Estonian folk musician Tuulikki Bartosik highlighted by a UK music magazine

The April issue of Songlines, a British music magazine that covers artists from around the globe, selected Estonian folk musician Tuulikki Bartosik’s album “Tempest in a Teapot” as one of the top ten new releases.

“This Estonian accordionist’s work is imbued with a sense of journey and this, the title-track from her new album, conjures images of swirling forest mists and other vistas of enchantment,” the magazine said of her latest album.

Inspired by the treks across the Baltic Sea

Tuulikki Bartosik said she was “flattered to be selected”. “For me it is uplifting to be named in this international magazine next to these world musicians. I’m very positively surprised that the vibrations of Võru forests on accordion matter so much for music scene professionals,” she said in a statement. “As it is an album with my own original music, I’m even more flattered by the recognition. I hope people will find comfort in my meditative music in these difficult times.”

Bartosik has developed an international reputation for her innovative work on the free bass accordion. “Tempest in a Teapot” (“Torm Veeklaasis” in Estonian) was released on the Playing with Music label in Estonia and Sweden in September 2019, followed by a release across Europe on the Nordic Notes label in November. She wrote and played all the instruments on the album, including her free bass accordion and a 12-string Estonian kannel.

The album was inspired in part by Bartosik’s treks across the Baltic Sea (she resides between Stockholm and her cottage in Võru County). Some of the lyrics on the new album were written by the Estonian poet Artur Adson, who fled to Stockholm during the Second World War and formed part of the emigre community there.

Delicious wildness

The album has previously also been noted by a British journalist and BBC producer, Fiona Talkington. “I would love to go on a long, long walk with Tuulikki Bartosik, gently humming as the leaves rustle underfoot, and the birds sing high in the trees. This album is rather like that, ushered in by the sweetest birdsong before the accordion becomes our guide,” Talkington wrote.

“The landscape and nature of Estonia has shaped her thinking, musically and personally, and while she is capable of delicious wildness and daring collaborations, there’s a real intimacy in her music, which is one of the great strengths of ‘Tempest in a Teapot’. From start to finish these songs are compelling performances from one of the finest of accordionists, and it’s all been sensitively produced by legendary Swedish saxophonist and teacher Jonas Knutsson,” Talkington added.

The London-based Songlines magazine was launched in 1999 and covers music from traditional and popular to contemporary and fusion, featuring artists from around the globe.

Read also: So bloody heavy: the exploits of an Estonian accordionist.

Cover: Tuulikki Bartosik. Photo by Krõõt Tarkmeel.

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