The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at the University of British Columbia presents the unique vocals of Mari Boine on October 5, 2019 at 8pm in the Chan Shun Concert Hall. A cherished musician who truly embodies and evokes the stories of her homeland, Boine will perform her distinct, enigmatic blend of yoik chants, Norwegian folksong, and experimental music from a trailblazing career that spans more than three decades and represents a thousand years of ancestral connection to an unyielding frozen space.
Born in Karasjok in the arctic Finnmark region of Northern Norway’s Sámiland, Boine embodies both an intimate sense of belonging to the untouched land that she was raised on, and an understanding of the oppression and discrimination Norwegian society and Laestadian Lutheranism imposed on the Sámi people. With this tumultuous socio-political context weighing heavy, Boine took to music in order to create a platform to share both the joy of her heritage and the pain of racism, and has become one of the most important and committed ambassadors of Sámi culture. Her early musical influences included traditional Sámi yoik chanting, mainstream rock and jazz music from all over the world discovered through the radio, and the sounds of nature with which she felt a close bond—the wind, water, and bird song. Mari Boine’s voice, “Tremulous, ethereal and powerfully intimate,” as described by The Telegraph, “swoops and wheels over a sonic landscape, carrying images of ice floes and reindeer trails, of snowbirds flying over the Arctic tundra.”
Boine’s 1990 breakout solo album, Gula Gula, was released on Peter Gabriel’s famed Real World label and garnered significant international attention, as well as the first of four Spellemannprisen awards (the Norwegian Grammy) for the artist. Three albums in the 1990s earned her a trio of German Jazz Awards: Goaskinviellja/Eagle Brother (1993), Leahkastin/Unfolding (1994), and Eallin/Live (1996). The new millennium saw Boine reaching out to audiences with a couple of highly original remix albums, Mari Boine Remixed (2001) and It Ain’t Necessarily Evil (2008). She co-wrote music for German film director Anne Wild’s adaptation of the fairy tale Hansel and Gretel (2005) and Nils Gaup’s The Kautokeino Rebellion (2008), about the religious and cultural reawakening that in 1852 inspired a Sámi revolt in a small Norwegian village. In 2009, she broke new ground yet again on Čuovgga Áirras/Sterna Paradisea, collaborating with South African musicians and adopting a lighter, more pop-like approach.
Mari Boine introduced new music in 2017 with See The Woman, a landmark album recorded entirely in English for the first time. It marked an era of renewed artistry for Boine, but one that continues to defy simple definition. “It’s completely irrelevant what you call her music,” said German music journalist Jörg Eipasch, “She could have sung her songs a thousand years ago or sing them a thousand years from now and still retain the same depth and resonance….” As the artist herself notes about her latest material, “These sounds create a space for me to tell more complex stories.”
In 2009, Boine received the Arts Council Norway Honorary Award and was appointed Knight of the Order of St. Olav for her versatile artistic work, the highest honour a citizen of Norway could be granted.In 2018, Boine was the recipient of a Norwegian Spellemannprisen for lifetime achievement and became a member of the The Royal Swedish Academy of Music.
Chan Centre Connects Events (chancentre.com/connects)
Programmed in conjunction with Chan Centre performances, exploring the role of arts and artists in society.
• Film Screening: Sámi Blood — Thursday September 19, 7pm at The Cinematheque (1131 Howe St). This award-winning film provides a visceral look into Swedish colonial history and its devastating effect on Indigenous communities. Tickets at thecinematheque.ca.
• A Conversation with Mari Boine – Friday October 4, 3:30pm at the Native Education College (285 East 5th Ave). Free and open to the public, space is limited.
• Pre-show Talk with Sheryl Lightfoot – Saturday October 5, 7:15pm in the Royal Bank Cinema at the Chan Centre. UBC’s Sheryl Lightfoot discusses the connections between Sámi and local Indigenous communities in respect to language revival and political resilience. Free for concert ticket holders, space is limited.
Chan Centre Presents Mari Boine
Date: Saturday October 5, 2019 at 8pm
Ticket Prices: From $38
Address: Chan Centre for the Performing Arts
University of British Columbia
6265 Crescent Road
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1
Box Office: 604-822-2697 / chancentre.com
Open Tue–Sat, 12pm–5pm
Photo by Gregor Hohenberg
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