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Mari Boine

[Mari Boine]

16-Apr-2006: finally updating this page again, new CD "Iddjagiedas" release 2006-04-24 ...
19-Mar-2002: still waiting for release of "Eight Seasons", Mari Boine on tour in Germany May 2002 ...
10-Feb-2002: added 2 new albums to discography, some more links ...
11-Nov-2001: added "Remixed" to discography ...
21-Sep-2001: fixed additions to discography ...
20-Sep-2001: added links about Mari Boine's performance at the royal wedding in Oslo, 27-Aug-2001 ...
11-Jul-2001: added "Inn fra kulda" and some links ...(-;
13-Feb-2001: added further links and new(?) album ...(-;
01-May-2000: added further links ...;-)
30-May-1999: added links to VeDaKi, Mari Boine & VeDaKi tour dates, added some items to Discography ...
19-Apr-1999: added links to some concert reviews ...


By Manika Vats-Fournier
Arts International Editor

From the frozen steppes of Norway to the warm, wooden floors of the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis, Mari Boine, one of the most spellbinding and outspoken Norwegian musicians, has garnered international attention and acclaim. She will be performing music from her new album "Leahkastin" (Unfolding), on Sunday, Oct. 8.

Boine grew up in the small village of Gamehhisnjarga, past the Arctic Circle on the northern most tip of Norway. The Norwegians call the area Karasjok, but she knows it as Sami-land. The Sami people, an indigenous race related to North American Indians and Eskimo tribes, were colonized by the Christian Scandinavians. Part Sami herself, the first music Boine heard was the psalm singing of the "Laestadian" movement, a fundamentalist Christian movement which a large part of the Sami population follows. Boine's artistry is rooted in the Sami tradition and the folk music of Scandinavia's northern culture, which ranges through Norway, Finland and Sweden. Boine struggled to find a cultural identity and present it in her work. "I was bitter and full of what I regarded as righteous anger. I have been through every possible stage to reach where I am today. At school, we learned that Sami culture and the Sami language were worthless. They were not worth preserving. Believe me when I tell you that I was ashamed of being a Sami" As a contemporary composer, Boine encompasses many musical genres and cultures in her work. Her music is a blend of expressive styles: jazz, rock, joik -- the traditional Sami chant -- and other ethnic styles from South America and Africa. A diverse group of musicians, Boine's band members combine the sounds of bass, keyboards and guitars with the Sami and African drums, Indian flutes, the Peruvian charango (a small guitar) and an Arabic fiddle. Despite the global collection of instruments, the music is still solidly Norwegian and completely original.

Boine recounts being trapped between two different closed communities and ideologies. Raised in a strictly religious home, she says, "My father was a pious man. Dancing and singing with friends was absolutely out of the question. Girls were to be neither seen nor heard. That was the rule." Missionaries demonized pre-Christianity Sami musical traditions.

When Boine first began performing, she met with resistance from her own people. She attributes this to her open rebellion against her inferior status both as a member of the Sami people and as a woman.

Originally, her music was pure, pointed protest against the constant repression and missionary fervor. On several occasions, she challenged the Norwegian Prime Minister, Gro Harlem Brundtland, to deliver an apology to the Sami people on behalf of the Norwegian state.

When asked to perform at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Boine refused. "I don't want to be used as an exotic decoration. At an event like that, it could easily happen."

Commissioned by one of the major music festivals in Europe, Norway's "Vossajazz", Boine's fourth and latest album "Leahkastin" is not as much of a directed social commentary, but her voice and music are just as powerful. Boine received the equivalent of a Norwegian "Grammy" award for the album in February 1994.

Today, she represents both the Sami people and Norway all over the world. The majority of the Sami people regard her as one of their greatest ambassadors.

(original site)

The Sami and Mari Boine

(from The Rough Guide to World Music, 1994)

The Sami, or Lapps, live in northern Norway, Sweden and Finland, preserving their own language and a culture related to other arctic peoples. As the indigenous people of artic Scandinavia, their relations with the colonizers have often been problematic, although, following a political struggle in the early 1980s, originally focused on plans to combat a planned dam, their rights and way of life are now enshrined in the Norwegian constitution.

