Monday, 17 January 2011


I very much like folk-classical fusion (see Methera and Musical miscellany, previously), and the Finnish musical circuit is especially rich in that area. Just encountered: Troka, an award-winning band whose reputation has spread to the USA (they appeared on Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion radio show). The line-up is Matti Mäkelä (fiddle), Antti Järvelä (double bass), Johanna Juhola (accordion), Ville Ojanen (fiddle, viola and mandolin) and Timo Alakotila (harmonium and piano). From various sleeve notes:

Troka have been praised for their ability to bring a contemporary feel to folk music. Their sound is influenced by both the classical string quartet and traditional ensemble techniques.

The embedded video above, Kesäillan Tvist (Summer Night Twist), is my favourite so far, with its upbeat main section (hoedown-like, but with an edge of classical/European) framed by a sinister-fairground strings-accordion intro and outro 1, alongside Ängskärsmenuett (Ängskär Minuet), a charming folk/classical/ambient original composition by Timo Alakotila, and Lellupuo-Iikoon Friioomarssi (Iiko's Courtship March). There are more samples at the Troka MySpace page (though I find it a bit tetchy about loading).

1. PS: Oh, damn! That accordion outro is so catchy, it's turned into an earworm.

- Ray

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