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Premiere: Mari Boine unveils new record with Bugge Wesseltoft, Amame, out on September 29th via By Norse

By Norse is proud to announce the upcoming record from Sámi–Norwegian musician and activist Mari Boine, Amame, which translates to “So We Don’t”, and is already a standout in Mari’s impressive and extensive discography. Mari Boine is accompanied here by Norwegian jazz pianist Bugge Wesseltoft, who previously produced the record Gávcci Jahkejuogu – Eight Seasons (2002); both wrote this new record together in the same space, with the exception of two tracks that Mari recorded herself at her home in Tromsø, Norway. Bugge’s tender and responsive piano playing compliments Mari’s soft singing, as she weaves wisdom and stories about love, human vulnerability, injustice and struggle, but also about pride and dignity. Mari sings for others, assuming the role of an elder and imparts her wisdom to the listener. The music on Amame carries a seriousness and depth, embracing the nuance of language, preserving wisdom and traditions, and sharing the experiences of her people, something that Mari has dedicated her life to through music and activism.

The record opens with a piece about the power of memory, “Amame Jávkat”, about which Mari comments, “You exchange words with a stranger, but you know you’ve met him many times before. A longing lingers in you afterwards, after something that for a short while felt like coming home”. Elsewhere on the record,  the love song “Alit Alihastá Aliha” is a text by the Sámi author Karen Anne Buljo about two artists with great love for each other and for each other’s art. Anyone who listens to the interaction between Mari Boine and Bugge Wesseltoft does not need to understand the lyrics. For the first time on her own record, Mari records “Elle”, the iconic theme song from the film The Kautokeino Rebellion, based on a true story about the Norwegian exploitation when Sámi culture was banned, now quietly and hauntingly accompanied by Bugge’s piano. Experiences of injustice are also represented in the track, “Mihá,” and from the first time she heard it, Mari knew she had to sing it in Sámi one day. She explains, “this is the song for Liv”, whose real name is Mona Marita in the book The dark secret in Tysfjord, written by Anne-Britt Harsem. It was written in Norwegian by Stian Soli, and here translated into Sámi by Rawdma C. Eira and Mari herself. Mari dedicates this track “for everyone who has managed to stand up and create a dignified life for themselves, despite betrayal and painful experiences of abuse”. The last song on the record, “Mu Oappá Niegus” is the only song that presents Mari in a band format and, as a small nod from one producer to another, stands as an homage to the musician,composer and friend Svein Schultz from Bugge Wesseltoft. Mari Boine never stands still, and you never know what awaits, but perhaps there is a little hint here.

To accompany the announcement of the new record, a Kirill Milkus-directed video for the first single, “Eadnán bákti”, can be watched below this article. About the track, Mari Boine comments, “Eadnán bákti” celebrates the feminine in all of us, in all of nature. In the beginning, this song only had a melody and these lines: “Trust that you are a flower and fly, you are also a bird.” I remember singing it over and over for myself and loved the feeling it filled me with. It felt like pure medicine”. She continues, “But the song needed more lyrics so I turned to Kerttu Vuolab. She had composed many beautiful texts. Several of our best writers come from the Deatnu/Tana area in Sápmi. Kerttu and many from that area were lucky enough to grow up with a rich storytelling tradition. Grandparents, mothers, and fathers, uncles and aunts who passed on the old stories from generation to generation.”

Amame will be released on September 29th via By Norse. Physical and digital pre-orders are now available here.


Photo credit: Knut Bry

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