Central to Sami music is the joik, an improvised and highly personal style of singing in a sort of epigrammatic form. Often describing nature or animals, joik illustrates the close relationship that the Sami people have with the world around them. When Sami people sing joiks for each other they don´t applaud but simply sing a joik in return.

Contemporary Sami music has seen some dramatic developments over the past few years, with several artists forging an international reputation. Nils-Aslak Valkiapää from Finland performed the opening song at the 1994 Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway. His recording break new ground in Sami music-making, incorporating diverse elements such as symphony orchestra, synthesizer and jazz/folk fusion with the help of the Finnish group Karelia. Angelin Tytöt from the village of Angeli in Finland are a trio (sometimes a duo) of young girls, joiking and singing with guitar and percussion.

It is Norway's Mari Boine (aka Mari Boine Persen), however, who has made the biggest impact outside Sami land with her modern electric band. This singer has been an articulate spokesperson for Sami culture, both in her music and in interviews. As she explained: "I used to think men oppressing women or governments oppressing people realized what they were doing and were just cynical. But then I realized that often they are unaware and are filled with fear. I fell I have to find my way to their hearts to let them know what they are doing. It's the only way to change things. That's why I feel my music is important."

"Our first relationship is to nature. You are part of nature, not the master of nature. This also gives us a strong sense of solidarity - you are about other people. Money is not important and power is not important. It's more your personality, the human being that is important."

Mari Boine's music is dominated by her strong and urgent voice, plus a few carefully selected instruments from people all over the world, notably the native South Americans, chosen in part due to their history of even harsher colonization. Most distinctive is her drum. She uses an African drum, but the combination of drum and voice goes back to ancient Sami culture and pre-Christian shamanism.

"The colonizers brought Christianity and told the Sami they had to forget their primitive religion - and music was part of that religion. A lot of people of my parent's generation don't accept the music, they say it's devil's music and what you sing when you're drunk - the colonizers also brought alcohol. When I started to use a drum some people got worried and said, 'Is she a Shaman?' So I decided I couldn't use a Sami drum."

"I think your voice is a mirror of your soul and how you feel inside. When I began I was singing pop songs and ballads and didn't sing from the heart. Over the last ten years I've been fighting this feeling of being inferior to Norwegian or western people and my voice got stronger as I decided I wouldn't let anyone oppress me and that I have a value as Sami. Western culture makes a distance between you and your body or heart. In Sami culture you think of everything as a whole."

Gula Gula (Hear the Voices of the Foremothers)

Hear the voices of the foremothers
They ask you why you let the earth become polluted
They remind you where you come from
Do you hear?
Again they want to remind you
That the earth is our mother
If we take her life
We die with her.

(Please let me know if you don´t consider these quotes as "fair use" and give me a chance to update the page.)


Music by Mari Boine
Artist / Group Album Title Year Label & CD code Comments
Mari Boine Persen Jaskatvuoða Manná (Etter stillheten) 1985 IÐUT IMC 860 LP/MC only, more pop/rock
Mari Boine Persen Gula Gula (Hør stammødrenes stemme) 1989 IÐUT ICD 891 (CDDB) Scandinavian release, good booklet !
Gula Gula 1989 Real World RWCD 13 0777.7.86222.2.2 (CDDB)  
Mari Boine Goaskinviellja / Ørnebror 1993 Lean MBCD 62 (CDDB) Scandinavian release
Goaskinviellja / Eagle Brother 1993 Verve  
Mari Boine Leahkastin 1994 Lean / Sonet MBCD 94 523889-2 (CDDB) Scandinavian release
Leahkastin / Unfolding 1994 Lean / Verve 523889-2 (CDDB)  
Mari Boine Radiant Warmth 1996 Antilles 314533520-2 (CDDB) compilation from Goaskinviellja and Leahkastin (US release)
Mari Boine Eallin (live) 1996 Lean / Sonet Antilles 533799-2 (freedb) live in Kassel & Trondheim
Mari Boine Band Bálvvoslatjna / Room of Worship 1998 Lean / Antilles 5590232 (CDDB)  
Mari Boine Remixed / Oðða Hámis 2001 Jazzland / Lean 014760-2 (CDDB) released 05-Nov-2001 in Germany
Mari Boine Eight seasons -- Gâvcci Jahkejuogu 2002 Emarcy Records CD 044001701924 (freedb) more electronics, with Bugge Wesseltoft, released spring 2002
Mari Boine Gula Gula / hear the voices of the foremothers 2005 EmArCy / Universal LC00699 / 0044001778124 (freedb) re-release with 3 bonus tracks
Mari Boine Iddjagiedas (In The Hand Of The Night) 2006 EmArcy/Universal (platekompaniet) first track is "Vuoi vuoi mu"
Mari Boine Sterna Paradisea 2009 EmArcy/Universal (mariboine.no) new 2009-08-24

