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  • Writer's pictureStevie Connor

Finnish Folk Band BFP, Also Known As Bergå Folk Project, Returns Home On Their Uplifting 'Encore' EP


Bergå Folk Project

Photo Credit: Marjo Tynkkynen



Exploring folk music material, reconstructing and studying the tradition and having fun with it all - these are the elements that make up BFP, a special project formerly known as Bergå Folk Project, a collaboration of four Finnish professional folk musicians.


To begin its journey, BFP was commissioned a back-to-the-roots rendition of Italian contemporary composer Luciano Berio’s folk song suite. The repertoire partly consists of folk songs from Azerbaidžan, Armenia, Italy, the United States and France. In addition, there are songs also in Occitan, Swedish and Finnish, The international repertoire presents a variety of world and folk music styles complemented with dynamic performances, awe-inspiring artistry, innovative arrangements and passion for tradition.


The debut album 'Bergå Folk Project' (2022), collected great reviews in Finland and worldwide, and it got rewarded as the best ethno album of the year at the Finnish Grammies Emmagaala. In addition to the recent name update, a four-song album ‘Encore’ of BFP originals is out this month.


On the Encore EP, BFP returns home, manifesting the Finnish folk music tradition not only through their own fresh compositions but also in the form of traditional melodies. There are only two languages used this time!


The opening track of Encore, "Kukko Kickoff" is a medley of two songs and one and a half tunes. It includes at least two folk songs, one traditional jouhikko (bowed lyre) melody, and part of a traditional Kaustinen melody, "Kaustinen polka".


The second track, "Nälkämaa," was released as a single on Independence Day of Finland in '23. This anthem, borrowing from the song "Nälkämaan laulu," is a thought-provoking composition by the bands guitarist Topi Korhonen and vocalist-fiddler Aili Järvelä featuring the Sami rapper Ailu Valle as a guest artist. Ailu Valle's written Northern Sami lyrics delve into injustices related to land ownership, while the chorus borrows its text from the familiar first verse of Ilmari Kianto's "Nälkämaan laulu." Other Finnish lyrics are written by violinist-vocalist Iida Savolainen and Aili Järvelä.


The third track "Vallila puut" is a touching tribute to the trees of Vallila, composed, written and sung by Korhonen. The EP's final track "Kutti kutti" is composed by Järvelä. It's mostly traditional text and is about the banter between the maid of honour and the best man during the hustle and bustle of a wedding. In the chorus Järvelä and Savolainen are showcasing their creativity in the lyrics as the rural, Finnish indecision is expressed in words.


In addition to the core line-up Grundström-Järvelä-Korhonen-Savolainen, the Encore EP features Sámi rapper Ailu Valle on Nälkämaan Laulu and percussionist Abdissa “Mamba” Assefa on each of the four tracks.


The Encore EP is a solid dose of Finnish folk music made with love and professionalism, with a small twist typical to BFP. This leaves you wanting more, as an encore should!


Bergå Folk Project


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