Ann Marie Maillette and Honeypaw
Marie Maillette (nee Annamary Oja) and Bill Smeltzer
Sauna Song (Finnish Schottische) I play the autoharp and sing in Finnish. Bill created a “virtual duet” by playing my video, and recording himself accompanying me on a Ukulele. His “sound studio” is, appropriately, his sauna.
Note: I heard the song for the first time, many years ago, at the Finnish Grand Festival in Duluth, performed by the Finn Power Band. It’s on their Finn Power Live CD. Rod Maki is the leader of that group. I learnt the song by listening to the cd MANY times. I haven’t been able to track any specific composer. In my google search, it’s referenced as “Finnish Folk Song” or “Finnish-American Folk Song”. There are several versions/verses some with more family friendly words than others.
My name is Ann Marie Maillette (Oja). The story of this video is that I used to attend Jam sessions in town, and this Sauna Song (sung in Finnish) was often requested.
One of the fellows, Bill Smeltzer, played a video of me playing & singing (the instrument in an autoharp) and did a virtual duet (recorded in his sauna). (I had posted that video on a Jam group Facebook page that I belong to – which was created so we could still “see” each other.)
Honeypaw explores the connection between Finnic and Baltic traditions. They play the Baltic psaltery, known as kantele in Finland, and kanklės in Lithuania. Their music has been played on national radio in Canada and Ukraine.
“Kuku käki kultarinta” was collected by Elias Lönnrot, and it comes from the tradition of telling one’s fortune by listening to the cuckoo calling in the spring. This is one of many traditions common to both Finnic and Baltic people.
“Matti Palonen on moderni Väinämöinen,” proclaims the cover of the Fall 2019 issue of Finland’s Pirta magazine. He has studied folk traditions in Finland with Maija Pokela, Emmi Kuittinen, and Arja Kastinen. He has performed in Finnish Canadian festivals from 2009 to 2017 with groups including Toronton Pelimannit, Vox Finlandiae, and the Agricola Kantele Players.
Jurgita Žvinklytė has performed with the Davila and Sėdauta ensembles from Utena, Lithuania in Festivals in several European countries since 2016. Her work was included in the National Art Gallery of Lithuania’s Sweet Sweat of the Future Exhibition in May 2020.
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