Marja Mortensson, a young South Saami yoiker and singer from Svahken Sïjte reindeer herding district, in Hedmark County (Norway), has a remarkable voice. For this special performance, Marja is joined by jazz tubist Daniel Herskedal, who arranged and orchestrated the Norwegian Grammy Award winner’s latest album Raajroe – The Reindeer Caravan.
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 on different aspects of her indigenous Saami identity, and 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.
Raajroe – The Reindeer Caravan is steeped in the knowledge of how one not only travels through our Mother Earth, but how one lives on and off her, always caring for her. The music becomes an offering of thanks to nature itself, the reindeer and all ancestors who have carefully traversed these lands before us. These are stories stemming from a time Marja herself has not lived through, but through her commitment to the Saami oral tradition, the yoik and the South Saami language, she is passing on her people’s traditions to future generations.