Mari Boine
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Mari Boine

Band World Folk


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The best kept secret in music


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Her debut album Jaskatvuoda manna came in 1985, her breakthrough came in 1989 with Gula Gula .

1985: Jaskatvuoa maá (Etter Stillheten)

1989: Gula Gula (Hør stammødrenes stemme)

1991: Salmer på veien hjem (With Ole Paus and Kari Bremnes)

1992: Møte i Moskva (With the band Allians)

1993: Goaskinviellja (Ørnebror)

1994: Leahkastin (Unfolding)

1996: Eallin (Live)

1998: Bálvvoslatnja (Room of worship)

2001: Odda hamis (Remixed)

2002: Gávcci jahkejuogu (Eight Seasons)

2006: Idjagieas (In the hand of the night)

Mari has also collaborated with a number of different artists, among them Peter Gabriel on One World One Voice (1990) and Jan Garbarek in 1991/1992


Feeling a bit camera shy


Mari Boine Idjagiedas Music can touch on strings you might not know you had. It can provide meaning, but it can also create moments which cant be defined. Moments which go to your core, that touch some sort of primal instinct, and that put you in a trancelike condition.

Music can confuse you. But it can also make you feel happy, uplifted or enriched. And maybe even more whole. Mari Boines music has this effect. You cant leave a meeting with Mari and her music untouched. That is, if you dare to let her get close. Her music is actually simple. It is in the meeting between the songs, her voice and the musicians in the band that it gains strength. And in the interaction with the listener, because you must meet Maris music with an open mind. If you dont give of yourself, you might not discover the wealth she has to offer. Because Mari is exceptional. She is an artist who is difficult to categorize.

Perhaps shes a Sámi artist, perhaps shes a practitioner of world music. Perhaps she makes music in the borderline between Sámi, other folk music, jazz and rock. Perhaps shes the sum of all this. Or perhaps shes just herself. A musician, singer and artist whos making her own mark. Who has gone down a road where she hasnt always seen the destination. And who is still travelling. A route she has gained confidence and a clear sense of who she is and what she stands for. But the road is long. There are still surprises and challenges lurking ahead.

She made her debut as an artist in the early 80s. She was angry, and had every reason to be. There were many people, many circumstances keeping her down. Christianity, oppression of the Sámi language and culture, the big men down south. In This is how I was convinced from 1982 she writes: I laughed with those who made fun of the Sámi/ even though I felt I hurt myself the most/Because its your own language which gives you strength At first she sang in Norwegian and English. Eventually in Sámi. Its a good language to sing, its so rich in vocals, she says.

Her anger, political statements, and 1989 breakthrough, both at home and abroad, with Gula Gula made her a well-known person. A person one listened to. Many people now saw her as a spokesperson for the Sámi people and the Sámi cause. Not Mari. I cant represent a whole people. But I can tell my story as a Sámi, and in that way tell part of the Sámi peoples story. In my songs I can depict the pain of oppression, the struggle to regain self-respect, but also the joy of growing up in a culture which has such a close bond with nature. I havent always been so politically active. My commitment came with the music, she says.

Mari grew up in an environment where the Sámi language was accepted. Where it was OK to sing psalms, but not to joik. In the strict læstadian milieu joik was viewed as the devils work. I am not Christian today, she says. But I have a holistic religion. I think this religion is gaining ground world wide. In my prayers I look to the forces in nature, such as the sun god Beaivi, the thunder god, wind god and the Sámi goddesses. I am not familiar with the old rituals as the transmission from the elder generation to the younger was broken by Christian missionaries. But my music has opened up a spirituality which gives me meaning, but that I cant always express in words.

When Mari was awarded the Nordic Councils Music Prize in 2003 it was for her ethnic intuition, her artistic strength and for an ability to communicate which lets her reach people in all corners of the world. Regardless of cultural background. She has retained her musical roots, while giving them a contemporary expression which reaches an enormous audience all over the world, it was said. She now has a new album. There are some surprises waiting there, too. Its completely irrelevant what you call her music. Its music that blends seamlessly into the rhythms and sound picture of our times. She could have sung her songs a thousand years ago, or in a thousand years and still retained the same depth and resonance. To rephrase it: It is as though Mari Boines voice reveals just the smallest slice of eternity, a critic wrote of her last album Gâvcci Jahkejuogo (Eight Seasons). Its easy to make many of the same reflections when listening to Idjagiedas. The intensity, the intimacy, and the strong personal presence, make it easier to understand Mari when she says:

Music is my life, the song is my breathing