Related music
Artist / Group Album Title Year Label & CD code Comments
Mari Boine med band Allians Møte i Moskva 1992 NRK / BMG Ariola 74321-10176-2 (CDDB) Allians became "The Farlanders"
Mari Boine, Inna Zehlannaya, Sergey Starostin Winter in Moscow 2001 Jaro 4235-2 (CDDB) re-issue of "Møte i Moskva", but track 6 is different
Ole Paus, Mari Boine Persen, Kari Bremnes Salmer på veien hjem 1991 Kirkelig Kulturverksted FXCD 105 includes 4 tracks with Mari Boine
Note: "Mitt hjerte alltid vanker" (Track 3) was performed during the royal wedding ceremony in Oslo, 27-Aug-2001
Kris Kristofferson, Sinead O´Connor, Mari Boine, Knut Reiersrud and others Make me a channel of your peace / The Nobel Peace Prize 100 years 2002 JARO 4245-2 / Kirkelig Kulturverksted new project album supporting the "Nobel Peace Laureates Follow up Fund"
includes 4 tracks with Mari Boine
Orbina Orbina 1993 IÐUT ICD 931 (freedb) Mari Boine´s band
Hvite pil Hege Rimestadt 1997 Grappa / Heilo HCD 7122 with Mari Boine, her band, and other artists
Diverse Artister Inn fra kulda - Bob Marley på norsk 2001 Tylden & Co. GTACD 8150 (freedb) includes Beasadat Ja Báhtarat (Running Away)
Jan Garbarek I Took Up The Runes 1990 ECM 1419 843850-2 includes Gula Gula (instrumental)
Jan Garbarek Group Tvelve Moons 1993 ECM 1500 519500-2 includes Darvánan (Mari Boine, Jan Garbarek)
Jan Garbarek Visible World 1996 ECM 1585 529086-2 includes Evening Land (Mari Boine, Jan Garbarek, Marilyn Mazur)
VeDaKi (Alexei Levin, ...) with Sergey Starostin and Mari Boine Gombi Zor 1999 VEDAKI Records VECD 99-111 includes Toksingolom (live)
Various Artists Cafe Del Mar volumen ocho (Volume 8) 2001 Universal Music, UICR-1012 includes Gula Gula (Chilluminati Mix)
Various Artists One World One Voice 1990 CDV 2632 / Virgin 260 904-222 includes excerpt from Gula Gula
Various Artists A Week In The Real World (part 1) 1991 Real World CDRW25 (CDDB) includes It Sat Duolmma Mu
Various Artists A Week Or Two In The Real World 1994 Virgin/EMI 243 8394792 / CDRW30 (CDDB) includes Vilges Suola (live)
and Maze by Mari Boine & Liu Sola
Various Artists Official Real World 1994 Sampler ??? Virgin/EMI 243 8399432 (freedb) includes Oppskrift for herrefolk and Maze (Mari Boine & Sola)
Shamaani Duo Hunka Lunka ~1998 ??? includes Gula Gula
Mari Boine, Ante Mikkel Gaup, Anders Porsanger Juovllaide (Christmas Songs) ??? ??? MC, ???
Anders Porsanger, Mari Boine Persen, Ánte Mikkel Gaup Min Máilmmis (barnekassett) 1986 IÐUT IMC 861 MC
Various Artists Nattjazz 20 år 1992 (Nattjazz, Bergen, Norway) (freedb) includes Gula Gula (Jan Garbarek Group feat. Mari Boine Persen)
The Holmes Brothers Jubilation 1992 Real World Gospel/Blues, with Mari Boine backing vocals
Angelit & Mari Boine "Christmas tape" ??? 1987 Finlandia Records, Inovator Series Angelit were earlier known as the "Girls of Angeli" (Angelin Tytöt)
Various Artists Stiff Nipples Sampler - Volume 1 ??? SNCDO 193 (CDDB) includes çuovgi liekkas (Mari Boine)
Various Artists til dæ? ??? TD 001 includes Gi meg handa di søster and a track by Orbina
Various Artists / Åge Aleksandersen Æ - Disc 1 1992 GHCD 57/58 (CDDB) includes Oarbbis Leat (Fremmed fugl)
Various Artists Kvirre Virre Vitt ??? (CDDB) includes Gierastadden Lavlla
Various Artists New Age / 87 Illusion ??? (CDDB) includes Mu Vahkar Lasse (Mari Boine Band)

