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On this special Minnesota State Fair edition of First Friday program, MPR’s Beth Friend presents a “New Minnesotans” theme, with live performances by international musicians living and working in the Twin Cities, including an Andean folk band, Finnish singer-songwriter, and Greek vocalist.

Program also contains reports on Minnesota State Fair food and art.

Read the Text Transcription of the Audio.

Hi, I'm Beth friend. Welcome to first Friday for the month of September. We're coming to you from the Minnesota State Fair in our honorary spot across from the bungee jumping today on our show me Twin Cities singer-songwriter Eric. Felten IMI, CD of finished balance is climbing the pop charts in Helsinki and a joy of very different beat from Terry. Yaxha the Andean folk band now minneapolis-based which plays traditional music from the mountains of South America. It all gets turned around. Once again by the east of route and Ian are has stabbed we grew up in Minnesota, but as the daughter of a week professor, she spent her childhood Summers on Cyprus, and that's where the Muse has taken her. So in our of Minnesota music from someplace other than Minnesota, of course, they'll be some very homegrown lures. Well today the inside skinny on pickles Oriental Spam recipes and the best of State Fair are all in this next hour of First Friday.Within the last two years you may have heard at festivals or concert halls or on Twin City street corners the sounds of keio yatta a seven member Andy and folk band the name means Faraway land in quechua the native language of people of the mountains of Peru Ecuador and Bolivia it is this catch you in culture that cariocas seeks to preserve still interestingly enough. This ban was put together right here in Minnesota, and they Grace our stage today. Welcome to carry ACTA.Hurry up that featuring Pedro Dasa Wilson. Kimchi, Carlos King Jay Wilson, Lami Louis, Lemma or fan seborga, marimacha a and believable Orga Wilson Wilson. Kimchi has been voted the spokesperson of the group today. Tell me you're getting your mic right in front. Now. There you go. Okay. How did you all come to be in Minnesota singing together in a group you come from very far away. First of all, we meet at some friends some friends grow from the one I made the New York noise like three years ago. And that's when we started to play a new year the van and we just came here. No because one of my friends now is living here. So that's the reason because now we are here in Minnesota. And is it easy fairly easy to lead a musician's life in Minnesota? Yes is when a seasonal but sometimes now we have problems sultan.And when we try to play in some places now, we got problems with the police and knowing we can play know me when you try to play out on the street you mean? Yes, we play on the streets and also in and we performance in another festivals since you're here in the middle of the Midwest in America very far away from the Andean mountains. How do you all maintain a sense of connection with quechua culture? Okay. First of all, we we try to keep alive our language we speak with my friends in Nassau traditional language kitchen and then we try to to keep the the music also know the reason some canítö the sister of very traditional music note with the song that we just heard was that sound and then we try to playThe instruments the keep the the same instrument is what our ancestors they leave us for editors know for thousands of years, they displaying. Yeah. Well, maybe you can explain to us or just name for us the different instruments that people are playing okay and they can come in front of the mic and give us a little taste okay of each instrument. We want to start with Pedro. Okay, he played the flute and key play the the days to be very traditional from Ecuador has a rounded orOkay, here come here a little bit or just someone clearly is. Now Pedro you make these panpipes. Yes, you make some how do you do that? Come on bamboo or Peru Bolivia. I cut the bamboo the false and the Kina I make calls on the special knife. No, I have an Chromatic tuner in this no similar in the pan similar to the piano chromatically to and yeah, how long does it take you to make one set of panpipes fire? Is it take you to make two hours two hours? Yes. So what okay different from five years for sure, okay. And should we continue? Oh, yeah to the other instrument and then Carlos is playing. The drum is self-evident. Yeah is the leather cow what sighs okay, and their kings can't have a churches. The churches now is the ship nail ship Nails. Okay, and then Louis is playing the the bundling. We have a 15 strings. This is the most popular use in our traditional music note and then come from Wilson my friend play them the bundling the mandolin. Okay. So should we do a second song? Yeah, we're gonna play the second son's camera one is the traditional from Bolivia, and it's very happy and I hope you can follow us with the hands. How do we act out whose members are kids Odessa Wilson kimchi Carlos can shake loose in Lima Louise Lemma Alfonso borga Boulevard borga and Mario rematch a with yeah. We're going to hear one more song But first I just have a question for you Wilson. What has it? How has life in Minnesota treated you all as a what's been most difficult and what's been most easiest and most surprising they respond and I hope we tried to The Army bring the our music for everybody here in Minnesota know I understand that next week. You're going to be playing in Northfield. Yes. Yes. Yes and our friends we want to play in their