Nationalism, Globalization, and the Changing Soundscapes of Finnish Folk Music
Kalevala (the Finnish national epic). In Ilmatar's Inspirations, Tina K. Ramnarine explores creative processes and the critical role that music has played in Finnish nationalism by focusing on Finnish "new folk music" in the shifting spaces between the national imagination and the global marketplace.
Through extensive interviews and observations of performances, Ramnarine reveals how new folk musicians think and talk about past and present folk music practices, the role of folk music in the representation of national identity, and the interactions of Finnish folk musicians with performers from around the globe. She focuses especially on two internationally successful groups—JPP, a group that plays fiddle dance music, and Värttinä, an ensemble that highlights women's vocal traditions. Analyzing the multilayered processes—musical, institutional, political, and commercial—that have shaped and are shaped by new folk music in Finland, Ramnarine gives us an entirely new understanding of the connections between music, place, and identity.
"Ramnarine considers how Finnish folk music shapes national identity, the influence of outside musical cultures on Finnish folk music, folk music's place in urban institutions . . . and the position of the individual folk musician in the growing arena of 'world music'. . . . Her study of this musical culture is thorough in its scope, dissolving the boundaries between urban and village, old and new, local and global, and professional and amateur. . . . . A detailed and informative look at some of Finland's music festivals and most popular music groups."