World Music from the Top of the World –
Wimme's new album Mun

Shamanistic chant meets modern soundscapes. Wimme Saari is a Sámi joik singer; a traditional chant style that has certain elements in common with Native American music, most importantly a reverence for the earth and the elements.

Wimme combines colorful grittiness of traditional joiking elements with original improvisations. In his joik, Wimme constructs intense, clear melodic arches and stretches his voice from a sweet falsetto to a grave baritone. But the old joik is still there: Wimme has recaptured the essence of the ancient joik, and even the clever voice technique of the animal joiks.

In addition to his band & solo work, Wimme has contributed his unique voice to albums by artists like Hector Zazou, Hedningarna, Nits and RinneRadio. Wimme has also collaborated with Italian composer Aldo Brizzi. In 2005 Wimme toured England with Canadian inuit singer Tanya Tagaq and Kalmuckian throat singer Okna Tsahan Zam in a production called Shaman Voices.

Wimme’s deeply emotional vocals are the center around which the music floats. Tapani Rinne (clarinets) and Juuso Hannukainen (percussion), two main musicians from the Finnish experimental band RinneRadio, and Matti Wallenius on acoustic string instruments, give shape and depth to Wimme’s joik, creating an eerie, spiritual and atmospheric effect. Sequencers and synthesizers are gone, and the new band is acoustic and close to the roots in a contemporary way, with RinneRadio’s sound guru Tuomas Norvio adding some tasteful electronics into the mix.

Wimme’s new line-up played very successfully at Womex in Copenhagen end of October 2009, and created huge interest from all over the World in the artist and the forthcoming new album. Wimme will be very busy touring in 2010-2011.

Since 1995 Wimme has released four band albums and a traditional solo joik album. It has been six years since the latest band album, but in early 2010 Wimme is finally releasing internationally the long-awaited new CD Mun. The Sámi title means Me in English, so Wimme returns with music that he is again really happy about. Actually Wimme got so inspired by the new album sessions that he provided some new paintings and drawings to the CD artwork. The album was rush-released in Finland already for the Christmas market, and has received fantastic reviews from the music critics.

Wimme Saari’s joik is stronger than ever and the band works seamlessly with the vocals, pushing Wimme to do his best. The album’s guests include fellow joiker Ulla Pirttijärvi, Pekka Lehti on upright bass, Iro Haarla on harp, Imre Pemot (igil), Pekka Kuusisto (violin), Eero Grundström (accordion) and Teho Majamäki (percussion).