Singing the Ancient Memories of Finland is the third of five concerts in the Center for World Music’s Passport to Worlds of Music Spring 2018 series.
Finnish folk poetry tells a story of the first time the kantele zither was played. The sound was so beautiful that everybody started to cry. When their tears touched the water of the ocean, they turned into pearls.
A native of Finland, Merja Soria performs the traditional music of her Finnish heritage. She combines the ancient kantele with the poignant sound of her voice to sing the haunting songs of Suomi (Finland).
Ms. Soria’s CD recording Arctic Silence is a selection of ancient Finnish folk songs, one of which was featured in the National Geographic Television’s program “Beyond the Movie: Lord of the Rings.”
In 1996 Ms. Soria was honored as Performer of the Year by the Finlandia Foundation. In both in 2003 and 2006, she was featured in Who’s Who in America. She has performed at the Los Angeles Music Center, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the Toronto Centre For the Arts, the Peninsula Music Fair, and many other music festivals across the United States and in Europe. In 2016 and 2017, Merja was selected to represent Finland at the annual Christmas Revels production. The performances took place at the George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium in Washington D.C. and the Hopkins Center for the Arts at Dartmouth College, NH, reaching over 16,000 people.
Her vocals are so haunting, . . . Soria doesn’t need to clutter songs with much instrumentation, her voice carries the day all on its own.
Soria plays these traditional songs with wistful pleasure and a freshness, not so much in a strict traditional manner as in a creative style . . .
Certainly, she has stripped away the rackety style into which many modern players of this kind of music have fallen, and she has produced a shining example of Finnish roots music. . . . The quieter songs are absolute gems. . . . Merja’s shimmering kantele strings make Simon and Garfunkel seem overproduced.
New World Finn
. . . songs that sound as ancient as the roll of the seasons.
New World Finn
We highly recommend purchasing tickets in advance. Because of the intimate and informal nature of the space, seating is limited to 35 guests. Only a small number of tickets will be sold at the door.
Online Processing Fee $2
Listen to Merja’s music on YouTube.