Maarja Nuut stands with one foot in the present and the other in the past. The Estonian singer and fiddler uses modern music technologies – electronics and looping – to touch by the Eternal Truths. That is, she creates a soundscape where minimalism and experimental music meet village music traditions from Europe before the two world wars.
Her second album «Une Meeles» (In the Hold of a Dream) was released last summer and explores so-called hypnagogue states of consciousness. In other words: the span between dream and reality. Nuut is really interested in these gray zones where you’re not entirely sure what you’re bearing witness to. This reverberates in her hypnotic music, which often creates déjà vu-like sensations.
This is probably not just because of Nuut’s looping techniques or how she likes to expand upon the same melodic themes, but also how her music is shrouded in a deep mysticism. There’s an almost zen master-like presence about Maarja Nuut, both as a live musician and a philosopher of music.
«I never judge, I just observe,» she says about her writing process, which involves imagining each song as a different room in a house. The goal is to give the listeners enough elbow room to be able to create their own interpretations and stories out of what they hear. The result is striking: You’re sucked into Nuut’s sonic dream world, characterized by Estonian mysticism, experimental soundscapes and classical storytelling.
A special collaboration with Estonian electronic music composer Hendrik Kaljujärv will see Maarja’s hypnotic acoustic loops met with more edgy electronic sounds. Hendrik Kaljujärv has been actively present in different art forms, creating sound and music for drama and installations. Together they push boundaries and expand soundscapes of Maarja’s latest album “Une meeles” that was released internationally spring 2016 and has reached great attention and appraise around the globe.
Text: Kim Klev