field and I don't know the name of the is like a especially iron fire are in an artist even and Arts Festival in Northfield the next weekend next weekend. Alright, so those are you would like to hear carry actor again live. We're hearing them now on the radio now with us here at the State Fair that's next weekend in Northfield, Minnesota. So will you introduce our final song in English? Let me try to translate. This is wanna know I don't wanna sound like that. It sounds like he's talking about the girl who who find a boyfriend and but her boyfriend is is He left to another company. So he's missing now hear him. She misses him. Our thanks to Korea after for joining us today here on First Friday here on Minnesota Public Radio. We're broadcasting to you from the Minnesota State Fair right across from the bungee jumping in just a minute. We'll be talking and hearing the music from Eric felten IMI, Twin Cities singer-songwriter whose Finnish folk ballads are now hitting the pop charts in Helsinki, but first, we're going to hear from our friend composer Randy Davidson when he was growing up in Missouri. No one stoop to go to the State Fair. It was just for Hicks it took Years of Living in Minnesota before Davidson would come to this great to get together we have here and last year on his second visit. He got hooked as he tells it it was art that did it. This is what happened. I came sort of snuck inside the gate I paid but I didn't want to get in the middle of the place. And so I ended up wandering and wandering around the edge of the fair. And while I was doing that I ran into this place called the Arts Center, which is one of four built Pavilions ones for the 4-H ones creativity one is education. And then the art center they are The Pavilions about education and I wandered into this art center and found that there was this huge exhibit of Ceramics photography painting weavings. And I found out that there was this thing that was a juried show, but there was this special feature that they had your called The People's Choice and why this is so great for me is that it's educational. It's the whole point of an educational program in the Arts is to graduate get people to see art as something that they can judge why it's good why it's important to them. So you get to vote every year they get a vote for what they think is the best show my best piece in the show. And this is this piece that I'm standing in front of Is exactly the piece that I think is the best piece in the show, and it's probably just my taste so I won't I won't promote this to anyone else but I'm telling you why I like it. It's called living in the community. It's by an artist called Morgan Clifford. It's not for sale. Of course. The one thing that I really like is not for sale, but it's a weaving about 20 inches square and in the middle of that weaving there is another square with a pack of wolves in it and living in the community for me is a very particularly important thing because I'm I'm pay attention a great deal as an artist in this community to the place that I fit. How do I fit into this community? And how does the Arts fit into this community? And so it's really a great because I it is Art in this breaker Community this art center of this people choice to exhibit and then also it's about a family of wolves. There's a obviously the alpha wolf is in the middle and I just came down from the International Wolf Center nearly, so I'm I'm a little knowledgeable about the wolves and there's the alpha wolf in the middle. His tail highest and then you've got all of the four other males nearby and it looks like the female wolves are on the periphery. And the border of this is made up of what looks like hieroglyphics from like a letter box to another wolf to a Japanese figure to a chair to what looks like a butter churn to a hair dryer to the Lambda sine 2x has a little castle. It's hard to tell what they mean and another criteria for me and my on Art when I buy art want and I've only bought one or two pieces is that I pay attention to how long do you I think I could watch look at this thing and get something out of it. And this is incredibly layered with lots of interesting things. There's some in the almost invisible weavings in silk on this linen cloth that are other hieroglyphics there the hieroglyphics on the periphery and then those same higher grip looks appear behind the wolves in this in this field sort of a gray field in which the wolves are standing. It's It's something that's sort of square and not particularly wild. It certainly isn't bright colored for a Minnesota winters. But there is there are two very other good important qualities one. Is that any art you you should vote for I think should fit on your walls this fits right in my dining room above my harpsichord and the other reason I like it is that the blue in the Wolves matches the blue and the harpsichord. So this is something I could actually go for. This is my people's choice and it is called living in the community by Morgan Clifford composer Randy Davidson from the Minnesota State Fair Art Exhibit. That's where we're broadcasting from today. We are first Friday on Minnesota Public Radio, and now the story of a Minnesota boy connecting with his ethnic roots in a most surprising way singer-songwriter Eric pelted IMI is known to many for his musical theater Creations as well as for being a member of the power of folk Trio trova, but what may come as a surprise to you is that Pelton IMI is reaching star status in Finland the native land. His grandparents his solo CD is climbing the charts there and his face can