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In search of new ways to perform early music.
The Finnish group of musicians, led by Aino Peltomaa is gaining traction on the international music scene. The band combines historical instruments and electronics in an innovative way. They have created their own unique world of sounds using medieval and renaissance music, Finnish folk tunes, improvisation and modern soundscapes. By using electronic effects, looping and the sounds of nature the band creates a truly unique blend.
On 4 December 2020 the band released their debut album which, in addition to contemporary electronics, includes such instruments as harp, harpsichord, G-violone, tenor viol and blockflutes.
”The name of our oven fresh first album is UT. It refers to being outside or without something or someone. In addition, ”ut” is the first note of the medieval music theory system, Gamut (ut, re, mi, fa, so, la)”, says the band’s vocalist Aino Peltomaa.
Ensemble Gamut’s music flows naturally between classical music, folk music and popular music inviting the listener to a journey through the centuries. A unique groove for the record is created by the rare Paetzold contrabass blockflute, which is contrasted by Peltomaa’s bright singing voice, the archaic stringed instrument jouhikko and the prepared harpsichord.
”I’ve chosen beautiful and touching melodies and texts for the album from medieval manuscripts. We have then combined them with Finnish folk tunes which present the themes of the same unattainable love and passion, sadness, longing and death”, says Peltomaa.
Ensemble Gamut! has performed extensively from club gigs to museums, medieval churches and concert halls. The band made their Dutch debut in the Ambigu concert series and they have also toured actively in the Finnish early music festival scene including BRQ Vantaa, Janakkala Baroque and the Oulu and Imatra early music festivals.
Aino Peltomaa | voice, medieval harp, percussion
Ilkka Heinonen | jouhikko (the bowed lyre),
alto jouhikko, G-violone, tenor viol
Juho Myllylä | blockflutes, electronics
Marianna Henriksson | harpsichord
The mix of traditional sounds with ancient dance and devotional music, delivered with such love and attention to detail, is a heady brew. Refreshing, soothing, intriguing and enlightening, there’s a wonderful flow through the album in an enthralling and cleansing journey.
Jez Rowden / The Progressive Aspect (13.12.2020)
It’s ok to play with early music.
Santeri Kaipiainen / Rondo Classic (11.12.2020)
The debut album UT is characterized by natural and relaxed musicianship. [–] Peltomaa has a sheer and beautiful soprano voice, good rhythm and fine, precise ornaments. [–] The repertoire includes medieval and renaissance music from continental Europe and Finnish folk music as a counterweight. The combination fits perfectly well and several of the musicians have experience of both genres.
Tove Djupsjöbacka / Hufvudstadsbladet (2.12.2020)
Photo: Henri Melaanvuo