Yoiking with the Winged Ones

ASH 11-2LP ASH 11-2LP

Yoiking with the Winged Ones is a vinyl record with yoiks yoiked by Ánde Somby and recorded and mixed by Chris Watson. Yoiking is the ancient chanting practice of the Sámi people, the indigenous inhabitants of the Arctic area of Sápmi, today encompassing the far north of Europe. Yoiking's origins date from time immemorial -- legend has it that it was the fairies and elves of the Arctic lands who gave yoiks to the Sámi. Yoiking was an important element of the religious rituals in pre-Christian times and has survived Christianity, imperialism, and the confiscation of Sámi areas by Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Russia. Ánde Somby is deeply rooted in the yoik tradition. He comes from the eastern part of the north Sámi areas, with connections to the tundra tradition of the reindeer herders and the valley tradition of arctic farmers. His yoiking is quite technical as well as melodic; Somby is at once a traditional and innovative yoiker, with an expressive style on the borders of the human voice. Here, all three pieces on side A are his compositions. The album's title refers to the migratory birds that travel to the Arctic for their breeding season and break the Arctic silence with their singing and calling, while also referring to the sound that flies from the echoing mountains. The project draws inspiration from the fairies and elves who gave the yoiks to humans, tying the yoiks to the earth, and from the ongoing war against those fairies and elves; this war was waged in Norway by 19th-century national poet Henrik Wergeland in the song "Nisser og Dverge," and has continued by stripping the earth of its soul and giving free license to aggressive exploitation. The album is also inspired by the Greek myth of Narcissus and Echo, in which Echo is rejected by Narcissus but gains an eternal voice; here, Echo yoiks along together with the underground energies of the ancient practice. Recorded by world-famous sound artist and field recordist Chris Watson in Kvalnes, Lofoten, Norway, in mid-June 2014, while the arctic winds rested for a moment. Post-production by Chris Watson. A K Dolven took the photos for the project and was instrumental in developing the concept. Artwork and design by Philip Marshall. Thanks also to Tony Myatt. Yoiking with the Winged Ones was made possible by the generous support granted by Sámediggi - Sametinget.