Karuna is a Finnish folk music trio with three keyboard players and a unique sound. The trio combines the sounds of the Swedish national instrument nyckelharpa (keyed fiddle) and accordion with the rich harmonies of piano and reed organ. Karuna’s music is mostly composed by the pianist Juha Kujanpää, who creatively combines Nordic folk tradition with influences from baroque music, national romanticism and jazz. The musical language has been compared to Sibelius and the sounds of the Finnish forests. Esko Järvelä and Teija Niku represent the new generation of Finnish professional folk musicians. Their skills are matched by Kujanpää’s rhythmic playing and jazz background, resulting in fantastic music with many influences and harmonic twists.
About the musicians:
Esko Järvelä is a fourth generation folk musician and one of the most-known folk fiddle players in Finland. He plays in bands such as Frigg, Es&Co, Baltic Crossing, Tsuumi Sound System and Tötterssön.
Juha Kujanpää is a composer and musician interested in the area between European jazz and folk music. Besides Karuna, he is composing for his own bands Poutaja and Kirjava Lintu, and plays piano and reed organ also in Ville Ojanen Band, Captain Cougar, Kuha and Saarikorpi Brom.
Teija Niku is an accordion player graduated from the folk music department of Sibelius Academy. Besides Scandinavian folk music, she has also specialised in the music of the Balkan area. You can hear her playing also in the bands Grupa Balkan and Polka Chicks.
Esko Järvelä: nyckelharpa, violin
Juha Kujanpää: piano, harmonium
Teija Niku: accordion
Hannu Risku: perkussiot / percussion (1, 4, 8)
Topi Korhonen: kitara / guitar (6, 9)
Ilkka Heinonen: kontrabasso / double bass (4)
1. Sonnet no.1
2. Caroli Walz
3. Polska at Night
4. Bon voyge
5. The Shovel Mazurka
6. Wedding March
7. Midday Minuet
8. Bach and Coffee
10. Seventh Floor
Composed and arranged by: Juha Kujanpää, except “Caroli Waltz”, composed and arranged by Teija Niku.
Recorded in July 2009 at Kallio-Kuninkala, Järvenpää.
Recording and mixing: Vesa Norilo
Mastering: Pauli Saastamoinen, Finnvox
The sound of shoveling (5): lorenzosu / www.freesound.org
Photographs: A-J Savolainen
Graphic design: Tero Vesterinen
c & p KANTELEEN ÄÄNIÄ 2010
Sibelius Academy Folk Music Department recordings 95.