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THE HISTORY OF THE ENSEMBLE

Arto Rinne (Toive, Myllärit, Santtu Karhu & Talvisovat, Karelian Folk Music Ensemble) and Dmitri "Dima" Demin (Kantele, Myllärit, Santtu Karhu & Talvisovat) have played together for years. Both have been central on the Petrozavodsk folk music scene for as many years. They have played their instruments, toured home and abroad performing, recording and spreading the Karelian ethno music in the world.

Their children, Eila Rinne and Vladik Demin, grew up learning to play classic violin in the Petrozavodsk Conservatory youth studio. Every once in a while the children accompanied their fathers to the neighboring Finland and on Folklandia cruises. They carried their violins along and easily learned several traditional Finnish folk songs, which they performed as a duo.

Early in 2003, our friend, Sherry Merrick, in Vermont, USA, searched for a summer job at a US Finnish summer camp for Arto & Dima. The idea was that they would teach music at the camp with the bonus that they could bring their two children Eila and Vlad. That idea didn't work. She later asked Arto & Dima if they could form a quartet with their kids and perform for students in US schools. They agreed and started practicing as a quartet in the spring of 2003. In May 2003, Sherry saw an ad in a US Finnish newspaper about the New England FinnFunn scheduled for November 2003 in Burlington, Vermont. She called a FinnFunn organizer to ask if they would be interested in booking Arto & Dima to perform at their event. The organizer said yes! Arto & Dima definitely wanted to bring their children and thought they would be ready to perform as a family quartet in the fall. They were absolutely correct! Sherry booked Sattuma for the November FinnFunn event and a 2 & 1/2 week school performance tour around the FinnFunn event.

The repertoire was put together in the summer of 2003. The already familiar Finnish folk songs that the children had played as a duo were arranged for a quartet. New pieces were added together. These included a few Finnish songs and even a Russian song, which was partially composed by Vladik's mother, Lada, who is a musician herself. The U.S. manager was pleased with the quartet's achievements and thus, the freshly baptized Sattuma received an official invitation to tour the States.

In October 2003 a few weeks before the US tour Sattuma made their first recordings in a studio Fabrika Grez in Petrozavodsk. Ten musical pieces were recorded on a computer disk! Very good for the first Sattuma album! Eila and Vladik were in their first studio session.

In late October 2003, Sattuma flew across the Atlantic and landed in Boston, where they were met with a familiar face, their friend and tour manager, Sherry Merrick. During the following two weeks Sattuma performed for over 2600 school children in 12 Vermont schools and played long solo concerts. Their tour was very successful. The reception in Bates College in Maine was tremendous - standing ovation, and all the CDs were sold out. Other concerts were at Slates restaurant in Hallowell, Maine, and in Forbush Memorial Library in Massachusetts. One of the highlights of the tour was a concert dance at the biggest Finnish-American winter festival, FinnFunn, in Burlington, Vermont. The evening concerts attracted 846 attendees.

Immediately upon returning from the U.S. tour Sattuma performed at the 21st anniversary concert of "Toive", the Petrozavodsk State University Folk Music Ensemble. The concert was held in the magnificent hall at the Petrozavodsk National Theater. In 1957-1991, Pauli Rinne, Eila's grand father and Arto's father, was at home on this stage. He was an actor in the theater as well as a producer. Arto had played with "Toive" for over 10 years. In the audience sat Eila's mother, Sveta, who also had danced and sung with "Toive" for years. Sattuma's piece of choice in the event was their bravura, Illa-Joo, Rilla-Joo, an Finnish-Ingrian "rontyska-song". The atmosphere was tremendous as the audience and the Toive ensemble joined in the chorus.

In March 2004 Sattuma performed in Petrozavodsk at a Paradigma festival featuring Celtic music and was, again, extremely well received by the audience.

© Arto Rinne, 2004–2017 © Heninen.net, 2004–2017