Heli Aikio, student 2018-2020

The study year includes many really fine moments. It has been great to get to play in so many concerts. Playing with a band has been one of the best things, because I have not had any earlier experience of it. It is truly nice to play and perform together. I had piano studies as my background and it was good to continue with them. The greatest surprise, however, came in the form of playing drums. I would not have thought I would play the drum set as much as I did, for example, during the final concert. My enthusiasm with percussion instruments really grew. I was playing percussion in pieces with variable rhythm. At first, I was wondering how I could possibly master this, but it just happened!

Interesting archives

It was also interesting to get to research the archives. It had livđes that I did not know existed in the family. We made a blues version of a livđe for our concerts. We happened to have a guitarist that liked the blues style, and it was fun that this livđe I found so excellently fit in with this spirit. The livđer of the archive tapes had quite a rough touch, which we decided to develop further. Thus, the tradition lives, though the Inari Sámi traditional musical form of livđe has long remained hidden. These studies have helped revive the Inari Sámi tradition.

Livđe: many significances

There is still plenty to study, and the archives still have music waiting to be brought to the public. Traditional music does involve other types of conflicts, as well. The attitude toward yoik is rather divided even within the Sámi community. Some like yoiks and some do not want to hear them at all. It is great that yoik can be well-combined with modern music. I hope that young people will get drawn to it this way. Traditional music can be boldly reformed to match your style, as we did with the blues version. For example, Norway’s pop-styled Eurovision song contest entry included yoik. The tradition and modern solutions can support each other. Musical tradition is an important part of identity. In addition, yoiks and livđes contain a vast amount of information. We were thinking a lot about the meaning of figures of speech during the study year. Traditional music is important in many ways. I still do not know what it says in one livđe because there is so much room for interpretation and so many phrases with multiple meanings. Researching them is interesting.

My grandmother—the livđer

Along with my studies, I found out that the livđing tradition was very close to me. My grandmother had livđed a courting type of livđe at home. Interviewing my relatives did not really yield any livđes, because the hymn tradition had replaced livđes. It has also been thought that the Spanish flu, for example, weakened the continuation of the tradition. I continued my research with the archives and found myself solving a pedigree puzzle. Through it all, I could find livđes and information about my family and its history. Dreaming about my own programme, I want to continue with instrument studies, as it is helping me to create musical pieces. In addition, putting on concerts and playing with a band are of interest to me. If I find more livđes, I want to arrange them for instrument accompaniment. I hope to build a concert-length programme out of them and songs of my own. This is my dream.

Sámi Music Academy's student stories