be seen staring out from magazine covers on Helsinki newsstands on a trip to Finland the spring he was recognized wherever he went. We've invited Eric pulteney me here today to tell us all about it and to share some of the music that is now making it big over the North Pole Airwaves. Welcome Eric felten E me. When does the adult musical connection to Finland? Begin? How does how do you suddenly get transported across the ocean? It was pretty strange. I there was some folklorists from the folk music institute in Finland who are field collecting folk music in America trying to find music that had died out in the old country and was still existed here and they heard that I sang and Collected me I guess you might say tape me and I got a letter from actually a phone call from a record company a few months later who wanted me to make a record and and you went over there and made the record whenever I made a record well recorded part of it here in Minnesota at Minnesota Public Radio Studios, but a lot of it was recorded in Helsinki and it's been crazy and fun. It's so that you record this and unbeknownst to you. It gets played like man on finish radio Yeah, it's you're not employing any many are people no agents. No. No, it's I guess if you try hard it doesn't happen. But if you don't it happens, yeah right. Now I have a song that's about number five on the charts. It's been there for about a month and a half. All right, and so it's been a lot of fun ratifying now had you been playing Finnish song since childhood actually since I began playing the guitar in about sixth grade, I guess within about a year. I was already playing Finnish folk music and So it's been with me for quite a while. So what song should we hear first? Is it something that you wrote originally in Finish or something traditional? This is kind of half and half. It's an original Melody to some old words that I always have liked. However, these words are usually sucking a very happy context and I put them in a darker Melody because the words are quite dark on their own. I suppose a Dark Twisted for finish music Dark lyrics very dark. I think Finn's are attracted to the blues. I think I like to call it the beautiful sorrow, it's a very sad music and I imagine these words in their original happy context where some sort of cruel joke. What do they say? Well, it sucks about walking with your true love at the mouth of the river and hearing a bird singing on the leafy Tree on the shore. And so you happily ask the bird. What's your name and the bird answers hope love and companionship last but a day into an encouraging. Right, but this was actually my first hit in Finland last year at called cabin Karen. Kevin Caron cool tiny concert own Gilman you Kevin healing care uncle Sonny guns Angle mine yo. Linoone love love Lena Lena run Kiss insane lie new name? Yes. Last I See the aghast kiss a insane Lena fast fast fast Toy Boy arakawa. Joyful. Oh, yeah. Don't even know your rock. Guess that everybody Ivan your coccyx. Eric Belton you be singing a song that was dispersed hit on the pop charts in Helsinki. When what sense do you have of finish music? I mean now you sort of in have a foot in each world. You have sort of a finished American sense from your own upbringing but you've been over there you've played this music is selling over there. Well, it's sort of strange because I Just sort of fell into it. I didn't really know the music scene that well and it's currently kind of the rage in Britain and so forth right now Finnish folk music has gotten really big when I was in Finland this summer. I was interviewed by the BBC and they were asking me all kinds of questions about what is the nature of finished music I said, you asked the wrong guy, but I think what it is, there's sort of a sorrow in the National character and it's sort of a good sorrow now, why is it that you think that you have been picked up with great popularity? I'm not challenging. I'm not challenging the appeal of your songs or your voice. But I mean as a musical Trend, how do you analyze it? Well, I was always when I was learning Finnish music I would get these records from Finland and I was always about 10 years 10 or 15 years behind what was happening there and someone told me this Summer that I was Doing the father's music and that I was the only person doing it anymore. So I guess I have sort of an old-fashioned style. So that's your appeal in a sense, I guess and we are you to think that I'm my wife likes to think. I'm the Julio Iglesias of Finland because I'm sure I have a strong accent when I saying that right and maybe for you, I mean your glamorous for them because you're from America. Are you sort of part of a global music trend for them bringing you in from here, I guess so, I think I'm kind of exotic or something but it's really a lot of fun. Well played for all it's worth. Yeah. It's I was sort of raised in two cultures. My father raised me really deeply in Finnish culture as well. So it's always been important to me and And so it was just sort of a natural thing that I would be drawn to that. I think of my whole life, right? So we hear another song. Okay, this is actually a song in English, but this one is being played a lot there as well. It's a song called suomi and suomi is The Finnish name for Finland egg. Finland is actually a Swedish name and suomi. It was sort of a love song when I wrote it and I've been told that young people are singing this song now and calling it The Little Anthem. suomi Oh, so me the lion dancing on the side the greater part of me. And when ever I roam through this world alone in my