Rachael Kilgour and Sara Pajunen bridge their distinct yet complimentary musical histories within traditional music.
Kilgour is an award-winning songwriter whose sincere and lyric-driven work has been heard at Lincoln Center and The Sundance Film Festival.
A classically-trained violinist, Pajunen is a sound artist, composer and an acclaimed progressive practitioner of Nordic folk music.
As a duo, Kilgour and Pajunen’s sound is a union of their individual commitments: Pajunen’s sonic-focused and contemplative arrangements complement Kilgour’s fluency in story-line and emotional vulnerability.
Rachael Kilgour is a Minnesota-based songwriter and performing artist whose sincere, lyric-driven work has been called both brave and humane. The 2015 grand prize winner of the esteemed international NewSong Music Performance & Songwriting Competition and 2017 winner of the Kerrville New Folk Contest, Kilgour has been featured at NYC’s Lincoln Center and by the ASCAP Music Cafe at the Sundance Film Festival. A versatile performer, Kilgour has shared stages with the likes of indie artists Haley Bonar & Jeremy Messersmith as well as folk legends Greg Brown, Cheryl Wheeler & Catie Curtis.
Kilgour’s third album, Rabbit in the Road, is due out March 3rd, 2017 on NewSong Recordings. It was produced by Catie Curtis, engineered by Crit Harmon in his home studio and mixed by Gar Ragland at Echo Mountain Recording Studios in Asheville, NC. The album takes an intimate and often painful look at the failed marriage and loss of family. Kilgour’s writing and delivery cut deep, with resolute simplicity. Sorrow, rage, resilience and compassion exist side by side within a series of honest and memorable melodies. The collection of work stands tall on a foundation of vulnerability and opens the door to moments of profound connection.
Described as ‘an amazingly versatile musician who now counts among the most ambitious and notable practitioners of Finnish folk music outside of Finland,’ Sara Pajunen has formed three touring ensembles surrounding her Finnish heritage, recorded four albums that blend old and new within unique sound, and currently tours and teaches in the United States and Europe.
Pajunen’s work is an investigation into family, culture, ancestry – and essentially, self. Certain questions constantly prod evolution: how are we similar through our differences? What are the greater arcs throughout time, regardless of place? How are we aided and/or inhibited by culture? These questions are currently finding new form in a solo project entitled Laatikko/Box, which blends archival material, audio interviews, music and field recordings to create a contemplative sound piece on the universality of change. The Laatikko/Box album was released January 2017.
Pajunen earned classical music degrees in both the United States and Finland, and her work has received funding from the Minnesota State Arts Board, Jerome Foundation, and Koneen Säätiö. She is the 2015/16 Finlandia Foundation Performer of the Year.