This term’s Lower School Concert Series event, on Tuesday 20th February, featured the Finnish folk duo, Emilia Lajunen and Suvi Oskala. Since the release of their first album in 2012, the duo has toured extensively within Finland, across Scandinavia, South Korea, India and the UK.
Their programme featured a selection of newly commissioned works and arrangements of traditional folk melodies with a refreshing, strongly individual voice, using acoustic five-string fiddles. These versatile instruments enabled the ensemble to access a wide palette of sounds; the audience was treated to an astonishing range of dynamics and textures, and the entire programme was imbued with an exciting rhythmic drive.
The concert also featured string players from Cranleigh Prep and Senior Schools, and showcased the fruits of their collaborations with the duo in a workshop earlier in the day. This was an inspiring and enriching opportunity for the young string pupils to work within a totally unfamiliar genre, to learn music by ear and to exercise some creative freedom in performance. It certainly provided a refreshing contrast to the notation-bound, technique-driven classical approach to which the students are accustomed!