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In the middle of the hurricane

I have tried to keep me out of the Internetworld with not being a frequent writer in the blog but now I feel that it is time to write something. In February 2016 I have two albums out and the third is coming next month. I have to admit that it feels a bit like being in the middle of the hurricane :-) A nice one :-) I have had four tours counting the three from last year and one from January this year. I meet wonderful people everywhere I go and enjoy every minute of the music and performing. Could do a bit less of the administrative work, as it is not as enjoyable as playing to be honest. Luckily me and Hannah can now rely on Lorraine Carpenter from Different strings with bookings and arrangement! Hurray! Chatterbox and Upa-upa ubinakõnõ are both doing very well, the first one has got splendid reviews and ended in the Telegraphs list of best folk music albums of 2015. Upa-upa also found its place in the Estonian Public Broadcasting albums of the year list, so people seem to like the music I am involved in! What else can you wish as a musician! Now I am eagerly waiting for my first showcase at the Tallinn Music Week festival, which will also be the first release concert of my long-awaited solo album "Storied sounds". It has been hard work but interesting too and I am happy that the album is finally getting its shape. I am again working together with fantastic people: Krõõt Kukkur, Dylan FowlerRainer Koik & Minerva Pappi, Siim Mäesalu from Estonian Radio and the word sorcerers Evelin Tamm & Joanie Crump! Feeling almost too privileged to have this kind of crew. 

That's me playing in the bog lake in South Estonia during the international residency project Active crossover in 2015. 

That's me playing in the bog lake in South Estonia during the international residency project Active crossover in 2015. 

It feels quite calm in the hurricane :-) (I remember that my feet got really cold when I was sitting in the water but the acoustics made me to forget it)

Source: www.activecrossover.co.uk

Accordion vibes

I have hard times writing my blogposts because I try to avoid my computer and phone as much as I can and save my energy for making music instead. Still you have to be active online all the time to get the latest news and to tell the world about your stuff. I wish there was an easy way to avoid too much contact with computers and still updating my blog...Anyway. I have now recorded three albums and one of them is out already! We will have the actual release for Chatterbox in June at Maddy Priors Stepping stones festival near Carlisle in the Northern England. More info is coming about that. Hurray for me and Hannah James, partners in accordion crimes :-) WE DID IT! We had fabulous time in England last week, talking to Genevieve Tudor at BBC Radio Shropshire and having a really lovely gig at the Edibles in Paddock Farm in the Coine Valley in the South Pennines, west of Huddersfield, UK. Now we are preparing for our Estonian tour at the end of May and winter/spring tours in UK 2016. (I will probably eat myself overfull of Marmite and those lovely bunches of fresh coriander from Waitrose)

Some artsy pictures from the venue taken by Matt Whyatt.

Magical evening last night with 2 accordionists in a cowshed. Some people's idea of hell, but it was spellbinding. The musical chemistry between Hannah James and Tuulikki Bartosik is a thing to behold. -Belinda O'Hooley
Is just back from a beautiful, sublime and rather splendid gig by Hannah James and Tuulikki Bartosik. Two accordions on one room is some people's vision of hell, but what we got tonight was two musicians having a good deal of fun playing off and in sync with each other. Great tunes, wonderful musicianship and a shed load of viruosity. If you get a chance to see them, don't miss it. -Mark Whyatt

Two albums recorded!

I had a superb time in Wales with Hannah James and Dylan Fowler while recording our experimental duo album with Hannah! Lovely five days in Dylans ecologically built studio in the little Welsh town Abergavenny. Making music and enjoying delicious food in great surroundings. We even did a hike to the Brecon Beacons National Park with our accordions to do some field recordings which are going to be part of our album! The record will be out in spring 2015. After a couple of days home with my boys, it was time to head to Teijo near Turku in Finland to record a children songs album in South-Estonian dialect together with Mari Kalkun and Ramo Teder aka Pastacas. Again, lovely music, nice surroundings, great people! And finally I did some proper singing in the studio too - a song about hunting lions in the jungle! I also did different percussion stuff and of course, played on my blue free bass Fantini! I got to meet Finnish artist Piia Lehti and had chance to admire her work. Now I work with some mixing and marketing and of course teaching and having a great time with my boys! My 7-year old has got a blue drum set now and he enjoys it really much! Luckily I have a working space outside our house... I just can't wait to get to see all the pictures by Nathalie Hemingway!  What a photographer, pure joy to work with her in Wales! Sorry about being so positive but that's the way life goes right now :-)

