On September 15, 2022

Estonian zombie folk duo Puuluup to play Feast & Field, Sept. 15

An eclectic blend of Baltic history, contemporary humor and danceable fun!

Thursday, Sept. 15 at 6 p.m.— BARNARD—Estonian zombie folk duo Puuluup will be performing Thursday, Sept. 15th at Feast & Field as part of BarnArts Music on the Farm Thursday Night Music Series. The eclectic duo blends surrealist humor, ancient instrumentation and creative melodies and lyrics in a romp of musical fun! Music begins at 6 p.m.

What do you get when you mix a pinch of surrealism, a bit of modern folklore, a generous helping of ancient Estonian instruments and blend it together through effect blocks and loopers? The the neo-zombie-post-folk Estonian duo Puuluup, taking the stage at Feast & Field on Thursday.

Courtesy BarnArts
Ramo Teder and Marko Veisson

Puuluup is – Ramo Teder and Marko Veisson. The instruments – talharpas – represent tradition and folklore in the Baltic Countries. The lyrics and melodies are a mixture of musical memories and improvisation, based on everyday neuroses, or the writings of Max Weber or trees. They sing about wind turbines, heroes from Polish TV series, zombies, fat cakes and the uncomfortable feeling that your neighbor’s dog might try to bite you while you take out the trash. Sometimes they sing in their own invented language. As the duo states: “We draw inspiration from Vormsi nights, trams in November, junkies in love, criminals from Odessa and Antonio Vivaldi.”

Teder and Veisson have virtually resurrected the ancient talharpa (bowed lyre), popular in northern Europe since the early Middle Ages and played on western Estonian islands until the beginning of the 20th Century. But this is not an ethnomusicological romp. Puuluup directs the vibrations of the talharpa’s horsehair strings through effects, using alternative bowing and rhythm techniques. The mellow sighs of talharpa are paired with electronically amplified echoes, knocks, creaks and crackles, while still maintaining the instrument’s natural sound. And it is all presented with a unique sense of humor, originality and what can only be described as offbeat charm.

Puuluup play with music as they play with words. The melodies are a mixture of their various musical memories and improvisation. The music may have a dancing beat, or resemble a dark film soundtrack, or a glimpse into the chambers of ancient talharpa players, or evoke a journey to far-away lands.

Under the Radar writes: “Puuluup wrings the most bewildering array of sounds from their talharpas, a form of northern European lyre, whether by drumming, bowing, plucking, or brushing them. From such seemingly rudimental equipment, the rhythms that they loop and the melodies that they harmonize are immediate crowd-pleasers; by the time they demonstrate the two-step dance-along for one of their closers, the growing audience need no convincing. It’s folk, it’s contemporary, it’s funny, and it’s danceable.”

Feast & Field is held at Fable Farm, 1525 Royalton Turnpike, Barnard. (Put “Fable Farm” into your GPS.) Gates open at 5:30 p.m.  Food and drink are available for sale from the Feast & Field farmers, including tacos, mac & cheese and fresh-made ice cream. Some picnic tables and chairs are available, but lawn chairs and blankets are welcome. No outside food or drink are permitted.

Tickets ($5-20) and info available at barnarts.org. For more information visit barnarts.org or contact Chloe Powell Director of Music Programming 802-234-1645.

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