At the Well blog


The Polar Voices project records the archaic music of northeastern Siberia – listen to two podcasts of violinist Pia Siirala’s journeys

The Polar Voices project, created by violinist Pia Siirala and the founder and conductor of Ensemble XXI, Lygia O’Riordan, records and studies the archaic music of the northeastern Siberian indigenous peoples. This music is disappearing, but the old tradition is still alive in the memory of the Elders. In the two podcasts produced by Siirala and O’Riordan we join the two fieldtrips to northeastern Siberia.

At the core of Polar Voices is the artistic research of violinist Pia Siirala in the doctoral program of the Sibelius Academy. Siirala is studying the northeastern Siberian singing tradition and based on this tradition, is composing and playing new music, as she explores the hearing and the perception of a musician brought up in the western tradition of classical music.

For Ensemble XXI, the northern Siberian music is a source of inspiration for performing new music.

Polar Voices has grown out of love for the music of the indigenous people and their disappearing way of life as nomadic reindeer herders. The aim of the project is to bring the material collected, back to its home region, but also to present it in the form of new music.

In the project, western contemporary music meets the indigenous music with an open and curious mind and on equal terms. Exchange and communication through music are vital.

The archaic songs and the singers from far away Siberia, together with the new music created in the project, will reach new audiences.


Listen to the podcasts