heart, you'll always be sore me. Thank you for embracing me. Thank you for your love. How can I ever tell you that it's a love that I am so proud of it's giving me my body it giving me my name given me the blood of life. It's rushing in my veins. The lion dancing on the sword the greater part and when ever I roam Through This World In My Heart, you'll always be soaked me. Thank you for my fortitude. the iron in my back Is Eileen my shoulder to the wheel? out on the Frozen track and don't my face is to the wind. I don't feel the cold. Your steamy smell of wood smoke. Is warming up my soul. from the Chandra to the Forest Lake down to the Baltic Sea and where ever I roam Through This World In My Heart, you'll always be always Brave proud and free always the better part of me. soon Erich mielke anemia So are there plans to return and more concert appearances or Productions in Finland? Yeah, I've actually been there three times this year and they're talking about now doing a television special. All right over and right unfinished television. So maybe that'll happen in January, I guess. All right. I mean my you're very busy with trova as well. That's right. We have a new album that will be hitting the stands and October 15th. We're real excited about it. It sounds really good. And we're if I can also plug our release concert, we're going to be having a concert at the world theater in November and I believe it's the 11th through 13th. Whatever the second Saturday is in the tickets will go on sale in a couple of weeks and Trope is off this weekend to perform as well going in Chicago and then we're heading to California and so it's a pretty wild wild track time. Best of luck. Can you take us out with one more song? This is a song. It's actually from Minnesota originally called khaki stick. Codes, it's about the loggers coming down the river up. I'd imagine your Hibbing someplace. Kaki Saku Saku Saku Koivu equals own pace khaki second task in Tuscany Nesting in the bird xia's is calling hide from the spruces nesting in the bird churches and here once again come the lumberman and beautiful this here. Once again, come to Lumber. Eric felten E me who CD of songs and finishes called suomi. You're listening to first Friday on Minnesota Public Radio. We're coming to you from the Minnesota State Fair right across from the famous location of the bungee jumping in just a minute. We'll be hearing from Nikki stavrou and her Greek band first. We're going to hear a little bit from Walker Art Center education director, Margie Ligon who has developed one fetish since she came to Minnesota and with each state fair, it grows stronger and stronger from the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church Diner here on the fairgrounds. She explains pickles weren't a very big part of my life growing up in the Pacific Northwest. The only pickles I knew about were the enormous kosher dill served in Seattle's new york-style delis or the tiny gherkin served in smart French restaurants, but then I moved to Minnesota and married into a Scandinavian family where pickles were served at every meal in my memory those first meals with my new family take place in a dining room overlooking a snowy backyard. The table is set with white linen and white dishes are filled with Boiled potatoes and meat balls and a creamy white sauce. The vibrant green pickles are the only colorful and pungent moments of the meal. Well, they didn't have the size or tartness of the New York or French varieties. They were subtle and sweet and cut up into discrete little pieces not coming from an agricultural part of the country. The Minnesota State Fair was also a new and exotic experience for me. I quickly became a loyal fan spending hours every year marveling at the exhibits of prize-winning Pies cakes and jellies and last year like thousands of other minnesotans. I found a product that promise to bring me a taste of the State Fair all year round get knees Minnesota State Fair pickles specifically need a shambles bread and butter pickles winner of the 1990 Blue Ribbon need a schemmel got the recipe for her award-winning b&bs at her bridal shower in 1948. She's been making. Girls for 45 years now and her family can eat an entire court at a single meal while her grandchildren recognized her enormous Talent. No one in the family ever dreamed that her pickles would make her famous me - Amal is now the unchallenged queen of Midwestern condiments. She joins a distinguished line of pickle fans. Cleopatra said to have eaten them for her health. And today varieties can be found in every country in the world. This International delicacy is in fact consumed more than any other vegetable pickles are big business and the state fair pickles are among gibney's top sellers this year get nice will add a 60th pickle flavor to its All Star State Fair lineup. When the 1993 Blue Ribbon winner a daring garlic Dill will be introduced to conservative Midwestern pallets. Well need a shamble didn't win a ribbon for her pickles this year. She will be taking home awards for her many other entries including salad dressing angel food cake and an Italian plum pie, despite all the attention the real pleasure for Nita is seeing the people in her hometown of Mankato happily putting her pickles into their shopping carts for me pickles will always bring back memories of Scandinavian dinners in the Midwest and although she claims every Heritage but Scandinavian need a shambles bread and butters will always be the best. Here's to Unita wait till my grandkids here this Nicky stavrou grew up in Minnesota, but is the daughter of a