Dylans studio

Dylans studio

In the mountains with Hannah

In the mountains with Hannah

Playing creative percussion with Mari Kalkun & Pastacas

Playing creative percussion with Mari Kalkun & Pastacas

Exciting times ahead

My summer has been relaxing and really hot! I got used to the tropical heat in Estonia at last just when it turned to normal again. Right now I am working on three album projects and I am really excited about the music and how I can plan our hectic everyday life with two schoolchildren from now on. Tomorrow me and Hannah James start to work with our duo album in Wales in the lovely studio runned by Dylan Fowler. And we are going to have a photo session of course. With dresses and all that other lovely female stuff seasoned with some serious accordion playing attitude. My teaching jobs are getting more interesting every year. This year I have two master students in Estonian Music and Theatre Academy and I am tutoring one master thesis for the first time! My boys are developing in their music playing, 9-year old playing eagerly everything from Bach to traditional music on his fiddle and 7-year old drumming on everything he finds. They both have excellent teachers who are demanding and inspiring at the same time! Later in the autumn another recording session with Mari Kalkun and Pastacas is going to happen in Turku, Finland. And my solo album is slowly getting done together with Villu Talsi & Timo Alakotila and with help from multitalented Johanna-Adele Jüssi! Life is in running mode with everything which comes with it. Stay tuned for some new music and pictures really soon!

A chat with Estonian president Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Estonian singer-songwriter Mari Kalkun, Estonian zither player Tuule Kann and Sirje Voitka. We talked about mr. Ilves fiddle playing daughter and got to know that he is not fiddling together with her despite the Suzuki method, the missus does that :-) It all took place at the Mr. & Mrs. Ilves reception in Kadriorg on the 20th of August to celebrate the Day of Restoration of the Independence of Estonia. Photo by © Rene Riisalu

A chat with Estonian president Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Estonian singer-songwriter Mari Kalkun, Estonian zither player Tuule Kann and Sirje Voitka. We talked about mr. Ilves fiddle playing daughter and got to know that he is not fiddling together with her despite the Suzuki method, the missus does that :-) It all took place at the Mr. & Mrs. Ilves reception in Kadriorg on the 20th of August to celebrate the Day of Restoration of the Independence of Estonia. Photo by © Rene Riisalu


Long waiting for spring

It has been absolutely too long waiting for spring and sunny weather this year. Our family has been spending a lot of time inside trying to cure ourselves from flu. It has really been a tough spring but still with a couple of silver linings in it.

On the 25th of February EFOs long waited album "Imemaa//Wonderland" finally got out and we had the honor to play at the Estonian national Independence Day concert which was broadcasted live both in TV and radio. 

In March I got to play with this nicest little choir Swedest Song at the Estonian house in Stockholm. I really hope to have more concerts with them in the autumn!

I have also had some gigs with my newest colleague mezzosopran and violinist Linnéa Sallay and it has been a pleasure to play some classical music also.

Soon I am going to meet Hannah James for planning our concert at Gower Folk Music Festival in June. This is so exciting and I am really looking forward to play with Hannah as she is definitely one of my favorite accordionists.

My solo project has been waiting in the background but as the Norwegian accordionist Linda Gytri said to me: "You can't rush in such things as making a solo album" :-) So the tunes are slowly growing in my head and some day....

Into the working mood

Welcome 2014! I hope to have as good time during 2014 as I had last year! Many interesting projects are going on and I am enjoying the working process. It is a bit hard to come back after wonderful Christmas holidays with friends and family, everything in busy Stockholm seems to move in double speed :-) But still, it is nice to live in the middle of the Scandinavia where lots of things are happening all the time.

I celebrated 2014 with my family and friends in South Estonia at Varbuse Muusikamõis with playing a concert, partying, hiking, eating and just chilling. My boys played at the concert with me and Villu Talsi on mandolin and got loads of applauses :-) My 6-year old got to try out his new cajón and my 8-year old amazed us with his new bow. 

Some pictures from the concert are available here.

In February Estonian Folk Orchestras CD will finally be released and I am really looking forward to it!

We managed to gather 3000 euro at Estonian Kickstarter site Hooandja and now last couple of things has to be done before I can send everything to be printed. Feeling really excited!

Here comes a picture from Tartumaa, South Estonia, taken during our trip to New Years party.

Skyview in Tartumaa


Happy New Year!

