With her clear, powerfully expressive voice, fleet-fingered kantele playing and inventive percussion accompaniment, one-woman-band Maija Kauhanen builds up atmospheric live soundscapes full of ethereal beauty, compelling organic beats and passages of soulful intensity. She specialises in Finnish saarijärvi kantele, using the old and rare technique of playing with a small wooden stick, and her compositions are inspired by the rural music traditions of Finland and Karelia. The themes of her songs are contemporary, though: stories of challenging relationships, domestic violence and child-brides are unflinchingly portrayed, but there is also joy, hope and the mystery of young love to be celebrated. Over the past few years, Maija has performed in China, Japan, Scandinavia and across Europe. Her first album, Raivopyörä/The Whirl of Rage, was released this year to fulsome accolades from the mainstream Finnish press.
Maija Kauhanen - vocals, kantele, percussions