Niko Valkeapää in concert at Henie Onstad
For the retrospective exhibition about the Sami artist, poet, activist and musician Nils-Aslak Valkeapää / Áillohaš, Henie Onstad commissioned a new piece by musician and composer Niko Valkeapää. For video, scroll down.
Niko Valkeapää is the artist's godson and has studied and researched Nils-Aslak's texts and yoiks in depth and used this as inspiration in his own career as an internationally known yoiker, singer, artist, composer and Sami politician. And like his godfather, Niko is also concerned with both preserving traditions and continuing the Sami culture in the face of the present.
The commissioned work Biekkas / I vinden contains both yoiks and songs based on Sami music traditions and poetry.
Niko Valkeapää on his approach to the piece:
«My Sami cultural heritage is my musical platform. I have over the years also met other musical traditions and expressions on my travels around the world, both as a concert musician and in political work with indigenous issues. It is a goal for me to show that Sami music has a greater extent than the stereotypical perception of yoik. "
With a two-day margin, we fortunately were able to premiere Biekkas for 90 lucky spectators, just before Oslo and Bærum closed down due to corona at the beginning of November. It was performed in Henie Onstad's concert hall Studio on November 8, which also happens to be the date of the Sami uprising in Kautokeino in 1852.
The video projections were made especially for Biekkas by artist Matti Aikio.