The last day of 2013 is soon beginning. It was an interesting year for me. I continued working with my biggest musical project - Estonian Folk Orchestra and in January we had the last rehearsals before our Sweden tour and recording session. In February the Sweden tour and recordings of our cd in Stockholm took place and in March we played a concert in Viljandi to celebrate the 5th anniversary of Estonian Traditional Music Center

During the first half of 2013 I also continued working with my students in Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Tartu University Viljandi Culture College and accordion course participants in Sweden. Two of my students in Tallinn took their Bachelor in Music degrees with colorful performances in diploma concerts. In May I had my annual spring accordion party with my course participants in the old fire station in Duvbo, Sweden. I studied ergonomics for the whole 2013-2013 academic year for Helle Axel-Nilsson and got the course done at the end of May! Now I continue working with wonderful Helle under her own Ergoakademi - http://www.ergoakademin.se

In June I finally got time to record a demo to fulfill my long time dream, a solo project with my own music in collaboration with my old musical friends Timo Alakotila and Villu Talsi. June and July were also holiday months with my family in beautiful South and North-Estonia. In August I played a concert with Eeva & Villu Talsi and Estonian Folk Orchestra performed in Viru Folk festival in Käsmu, Estonia. A new spontaneous trio with me, Villu Talsi and Jonas Hjalmarsson had a nice rehearsing time in Viljandi and also performed in Viru Folk festival. We had so much fun playing together that our collaboration is long before over yet.

TBT Viru Folk 9.08.13.jpg
Tuulikkis birthday.jpg

 

I celebrated my birthday in Sweden in August with building a new toolshed and renovating the old toolshed to a cosy working space to myself. I also had a wonderful day with my father and my boys in Waxholm near Stockholm.

 

 

 

 

 

September brought a small tour with EFO in Tallinn, Kuressaare and Mooste, also in Estonia.

Photo by Irina Mägi

Photo by Irina Mägi

Leo & Enkhjargal.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

October was quite a calm month, I started working with EFOs cd and visited Harvest Festival in Viljandi where our family finally met the one and only Violons Barbares! My oldest son Leo got to meet his idols and to play some fiddle tunes for them.

Spelglädje med Hilde.jpg

In November I had the pleasure to perform at the annual Accordion Festival in the Royal College of Music in Stockholm together with my student and friend Hilde Fjerdingoy.

I also surprisingly started a new collaboration with Chilean musicians from Las Reinetas, joining the three women band as an accordionist named "Rayen" (they can barely pronounce my first name and gave me a new name which means "flower" in Spanish :-)

Cuecas urbanas en Estocolmo. Parallell café .

The end of 2013 was a really productive time for me as besides a new collaboration with Las Reinetas, I started working with a marvelous person and singer Linnéa Sallay.

In December Bartosik/Hjalmarsson/Talsi had two cosy concerts in Stockholm with guest musicians Johanna-Adele Jüssi and Jo Einar Jansen and my son Leo who made his official live performance debut in the Folklorecentrum in Stockholm run by the legendary Izzy Young.

Photo by Johanna-Adele Jüssi

Photo by Johanna-Adele Jüssi

Photo by Matthias Bartosik  

Photo by Matthias Bartosik

 

also hosted the annual accordion christmas party in Duvbo and played with small Colorstrings fiddle pupils in the Finnish Institute in Stockholm. I have practiced fiddle myself too and it is great fun to try out some old polskas on the fiddle instead of playing them on my accordion.

We celebrated Christmas with my little family and actually with lot of music all the time. I changed from accordion to piano and to harmonium to play Christmas tunes from all overthe world. Sometimes it is lovely to just relax and play for in fun and I managed to get my father and husband to join me in Silent night :-) 

In 2014 Estonian Folk Orchestras cd Imemaa-Wonderland will be released and I am playing more concerts with Bartosik/Hjalmarsson/Talsi trio. I am also going to record and perform my own music with Tuulikki Bartosik Trio, continue working with my students in Estonia and courses in Sweden. I plan to continue running with my Vibram Five Fingers to get my body and mind going.

Be honest to yourself and theworld, enjoy the time with your loved ones and take care of you and our beautiful planet Earth! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Autumnworking

Autumn has not always been my favorite time of year but now I am actually enjoying the Michaelmas time, when everything is calming down. Right now there is a lot work to do with Estonian Folk Orchestras forthcoming album. It is going to be just fabulous and I am so proud of all the people who have been contributing to the album making. It is going to be called Imemaa - Wonderland. Album sleeves are packed with pictures by Love Ekenberg, who is a traveling academic hobby photographer with perfect eye for beauty of our mother Earth. You can enjoy his pictures at his website. I am also working with my two trio constellations, it is going to be just great to tour and go to the studio with both of them! 

Tuulikki sun.jpg

My new website!

I have been hosting my web site myself and had been updating it with iWeb for Mac, which was a wonderful program for me. Unfortunately I lost my site somehow and would had need to recreate all from scratch, also Apple doesn't seem to have any future plans for iWeb since it hasn't been updated for a loooong time.

So I decided to use a online service and after looking at a few, I chose Squarespace since it's easy to use, powerful enough for my needs and reasonably priced. Welcome to my new site!