. With their few instruments, Kaja create a rich sound. Nice harmonies and rhythmical. With constant exciting digressions and changes. They change style within tracks in an impressively natural and smooth way. With impressive flexibility through daring adventurous arrangements, and strong dynamics in both interplay and change of musical style and atmosphere.

Kaja experiment and create a music that finds new paths for how to handle multifarious styles. And it is absolutely fabolously good.
- Tommy Granlund, Östran (Swedish newspaper) 30-09-2010


Score: 5/5

Kaja- life on a bottle

This trio start off in the soil of Eastern European folk music and let their originally composed arrangements stretch upwards on a winding journey. The music of Kaja is pensive, empathic and rich.

It sounds like Kaja have taken everything in life, distilled it on a bottle and shaken it. To gently uncork it is like diving straight into the instrumental soundscape of Kaja. Here, French accordion waltzes share space with fiery Klezmer, stealthy back beat with cinematic melancholy, and a languorous interplay in three musical chapters. Sometimes it is hot and out of breath, sometimes it is tranquil and sliding. A good soundtrack for the upcoming autumn, where it is a place for both rush and rest.
- Lovisa Eriksson, NWT (Swedish Newspaper) 17-09-2010


Score: 5/5

There are some all Swedish names on the cover. No wonder. These are melodies steaming of the Balkans, Tango feeling, musette waltzes, and gypsy violin traditions from the East. And they are played with that incredible mixture of total passion and stringent abstemiousness and control; a style otherwise only mastered by eastern Europeans, Argentinians and Flamenco Spaniards.

Accordionist/pianist Camilla Åström has written most of the melody drenched numbers, where the Gothenburg trio Kaja use blue notes of a kind B B King has never found and which stings better than schampoo in your eyes. If one wants to know how much a single violin (played by Livet Nord) can express, just go straight to the track ”Lullaby for Mira and Idun”. Is it groovy? It´s groovy.

Best track: Lullaby for Mira and Idun
- Alexander Agrell, Sydsvenska Dagbladet (Swedish newspaper) 29-09-2010


Score: "LIRA LIKES"

THE MANY LAYERS OF TRADITION. Listening to Kaja´s second instrumental album is like constantly being transferred between geographic areas, genres, and layers of cultural impulses. They treat their listeners to their newly composed music, which has a foundation of a classic musical expression, primarily through the violin and viola of Livet Nord, but which is pervaded by Eastern European folksiness and Klezmer, Latin Tango moves, French swirls and Swedish old-time pace.

Kaja have arranged their limitless music in a most ingenious way, where rich and sublime expressions find each other in a constantly varying and groovy rhythmic.

Camilla Åström, who has composed most of the tracks, handles her accordion as if all emotional expressions in the world were in her hands. The double bass of Daniel Wejdin is sensitively holding the trio’s earthy interplay within a solid form. Through the group sweeps musical winds and influences from many directions, which gather in a surprisingly powerful repertoire. Kaja´s views and wide horizon give them material to find new expressions in their music. There is a thrill and magic that make every track grow into a kind of world of opportunities, which they really use in their daring composing.

/Gunder Wåhlberg - Gunder Wåhlberg, Lira (Swedish World music magazine) #4, 09-2010


Score: "LIRA LIKES"

THE MANY LAYERS OF TRADITION. Listening to Kaja´s second instrumental album is like constantly being transferred between geographic areas, genres, and layers of cultural impulses. They treat their listeners to their newly composed music, which has a foundation of a classic musical expression, primarily through the violin and viola of Livet Nord, but which is pervaded by Eastern European folksiness and Klezmer, Latin Tango moves, French swirls and Swedish old-time pace.

Kaja have arranged their limitless music in a most ingenious way, where rich and sublime expressions find each other in a constantly varying and groovy rhythmic.

Camilla Åström, who has composed most of the tracks, handles her accordion as if all emotional expressions in the world were in her hands. The double bass of Daniel Wejdin is sensitively holding the trio’s earthy interplay within a solid form. Through the group sweeps musical winds and influences from many directions, which gather in a surprisingly powerful repertoire. Kaja´s views and wide horizon give them material to find new expressions in their music. There is a thrill and magic that make every track grow into a kind of world of opportunities, which they really use in their daring composing.

/Gunder Wåhlberg - Gunder Wåhlberg, Lira (Swedish World music magazine) #4, 09-2010


“One more!”, “Da capo!”, the enthusiasm was high among the students at Hanåkersskolan I Stugun, last afternoon when Kaja were about to end their concert. The venue was crowded. The audience was listening silently to the tunes but cheering and whistling after each and every piece. Who ever told that youngsters do not appreciate serious music?? The trio Kaja was overwhelming and inspiring... // The rhythm, the energy, and the playful swirls of music is characterizing.

2008-05-15 - Bernt Carlsson/Östersundsposten


Groovy melancholy close to happiness. The temperature rises at Rökeriet in Strömstad when Kaja start playing. It isn´t only due to the fact that it is crowdy, nor to the lit candles behind the trio. It´s mostly due to all the vibrancy that is embedded within Kaja´s music. Even though the audience is quite motionless, you can assume some rising pulses. And that counts for the musicians as well.

