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Kalevala: Dream of the Salmon Maiden

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Album Review

The tale of the Kalevala, the myth of a maiden who assumes the form of a salmon as resistance against marriage to a great magician, is one that has not only had its roots in Scandinavia, but also in Eskimo and some Native American cultures. Ruth MacKenzie and a large group of excellent performers bring the tale to life on record, adapting the story along with various pieces of traditional Finnish music, mixing this with original music and lyrics. MacKenzie has a soaring, distinct voice that suits this kind of rough-edged music very well, and has the ability to bring both that rawness and an operatic quality to her performance — uncannily, though she is singing in English, it is possible to end up convinced that she is actually singing in Finnish. Musically, while the production utilizes traditional instruments and melodies, the performances and arrangements are very much contemporary folk-rock-style, with bass and drums front and center in support. Overall excellent, engaging, and challenging work. ~ Steven E. McDonald, Rovi

Customer Reviews

An awe-inspiring performance

Kalevala is spectacular: what an amazing performance! Way to go, Ruth!

Finnish culture at it's best

I got to see this performed live at St Kate's in St Paul, MN. It transported me back on a cellular level to my Finnish roots. I heard the Kuhlning with the old part of my soul even though it was new to my ears. Great music for the sauna.

Strong voice, strong content, great backing music

It's hard sometimes to hear all the things going on in these songs - Ruth has such a very strong voice, that you don't notice the talented fiddle and guitar backing her. She sings with passion and brings emotion to the stories behind the songs - transformation of a girl to a salmon, the loss of family. The songs are sung in both Finnish and English, and I wish I could have seen this live!

Kalevala: Dream of the Salmon Maiden, Ruth MacKenzie
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Customer Ratings