Hanna-Maaria Kiprianoff, student 2015-2016 and 2019-2020

The entire year of music studies was one big experience, though the definite highlight was being an apprentice of Marko Jouste. I got to learn about leu´dd and understand its secrets, and my apprenticeship also resulted in founding the Suõmmkar band.

I found my strength

When I was younger, I was actively involved with music. I performed a lot, played the violin and sang in a choir. After a long pause, I was thinking that I no longer knew how to sing and was wondering if I ever did. During my music studies, I rediscovered my strength. I really had forgotten that I knew how to sing. Finding my self-confidence again to use my voice was the best outcome of my studies. The year opened up new and unexpected doors and windows.

Leu´dd is the thing for me

Traditional music dialects are part of our culture. In order to keep them there, they must be revived. The traditional leu´dd is the thing that I feel is meant for me. It interests me endlessly, and I work plenty on its behalf. The leu´dd tradition has been burning on low flame, and now we have managed to blow more strength and passion into it. The flame of culture is now burning brighter. During the studies, I found a few leu´dds of my family. There are more of them in the archives, but they are still lost. My own recordings do exist, though, because I understood that it was important to record my grandpa’s leu´dd while it was still possible. Plenty of inspiration springs from that. I have debated plenty on whether I am a real musician or not. The answer, finally, is yes. I have just taken a giant leap forward by writing and performing my own leu´dd in the Kautokeino Grand Prix. The leap was great—daring to publish my own work.


We have had gigs with Suõmmkar, and I have also done traditional leu´dd gigs without accompaniment by myself. Also a children’s songbook project was inspired by the studies. We have collected material for it and also made whole new songs. I have gone where the wind has taken me. For example, I just recently did a leu´dd performance at Kolttakino event in the Helsinki Day festival. We have been designing a music video with Suõmmkar and will perform in August on the 70th anniversary of habitation on Lake Sevetti. There will also be gigs on the Norwegian side and all kinds of things are in progress.

Sámi Music Academy's student stories