Sara Marielle Gaup Beaska and Sylvia Cloutier
This recording features the Sámi joiker Sara Marielle Gaup Beaska from Guovdageaidnu, northern Norway, and the Inuit throat singer Sylvia Cloutier from northern Quebec. In a representation of the friendship and shared creativity between Sámi and Inuit communities, Sylvia and Sara Marielle weave joik and throat singing together as one coherent whole.
Sylvia Cloutier is an Inuit throat singer from Nunavut in Quebec, Canada. She is the daughter of the famous Inuit activist Sheila Watt-Cloutier (nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2007). Over the past two decades, Sylvia has traveled throughout the world as a throat singer and drum dancer, as well as an arts administrator, organizer, director, actor, writer, youth advocate and TV producer.
Sara Marielle Gaup Beaska is a Sámi joiker from the reindeer-herding community of Guovdageaidnu in Finnmark County, northern Norway. Born into a family of skillful joikers, she is best known for her work with Adjágas, the acclaimed Sámi band who blend joik with various contemporary influences.
The Sámi people are a transnational minority living in “Sápmi”, an area of land stretching across the borders of northern Scandinavia, Finland, and throughout the Kola Peninsula of north-western Russia. Joik (also spelt yoik or jojk) is the Sámi’s characteristic vocal tradition, consisting (as with some forms of Native American chant) of specific vocal sounds, or “vocables”; syllables such as “yo”, “lo”, and “la”. These sounds have traditionally operated as ‘units of meaning’, and have been used to invoke a person, animal, place, or experience.
Inuit throat singing
The Inuit are a group of culturally similar indigenous peoples who live in the Arctic regions of Greenland, Canada, and the United States. Inuit throat singing or “Katajjaq” is a form of unique musical performance. Inuit women perform face-to-face duets in an entertaining contest of stamina and skill. Throat singing incorporates both voiced and unvoiced sounds.
Recorded by Merlyn Driver (2011) as part of his undergraduate anthropology dissertation, “Sámi Joik: Music and Imagination in Arctic Norway