2009-11-19
- Håkan Stahre/Bohuslänningen


The trio Kaja was born during a tour with the Reggae band Kultiration, where a common interest for eastern European traditional music made the three members jam together in between the gigs. They are now making their debut with ten instrumental tracks with dramatic, melancholic music, where Camilla Åström´s accordion and Livet Nord´s violin are taking turns at the front with Daniel Wejdins acoustic bass as a rhythmical driven foundation. It is pleasantly pure and astonishingly fulfilled for such a young project.

2007-04-04 - Patrik Lindgren/GP


What a great starting point for Insikten´s musical trip around the world. The three piece band Kaja opened this summer´s World music concert program with vengeance.

The trio create their own music rooted in Eastern European Folk Music. But there are also influences from Classical music, Jazz, and Swedish Folk Music. For almost an hour, they delivered their music and even got a curtain call for an encore. It is skillful, inter-playful and beautiful. Judging by the austere scenery and well-dressed musicians, a tranquil experience was to be expected. But Kaja surprised.

The music is joyful and often varies both in tempo and intensity. Kaja perform with a lot of energy and the music is captivating. Kaja have an obvious reference to Klezmer, the traditional Jewish music of Eastern Europe. The concert brings to mind the Gypsy movies by Emir Kusturica.

The violin, played by Livet Nord, harmonizes well with the accordion, played by Camilla Åström. Sometimes their joined sounds feels like a gentle stroke, and in the next moment, cuts like a knife. But it remains beautiful. Meanwhile, they are being backed up rhythmically by double bass player Daniel Wejdin, who, by exertion, is dripping with sweat.

Despite the wonderful weather, there were only about thirty people who made it to Insikten for a moment of magnificent music. Yesterday´s concert was the premiere of a World Music program at Insikten in Trollhättan. The concert series is called “Around the world in eight days” and is lasting for eight Sundays. Seven concerts remain and Kaja has set a high standard for the rest of the performing groups.
- Concert review from the Swedish newspaper TTELA, July 2006, written by Andreas Engblom


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

ABOUT KAJA

Nearly a decade together has honed Kaja into a genre of their own, an irresistible flowering of musical expressions. Rooted in Eastern European music, it finds nourishment in the borderlands between tradition and innovation. Kaja has always had a soft spot for Klezmer, Rumanian and Balkan beats, only now they have forged their own musical language by layering on more dimensions, richer content. On three released full-length albums they have explored klezmer, tango, Swedish folk, French waltzes, cinematic art music and improvisation in their all original Kaja compositions. Their third recently released album Tre Trappor Upp (Three Stories Up) displays further influences from American folk music, acoustic club music and Indian ragas. Swaying waltzes merge into acoustic loops, improvisation, chilly soundscapes and then into uncompromising, full-throttle folk.  

The communication between the three musicians on stage is allowing, expressive, playful, intimate and tight. Kaja flirt with a chamber musical expression without ever leaving the unpredictable spontanity of Folk music and improvisation. The dynamic possibilities of the acoustic instruments make this trio suitable on small intimate venues as well as big concert halls.

TOURS and VENUES
Kaja have been touring in Europe, Canada and South Korea and performed at jazz festivals, folk and world music festivals, culture houses, concert halls, clubs, boats, churches, schools, private parties, TV and radio. They have performed at Jarasum International Jazz Festival, Bukchoon World Music Festival, Global Jazz Festival, Europa Festival Utrecht, Sunfest (London Ontario), Vienna International Accordion Festival, Ume Folk Music Festival and Linkping Folkmusikfestival, to name a few.

Livet Nord - violin and viola
Camilla Astrom - accordion and piano
Daniel Wejdin - double bass


BIOGRAPHY
2005 Kaja was funded and toured in Sweden with new compositions.
2006 The first album Kaja was released with two traditional Klezmer tunes and three new compositions. Kaja toured in the southern part of Sweden and northern Germany.
2007 Their full-length album Krackel was released in the spring at the label Famous on the Moon Records. They performed at festivals, culture houses, theatres, museums, churches, clubs and private parties in Sweden.
2008 Kaja toured with public and school concerts in whole of Sweden. New music for the  play Riddar Blaskagg was composed. Riddar Blaskagg had premiere in Gothenburg and was performed by Kaja and the storyteller Kiriaki Christoforidis. Swedish Radio P2 recorded a concert at Korrfestivalen that has been broadcasted several times. 
2009 New music was composed for the upcoming album. Kaja recorded the first part of the album in October. 
2010 Kaja finished and released their second full length album Rust which has got rave reviews. Kaja toured in Sweden.
2011 They attended WOMEX in Copenhagen and toured in Sweden and Denmark.
2012 Kaja performed abroad, both in Canada and Holland, toured and did workshops in Sweden. Together with the vocal quartet Tetra, they released an album and toured with a Christmas show called "Midvintervaka".
2013 Kaja attended APAP in New York, USA in January and toured in South Korea in October. In South Korea they performed at Jarasum International Jazz Festival, Changwoo World Music Festival, Global Jazz Festival and made a TV concert in EBS Space. The 18th of November their third album Tre Trappor Upp is released.

Band Members