Read Shaman press release may 2002 or danish version
Read press release 2001
Order the CD Shaman here
More about Tobias Sjögren
More about Christian Vuust
Tobias and Christian tell the story behind the first CD:
"In August 1993, we toured for three weeks along the southwest coast of Greenland with the jazz group "Christian Vuust Nordic Quartet". We gave concert performances in six towns, and we also participated in the recording of a CD in ULO Records' studio in Sisimiut (Holsteinsborg). In return, each of us received a CD with traditional Greenlandic music. After listening to this fascinating music, Christian was inspired to initiate a project combining the Greenlandic so-called drum-songs with our own form of music. Together we developed this idea, which has now become reality on the CD The Thule Spirit.
In March 1995 we returned to Greenland with a mobile studio, to make recordings and concerts with some of the still remaining people who master the Greenlandic drum-singer tradition. The Danish music ethnologist Michael Hauser advised us to go to the northwestern Greenland town of Thule (in Greenlandic called Qaanaaq; the world's most northern town, a hunting community approximately 1000 kilometres from the North Pole). Here, we visited the hunters Kigutíkaq Duneq (b. 1932) and Seqússuna Miteq (b.1919), and the hunter's wife Sofie Eipe (b. 1917).
We came back with 8 hours of video film coverage, 800 photographs, 5 hours of sound recordings and more than 30 melodies, sung by the above mentioned drum-singers. Certain melodies caught our attention by suggesting a certain type of harmonization, a certain rhythmical pattern, or a certain atmosphere. These melodies were our point of departure, and we began to add what we felt was appropriate to fulfill our ambitions of combining different musical elements into an organic whole..
Our meeting with the traditional melodies of the Greenlandic drum-singers has been the foundation of this project. With this as our starting point, the project went, from March 1995 to November 1996, into a working phase which included composing, planning, dismissing, arranging, accepting, orchestrating, modifying, recording, editing, erasing, shining up and mixing the music. During this period the project developed and expanded to include, in addition to the drum-singers mentioned above and ourselves, the Norwegian singer Per Jørgensen, a 15 man string orchestra, and a number of other musicians - together called NORTHERN VOICES.
- Tobias Sjögren & Christian Vuust, August 1997
Christian Vuust and Tobias Sjögren have been inspired in an exceptional way by the musical traditions of Greenland in their recording of THE THULE SPIRIT. The drum-singers' melodies, passed on through many generations, have been interpreted by the two Nordic musicians in such a way that you feel as if you yourself are standing on the ice - at the top of the world - feeling both the joys and sorrows among the people who comprise the northernmost population on earth.
Considering the current discussions in Denmark about the fate of the people of Thule during the 1950's, Vuust and Sjögren's tribute to these people is felt doubly strongly. In those years, The United States established a military base at Thule, and the Danish government forced the local population to move to Qaanaaq - the new Thule (Greenland was a Danish colony, but now has independence). Two of the drum-singers involved in this project were directly affected by the relocation. This aspect is includedin the CD, in the tune entitled "Base" - a hair-raising song about a part of Denmark's history, which must not be forgotten.
- Written by Karsten Sommer, Sisimiut (Holsteinsborg), Greenland, August1997
THE THULE SPIRIT is released with support from: NOMUS/Nordic Music Committee, NAPA/Nordic Institute in Greenland, KODA's KollektiveBåndmidler, Thule Fonden, Danish Jazz Association, Fondet for Dansk-Svensksamarbejde, The Swedish Arts Grant Committee, Folketingets Grønlandsfond, and SLEIPNIR.
The Danish saxophonist and composer Christian Vuust (b. 1964) from Aarhus, and the Swedish guitarist and composer Tobias Sjögren (b. 1970) from Gothenburg, are behind the exciting CD entitled THE THULE SPIRIT, which was released in Denmark September 29, 1997, on Virgin Records. THE THULE SPIRIT is created as a musical synthesis, with some of the best traditional drum-singers from Thule - in Greenland, close to the North Pole - and a long list of Scandinavian musicians. Their efforts have resulted in a unique type of music..