Sami artist Maxida Märak collaborates with Swedish Downhill Bluegrass Band in a musical project blending bluegrass with traditional Sami folk music.
Maxida Märak from Jokkmokk is a young, promising multi-artist that is deeply rooted in the Swedish Sami indigenous people. Her artistry accommodates anything from traditional Sami handicraft, theater and singing in both traditional and modern design. When Maxida gets time she will give lectures about Sami culture. Her boyfriend has traditional reindeer herding as a profession.
Along with Downhill Bluegrass Band, she recorded the single “Mountain Songs”. A single with two songs, where they come together musically to explore the similarities between the Sami culture’s musical expression and the American traditional folk music from around the Appalachian mountains. The mountain has a central role in both contexts, and the mining industry affects the lives of both people and nature on both sides of the Atlantic.
The CD contains two songs: “The Mountain”, written by Steve Earle, and “East of the Mountains” written by Jonas Kjellgren, lead singer of Downhill. Maxida and Downhill mix the traditional yoik with modern singing and contemporary bluegrass with traditional instrumentation that is Downhills speciallity.
The project is primarily a musical project, but has a more serious undertone, and can be seen as a contribution to the debate on how we manage our natural resources. Maxida is deeply involved in the resistance against a mining establishment in Jokkmokk that threatens their reindeer pastures