Anna Lumikivi, student 2015-2016 and 2019-2020

Before school, I was completely convinced that I did not know a thing about composing and I had never even tried. It turned out that all that needed to be done was to open the door. My first composition was groundbreaking, and plenty more followed. I was surprised during my studies by how quickly I learned to play the guitar. I have performed a couple times playing guitar, though I have also felt shy about it.

Saamelaisen musiikkiakatemian opiskelija

Plenty starting with the student year

The music academy changed my life. After the studies, I have done cultural and band work and have started a band with Hanna-Maaria Kiprianoff. Right after school, our band had its first gig in Helsinki. We met the players (only Marko Jouste was already familiar) just a couple of hours before the gig. At least we got to practise a bit! This is characteristic of our attitude, which is more playful than perfectionist. Last summer, at the Ijahis Idja festival, we published our first album, and now we are thinking about making the next one. The year of studies was the starting spark for plenty of this. Musical tradition involves plenty more than just music. For example, the leu´dd tradition is equally as much storytelling as it is music tradition. In particular in the old days, leu´dds were a way of passing on knowledge of historical and life events, also from generation to generation. While you learn about history, you learn about language. The language and choice of words are different in the language sung from those in spoken use. For a non-native, this is quite a challenge. As the tradition is passed on, all these features stay alive. The traditional music dialects also teach different ways of singing and using the voice.

Leu´dd depicts the Skolt Sámi mentality

For example, leu´dd has a completely different technique than singing in general. Learning is quite slow and requires patience, but it is also rewarding. This reflects the Skolt Sámi mentality in a fun way—it sometimes takes quite a while to get a grasp of something. No one had ever heard my grandmother leu´dding, but two years before her death, she suddenly started doing it. It was a fortune that I could record a few leu´dds. This way I have gotten to learn straight from my grandmother. I was recording the leu´dding with a phone and it happened that my grandmother’s roommate was watching the TV with the volume at maximum. It was difficult to distinguish the lyrics. Therefore, I have written new lyrics for them and refined the existing ones. The melody per se has still been transferred, and these are the leu´dds that are closest to me. It is typical of a leu´dd that the same stories are told with different melodies or vice-versa. Nothing is carved in stone, and personal style is allowed.

Plenty in progress

Right after the studies, we started applying for a grant to make a Skolt Sámi children’s songbook. The grant was granted, and the Sámi Parliament will soon publish the book. I also received another grant with which I could make songs for our band’s album. Hanna-Maaria and I also participated in the Skolt Sámi memory bank project. I have also been involved with creating Unna Junna and have researched the leu´dd tradition of the Petsamo and Paatsjoki regions. I took on the job of producing a Sámi youth arts event, and now my latest duty is to be the assistant producer of Ijahis Idja. The music academy studies also included cultural production, and therefore it is now great to get to do it in practice. I will soon start my maternity leave and hope to continue studying at the music academy at the same time. My Sámi music school baby will be introduced to the world of music right from the start.


Sámi Music Academy's student stories