Maarja nuut solo

Maarja Nuut occupies an increasingly strange place in her country’s musical landscape. Open a tourist brochure about the charms of Estonia and you may see a picture of Nuut, lying demurely in a forest, fiddle at her side. This displaced-Hygge pic misrepresents one of the most compelling and driven artists in the land. Rather than being the pretty C21st waif in a forest, Nuut is a shamanic live performer and a determined experimenter, someone who seeks a personal, spiritual fusion between native song traditions and new technologies. A perfectionist who squeezes every ounce out of her vision, she maps out an imaginary landscape using folk songs about death and the landscape. Nuut clearly revels in showcasing the dramatic nature of these ancient songs with their terrifying lyrics (here seen in ‘The Lost Geese’: “A seat of goose bones is brought to me / I am given goose meat to eat / I am given goose blood to drink”). This is a worldview that sometimes feels like the sonic equivalent to Marc Chagall’s paintings of Russian village life, albeit a digi version.