Sinikka Langeland is a folksinger, kantele player and composer who lives in Finnskogen, Norway. Due to her remarkable vocal and concert-kantele technique, she has been described as sounding like a whole orchestra all by herself. She is now recording her own compositions with the legendary record company ECM.
She was born in Kirkenær in southeastern Norway in 1961, and studied piano, guitar and contemporary folksong. In 1981 she discovered the instrument kantele, which would become her primary musical interest along with singing. In the 1980s she also devoted time to theatre work and to studies at Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris, in search of additional approaches to developing her creativity. This led her back to music and studies in musicology at the University of Oslo, where she earned a degree in 1992. She then became absorbed in a massive research project to search through archives for old songs and music from Finnskogen. Cooperation with other folksingers, musicians and producers was a very productive part of this work, and among these the most important was Ove Berg, sound engineer and producer for the record company Nordic Sound. Ove Berg’s superb recordings in Grue Church of Sinikka singing mediaeval ballads, “Strengen var af røde guld” and “Lille Rosa”, released by Grappa Musikkforlag, were both nominated for a Spellemannspris (Norwegian Grammy award).
Sinikka’s songs often focus on the relationship between people and nature. With her first solo CD in 1994, “Langt innpå skoga”, she began a ten-year collaboration with Helge Westbye of the Grappa Musikkforlag label. She followed this with “Har du lyttet til elvene om natta” in 1996, featuring newly-written music to poems by lumberjack Hans Børli. In 1996 she received two awards: Finnskogprisen and Vardenprisen.