Shamanviolin arose out of wax-cylinder recordings, collected by Finnish linguist Kai Donner in his incredible travels across Siberia between 1912 and 1914. These wax-cylinders include rare songs sung by real shamans from the Ob and Yenisei-river districts.
I found these cylinders in a Helsinki-based archive and learned that only a few scientists had studied them before. Listening to these songs, vanishing under the raspy squeaks of a long lost record quality, I absorbed a whole different aesthetic that underlies the music and performance of arctic peoples.
Subsequently, I collected all the recordings of ritualistic music from the arctic areas that I could possibly find, packed my violin, and set off on my first fieldtrip to Khanty-Mansijsk in Siberia. There I played my own versions of Khanty songs that I had learned from a Soviet LP record and my playing was answered with dozens of new songs.
I have recomposed most of the material to suit the violin and created new songs in the same style. My goal has been to recreate the emotional power of the archived materials, and thus this music is profoundly indebted to the bygone Siberian shamans.