Various Artists Highlights Of Silent Dreams 4 ??? Sattva Music KTL139CD includes Balu Badjel Go Vuoittan
Various Artists Les Musiques Du Routard - Europe ??? France (CDDB) includes Oppskrift for Herrefolk
Various Artists Women's World Voices ??? (CDDB) includes Don it Galgan
Various Artists Virgin - Directory of World Music ??? (CDDB) inlcudes Oppskrift for Herrefolk
Various Artists Voices Of The Real World ??? (CDDB) inlcudes Gula Gula
Various Artists Æ E Norlending CD 2 ??? (CDDB) includes Goskinviellja - Ørnebror
Various Artists Ciao Mondo 1992 (CDDB) includes Oppskrift For Herrefolk
Various Artists Smokin' Tunes 5 ??? (CDDB) includes Eallin (Life)
Various Artists Nei `94 ??? (CDDB) includes Cvougi Liekka
Various Artists Music You Haven't Heard Yet 3 ??? (CDDB) includes Sow Your Gold
Various Artists Les Inrockuptibles - Un Printemps 99 ??? (CDDB) includes Eallin (Life) (Mari Boine Band)
Various Artists Real World celebrates Greenpeace ??? (CDDB) includes It Sat Duolmma Mu (Free at Last)
Various Artists Silent Dreams Vol. 6 CD (1/2) Spirit Songs ??? (CDDB) includes Balu Bandjel Go Vuoittan
Various Artists Miljø For Livet ??? (CDDB) includes Gilve Gollát (Så Ditt Gull)
Various Artists GEO - Les Musiques du Monde ??? (CDDB) includes It Sat Duolmma Mu
Various Artists And The World's All Yours - An Essential Selection Of World Music [CD One] ??? (CDDB) includes What Do You Want, Life? (Mari Boine)
Various Artists Midsummer Jazz Gala 1996 1996 (CDDB) includes Gulan du
Various Artists Verve - The next generation ??? (CDDB) includes Gulan Du
Various Artists Verve's Next Generation Volume 2 1995 PolyGram 314 5256112 / Verve (CDDB) includes Gulan Du
Various Artists Global Sounds CD1 ??? (CDDB) includes Eallin (life)
Various Artists Cryptichon 2 - CD #1 ??? (CDDB) includes Ethno Jenny
Various Artists Journey into music ??? (CDDB) includes Eallin (life)
Various Artists Norway - A Musical and Pictorial Journey ??? (CDDB) includes Gula Gula
Various Artists Traditional Sounds of Norway ??? (CDDB) includes I Hear You

More detailed track lists for most of these albums are available from the freedb.org CD DataBase or its commercialized counterpart CDDB.com. They currently lists about 50 CDs with one or more track(s) by Mari Boine. See also the Nord-Norsk folkemusikksamling at the University of Oslo.

Mari Boine's Band

Mari Boine voice, djembe
Gjermund Silset bass, percussion
Hege Rimestad violin
Helge A. Norbakken percussion
Roger Ludvigsen guitars
Carlos Zamata Quispe   flute, charango

In autumn 2000, she was on tour with several new musicians:
Roger Ludvigsen, Gunnar Augland, Svein Schultz and Richard Thomas


Links are being appended at the end, hence the newest links can be found at the bottom of this list...

Some links that could have led you here ...


Heiko Purnhagen <mail@heikopurnhagen.net> 2009-09-13