Saturday, 4 December 2010

Psalm and Hymn

Jan Garbarek sax, Agnes Buen Garnås vocals, from the album 'Twelve Moons', which I was given as a birthday present about seven years ago, and pulled out to replay last night. I wanted to hear this particular track again. It's a hymn that is still, cold and eerie, suggestive of vast and unexplored spaces, of a piece with the icy night and the glassy, impacted snow all around the house and as far as you can see, glowing bluish in the moonlight. The perfect antidote to the worm's eye view of mankind and God presented in the post below this one.

While we're 'Guhkkin davvin, dávggáid vuolde' ('Way up north, under the Great Bear' - first line of the Sámi national anthem) here's the hymn 'Mu Vaibmu Vadjol Doppe', sung by Mari Boine. This is the Sámi version of the Norwegian hymn Mitt Hjerte alltid Vanker i Jesu Fødte rom, 'My heart always wanders where Jesus once was born.' Boine finishes the hymn with wordless Sámi joik singing, the singing that the Christian missionaries said was of the devil, and banned from church and god-fearing company. I don't know if the inclusion of joik is intended as reconciliation or defiance, but I do hope it's the latter.

What a feeling it'd be, to stand alone on a frozen tundra and belt that out to the dying light.

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