Marja Mortensson Trio (Sápmi)
Marja Mortensson, a young South Saami yoiker and singer from Svahken Sïjte reindeer herding district, in Hedmark County (Norway), has a remarkable voice. Born into a reindeer herding family, Marja’s life, as well as her music, are both firmly rooted in the South Saami way of life. Her songs centre different aspects of her indigenous Saami identity, e.g. the closeness and importance of the environment, as well as both her love for reindeer husbandry and her commitment to the protection and revitalisation of the South Saami language.
Despite her young age, Marja has already received widespread recognition for her music and throughout her career she has performed together with several well-known musicians. She was awarded the 2013 Hedmark County Culture Award, and was crowned “Young Artist of the Year” at the international indigenous festival Riddu Riđđu, in 2014. This, in turn, gave her the rare opportunity to perform in Taiwan, Siberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. At the beginning of 2017, Marja played a major role in the centennial Saami concert in Trondheim, which marked the centenary of the first Saami Assembly in 1917.
At the beginning of 2017, Marja released her acclaimed debut album ‘Aarehgïjre’ – Early Spring. A mere year later, she released her new album ‘Mojhtestasse’ – Cultural Heirlooms. This time around, she has chosen to let her unique voice take centre stage; through a minimalistic and acoustic production, which highlights her attention to tradition, she lets her Saami roots guide the final feel of the entire album. Together with Daniel Herskedal (tuba/bass trumpet) and Jakop Janssønn on percussion, Marja manages to create an intimate soundscape well worth listening to. Overall, the album presents Marja’s voice, musical background and traditional roots in a completely new and stunning way.