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Maija Kauhanen


An expressive voice, deep-rooted kantele and inventive percussion: fleet-fingered virtuoso and one-woman orchestra Maija Kauhanen specializes in Finnish kantele and its old and rare playing techniques. Weaving together polyrhythms and organic beats, she creates unique soundscapes and compelling grooves. In May 2022, Maija Kauhanen released her second solo album Menneet (The Past, Nordic Notes). On the new album, Kauhanen takes a step towards being a singer-songwriter without losing the strong roots in tradition. The music draws influences from folk music, indie pop and film scores and tells stories of personal space and setting one’s boundaries. How much space is enough? How can a personal space be maintained and cherished, without letting it hold us back? Kauhanen specializes in the rare Saarijärvi kantele from Central Finland. She plays the kantele in various tunings and with different playing styles, using her fingers, tiny wooden sticks as plectrums, a cello bow, an E-bow as well as other preparation materials like Blu Tack. Her percussion set consists of a kick drum, juju bean shaker, cymbals, wind bells, enamel pots and bowls, silver plates, metal muffin tins, trays and assorted kitchen utensils found at flea markets. Maija Kauhanen is one of the most internationally successful contemporary folk musicians from Finland and has performed over 30 countries around Europe, Asia and America - on Celtic Connections, FOCUS Wales, WOMAD, Folk Alliance International, Tønder Festival, TMW, and Bardentreffen to name a few.


Maija Kauhanen
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