Greek professor. She spent her childhood Summers on the island of Cyprus bathed by the Mediterranean sun and surrounded by Centuries-old Melodies and rhythms as an adult. She's turned once again to Greek music with the help of partner in arrows on the Bouzouki. And with them today are Tim Sparks on guitar and hood and time O'Keefe on the doumbek. Welcome Nikki stavrou and her friends. What shall we hear? First to Jump Right In the first thing we're going to do is love song that I learned as a child in Cyprus was sort of a tradition for the family to get together every Sunday and sing songs and eat lots of food. And this is part of an ongoing oral tradition. The songs are passed down from generation to generation and who taught you this one my Uncle George and it was part of my inspiration for wanting to start performing Greek music so that we could keep the music alive. So me made us ask me that. These little gas grab your stop breathing and die again defend him every morning on trial with you. You got your gun. I got the am what you're sending up on me, I guess and nothing is me Mosey Down people felt so I can see my God pass Pastor. Bohr know you get your degree V Stinger stinger. Said he signed me metal down. We got him what he ascends up Ani. Yes and nothing so I can see my God bless Pastor Bohr know yet. Where's my best moment me out. My just dirty creepy sting out of the ASL sign legal make it the best woman Dottie creepy sting at the asshole, son. If you stop ruining out us with your fellow musicians Tim Sparks and Tim O'Keefe. Nikki, can you tell us a little bit more about your summers in Cyprus as we were all swaying to the music here in the sunlight at the State Fair? It was not hard to imagine being on a Greek island. Well, they were always wonderful. It was a little different from going up to the cabin for the summer but it was it was always lovely and my most fond memories of those summers are in fact sitting around with the family and like I said feasting and singing and it does your family know now that you've decided to play this music Professor. Yes they do and they're very proud and they're very happy and they send suggestions. Well, they're delighted to know that I'm carrying on the music from Cyprus. We do some songs from Cyprus. And then we also make a point of trying to keep up with the new songs that are popular in Greece today. And so we do a little we do a mixture We Do songs from Cyprus and we do also more actually songs from Mainland Greece. So how did you come to make the switch? What happened for you that you go from wanting to preserve a family tradition? To being a professional performer is a leap there. Well, as I said, it's it's all sort of linked because it's part of an ongoing oral tradition to for one person to pass a song on to the next person in the Next Generation and I guess when my uncle died I realized that if he hadn't taught me the song it would have died with him. So I wanted to keep it going and and this is one way to do that. So shall we hear another song? Sure, who's this one from? The next time we're going to do is called an upset dot Sagara which literally translates to light my cigarette or light the cigarette but I like to I'd like to say Light My Fire. I think that's better. And this song comes it came to this is a from a style of music that's referred to as Rebecca, but also, Within that style of music see if Ted daily it comes to Greece by way of turkey or came to Greece by way of turkey in 1922 when the population Exchange took place between Greece and Turkey. And so therefore this music grew out of a subculture that was living in Greece Greek people who had lived in Turkey all their lives and had been uprooted and moved to Greece and because it was a part of a subculture. This is why it is often times compared to American Blues, but you'll be able to hear a bit of the Turkish influence. It kind of makes you want to belly dance a little bit, but go ahead feel free. an upset Dot cigarro go get the goose. Daddy. They'll know that you're still here. Yeah, Mike see Larry. I said I get up obsessing and ASL, but what don't think I'll ever get love you guys, too. And I said her past unique database. These buttons are these are my people. not productive Nikki stavrou any analysis with your fellow musicians Tim Sparks and tomoki you can see them perform at the monthly Greek night at the Loring bar. I Minneapolis this month that will take place on Sunday September 16th at 9 p.m. But if you're not a night owl, you can catch them in the afternoon of Sunday the 16th at Family Day at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Well, amazingly enough. We have run out of time here on First Friday on Minnesota Public Radio. So I think I'll just sort of wrap us up and have Nicky stop ruined her musicians take us out slowly. You can start your music slowly under me and then we'll let you and the show in a much more beautiful fashion than any of us could that is First Friday for today. And if you have any thoughts about today's show or if you want any information on the musical groups that you heard then give us a call at two nine zero 1191. That's our comment line number 2 9 0 1191 and enjoy the fair. Today is Veterans Day at Fear that means a parade tonight at 6 p.m. Our producer for First Friday is Kitty Isley. Our technical director. Today was Alan Baker with help from Michael Osborne Randy Johnson and Ryan tonnison. Thanks also to Mike McCaul Pingree and Sasha aslanian for their assistance. I'm Beth friend. Have a great holiday weekend.


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