Zäpämmät is a duo of two women musicians – a fascinating combination of the characteristics of a coy young summer girl and a bellowing adult woman. Marjo Smolander and Pauliina Kauppila were inspired by the different ways of producing sound both with their own voices and with instruments and began to reconstruct Marjo’s compositions anew, Marjo on her Finnish kantele and Pauliina her hands and feet occupied by all kinds of imaginable sound-producing devices. In this way Zäpämmä brings the audience their beautiful and rugged songs and music.
Finnish musician Marjo Smolander was born in 1986 in Rääkkylä, a tiny village in Northern Carelia. It is the very same village where the renowned world music group Värttinä comes from. Thanks to her childhood Marjo is firmly rooted in the Finnish musical tradition. Marjo plays the Finnish traditional instrument called Kantele.
Marjo finds West African music highly intriguing. Living in Senegal and Mali has left an impact on her own compositions. Marjo has half jokingly started to call herself a Kantele griot, combining two traditions, the Finnish and West African ones.
Pauliina has a strong drum kit technique combined with an imaginative combination of different percussions. She has been finding original ways to combine different percussion together for the operational entirety. She draws rhythmical influences from flamenco, Finnish folk music and afro-cuban music and paints her original rhythmical weave. ”I became a drummer and a percussionist because I loved to dance: With the drum kit and percussions I felt that I was dancing again!!”