Baba Yaga

Baba Yaga

5.0 1
by Annbjørg Lien
     
 

Baba Yaga, the devious hag of Russian fairy tales, gets top billing on this gutsy album from Norwegian fiddler Annbjørg Lien. Lien and keyboardist Bjorn Ole Rasch whip a top-notch group of folk fiddles, guitars, bouzouki, drum set, bagpipes, string quartet, and vocals into a tornado of soundSee more details below

Overview

Baba Yaga, the devious hag of Russian fairy tales, gets top billing on this gutsy album from Norwegian fiddler Annbjørg Lien. Lien and keyboardist Bjorn Ole Rasch whip a top-notch group of folk fiddles, guitars, bouzouki, drum set, bagpipes, string quartet, and vocals into a tornado of sound. The austere majesty of the Northern Lights crystallize on "January," and shimmering ice winds surround a lonely boy's angelic prayer on "Astra." The title tune has enough growls and rattling to conjure up the great witch Yaga and her yard of bones, although its joyous dance prevails -- a reward for those who can face their shadow and be transformed. Norwegian and Sami folk tunes are woven throughout the album, tied together by Lien's fiery fiddling. BABA YAGA is fresh and freewheeling, yet tightly wrought. A delicious keeper!

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Chris Nickson
With her first release for Northside -- an excellent fit, since they only issue Nordic music -- Annbjørg Lien continues to spread her wings, moving quite a distance from the traditional music of her Norwegian homeland. The influence is still very much there, both in her writing and playing on the hardanger fiddle (which has drone strings under the fingerboard) and keyed fiddle, in addition to her rare vocals. But plenty of other ideas come into play, in the influence of rhythms and melodies from warmer climes on "Inoque," a result of her visit to Mozambique with the Save the Children fund, or the title track, whose inspiration comes from Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" -- most specifically, the ELP version (Lien has stated she was a fan of the band and prog-rock), with a complex, pompous passage thrown in for good humor and good measure. "Iriandia" travels North to Sami territory, with its musical impressionism of the tundra and the folk tradition of joiking. But perhaps the most heartfelt track is the final one, "W.," another Lien composition, dedicated to the memory of master Norwegian fiddler Hans W. Brimi, whose music affected Lien for many years. She's long since moved on from being just a traditional artist. With this album she makes the transformation to important European musical figure.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/22/2000
Label:
Northside Records
UPC:
0021561604421
catalogNumber:
6044

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