Kiri Uu

Kiri-uu was a small choir formed in 1986 in Sydney by first generation expatriates Anni Meister and Olev Muska to explore modern Estonian folk song, particularly through the work of the neoclassically-influenced Veljo Tormis.

The Word ‘Kiri-uu’ originates from Veljo’s arrangement of a lament in the form of a traditional Estonian swing song ‘The swing yearns for gifts’, for which the maestro - unable to find a suitable word from folklore and after much effort - uncharacteristically invented his own refrain. In far off Australia, such a choice of word for a band name seemed entirely accidental, yet it was this word that Veljo believed actually chose us: from amongst the rich collection of notation with which the esteemed composer had endowed us and upon which we commenced creating our own folksong variations, chanced the very word ‘Kiri-uu’.

On Kiri-uu's amazing first concert tour of (Soviet) Estonia in 1989 and upon the tour’s ‘standing room only’ closing performance in Tallinn, we were greeted on the Estonia Concert Hall stage by Tormis himself - sauna pail and rowan branch in hand - proudly declaring to the audience: “Estonia has adopted you!”

After the choir's disbandment in 1990, Kiri-uu has continued to evolve, having morphed into a ‘desktop a cappella’ duo consisting of Coralie Joyce and Olev and currently existing as a vehicle for some of Olev’s multimedia and re-mixing projects.

Veljo's profound cultural intuition through music prevails as a beacon that shines far beyond his own lifetime and continues to inspire Kiri-uu and countless others.
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EX 006 Kiri Uu - Kiri-Uu album art Kiri-Uu* Kiri-Uu(LP, Album) Estoterix EX 006 Australia 1988 Sell This Version
EX 007 CD Kiri Uu - Ingrian Evenings (Ancient ? Runic ? Song) album art Kiri-Uu* Adapted For Sampler And Solo Voice By Olev Muska From The Cycle By Veljo Tormis Kiri-Uu* Adapted For Sampler And Solo Voice By Olev Muska From The Cycle By Veljo Tormis - Ingrian Evenings (Ancient ? Runic ? Song)(CD, Album) Estoterix EX 007 CD Australia 1993 Sell This Version
EX009 Kiri Uu - Shoti-Ugri (Finno-Celtic Desktop Song) album art Kiri-Uu* Shoti-Ugri (Finno-Celtic Desktop Song)(CD, Album) Estoterix EX009 Australia 2009 Sell This Version