Infobox Musical artist
Name = Loituma

Img_capt =
Background = group_or_band
Alias = Jäykkä Leipä
Origin = flagicon|Finland Helsinki, Finland
Genre = folk
Years_active = 1989 – present
Label = NorthSide
Current_members = Sari Kauranen
Anita Lehtola-Tollin
Timo Väänänen
Hanni-Mari Autere
Past_members = Sanna Kurki-Suonio
Tellu Paulasto

Loituma is a Finnish quartet whose members combine the Finnish vocal tradition with the sounds of the kantele (Finnish zither). Loituma were selected Ensemble of the Year at the 1997 Kaustinen Folk Music Festival.


Loituma’s initial incarnation was in the autumn of 1989 as a septet called "Jäykkä Leipä" ("Stiff Bread"), born in the Sibelius Academy’s Folk music department. The original lineup included singers Sanna Kurki-Suonio and Tellu Paulasto, who later left for Sweden to join Hedningarna.

Over the years, the group has persistently followed its own musical path, applying different musical influences to its music. It has dived into musical streams of diverse origins. One of the cornerstones of Finnish folk music is the art of singing: stories and feelings are best conveyed through this instrument. Loituma's songs convey the Finnish heritage, aided in the background by Martti Pokela and Toivo Alaspää. Another cornerstone of Loituma's art is a Finnish folk instrument called kantele, which is featured in varied ways in their recordings.

Loituma members compose or arrange the tunes by themselves, often using improvisation. Lyrics come from many sources, two main traditional sources are the Kalevala, the national epic of Finland, and the Kanteletar. The lyrics are in Finnish.

Band members

* Sari Kauranen — kanteles, vocals
* Anita Lehtola-Tollin — vocals, 5-string kantele
* Timo Väänänen, [http://www.timo.maanite.fi Home page] — kanteles, vocals
* Hanni-Mari Autere, [http://www.etno.net/index.php?id=65&la=en&kukaid=70 Etno.net] , [http://etno.net/index.php?id=63&la=en&kokoelma=kle&kiekko=53 Solo music] — vocals, fiddle, 5-string kantele, alto recorder, double bass, Lapin drum


* "Loituma" (released in Finland in 1995) / "Things of Beauty" (released in the United States in 1998)
* "Kuutamolla" (released in Finland in 1998) / "In the Moonlight" (released in United States in 1999)

ee also

*"Ievan Polkka", a song performed by Loituma that was used in the popular Loituma Girl internet meme.

External links

* [http://www.noside.com/Catalog/CatalogArtist_01.asp?Action=Get&Artist_ID=24 Description of Loituma] of the NorthSide home page.
* [http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1738842995641330414 A live version] of the song Ievan Polkka (video).
* [http://www.aboutthecomposer.com/blog/archives/139 A musical analysis] of some of Loituma's songs
* [http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=77443125 Loituma's MySpace Profile]

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