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The musician and yoik composer

The older he became the more Nils-Aslak Valkeapää valued the traditional yoik. Valkeapää was a wholly central actor in the revitalization of the traditional Sámi yoik. Several of his publications can be characterized as yoik compositions, where the yoik goes into a higher unity of the entire musical work of art. He was awarded the Prix Italia for the composition Goase dušše (The bird symphony) in 1993. He says about the yoik’s function that it is a route to social contact. “A way to calm reindeer. To frighten wolves. The yoik is used to recall friends, even enemies.” The yoik was also a step into another world – and that makes it religious.

(Harald Gaski 2014)

Foto: Ulf Carlsen

The new yoik

by Lars Mørch Finborud and Geir Tore Holm (2020)

Nav med gitar Fotograf ukjent

Nils Aslak Valkeapää – The Recordings

by Per Kristian Olsen (2013)

It is not often that one musician or composer is decisive in shaping music history. But at regular intervals they come: Bach, Mozart, Wagner, Lennon and McCartney and in Sapmi Nils-Aslak Valkeapää.



Yle Elävä Arkisto

This Sami TV-program from 1977 is titled "Luillaako." Nils-Aslak and the young girl Åsa are talking about the importance of yoik. A number of Sami children attends the program with traditional yoik, what Valkeapää calls neo-yoik (accompanied by music), and singing. The program is subtitled to Finnish.