Ulla Pirttijärvi

Musician, Musical Artist

20

Who is Ulla Pirttijärvi?

Ulla Pirttijärvi is a traditional Sami vocalist from the village of Angeli, Finland. She began her career with the group Angelin Tytöt, but left soon after to pursue being a solo artist. Her music is a combination of traditional Yoik and contemporary instruments and style.

Ulla Pirttijärvi is raised with joiks, the traditional ancient Sami chants. You can’t go more ‘Folk’ than this. Such simple songs chronicle the history of the Sami people, the family tribe, and the life and accomplishments of certain individual members. The texts are not long recitals of facts. No, to the contrary, the chants are very poetic capturing a specific feeling associated with the subject. Some of the most beautiful joiks evoke elements of nature, like Ulla’s own compositions about the Northern Lights, the Moon, or about the Wolf, where she masterly incorporates the howling and barking of the animal into her chant.

As a young child Ulla would listen to her mother and uncle singing these fantastic stories to her. Barely able to walk she would chant along, and at ten years old she sang already solo. Shortly later, she started in a group of young girls, called Angel Girls to perform in public. Ulla is a natural joik singer. She says, “Joiks are the base of my spiritual Sami self, I can’t live or function without them.”

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on July 23, 2013

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