Juuri & Juuri

Emilia Lajunen, 5-string fiddle, nyckelharpa, vocals
Eero Grundström, harmonium, harmonica, vocals

Juuri & Juuri (Root & Root) dives into the history of Finnish music tradition, combining ancient Kalevala tunes of the East and 19th century fiddle tradition of the West, creating something totally new. To counterbalance the usual pop-ified folk, they go to the roots of the tunes to find the true power in them. ”We can’t jump into the boots of a fiddler from a century ago, but we can resist making an arrangement even before playing out the original”, they say.

Juuri & Juuri’s arrangements of the fiddle tradition are basically careful copies of the joy and sorrow you hear on old archive tapes – if you listen. With the ancient tunes the duo digs deeper. They play together music that traditionally has been played solo on the kantele, jouhikko and other antiquated instruments. The duo wishes to seek and to find a flow between two players, a flow that a lone old geezer would have had when playing his never-ending kantele tune in the darkening cabin: simple elements, endless variation.

When adapting ancient music, you have to rethink the way you play. The melody and accompaniment merge. For example, when the harmonium imitates the kantele, there is no separate hands for the melody and accompaniment anymore but two interlocking hands hitting the keys. And although you can find the jouhikko deep inside the fiddle’s timbre, the kantele is not present until drafted out with bow and five strings.

Emilia Lajunen and Eero Grundström are experienced professional folk musicians who have been playing together for fifhteen years. They have graduated from Sibelius Academy, where they now both teach. Their other bands include Sväng, Suistamon Sähkö, Celenka, Suo, Ritva Nero and Duo Emilia Lajunen & Suvi Oskala.

Juuri & Juuri has performed in all major Finnish folk festivals and toured in Germany and Scandinavia. Juuri & Juuri’s debut double CD Fiddlers / Quiet Rapture (2013, Ääniä Records, AANIA 23A/B) won the most prestigious folk music award in Finland, Etno-Emma. Their new CD The Raven´s March was released in 2018 by Nordic Notes.

’Juuri & Juuri’ is a play on Finnish words, meaning simultaneously ’root and root’ and ’only just’.