Mimmi Fulmer, Professor of Voice and Associate Director of University Opera, spent two weeks in Helsinki in May doing research for her project on Nordic songs.
While abroad, Fulmer met with three members of the Sibelius Academy faculty to work on language and musical style. She also met with a professional translator, and with the representative of a publishing company.
The grand-daughter of Swedish and Finnish immigrants, Fulmer has been the recipient of grants from the American-Scandinavian Foundation, the Finlandia Foundation, and WARF to pursue work on songs from the classical, folk, and sacred repertoire in Finnish, Swedish, and Norwegian.
She has been presenting lecture-recitals around the United States, and will record a CD this summer.
Fulmer is also editing a Nordic song anthology, including phonetics, suitable for college and professional singers. There currently does not exist a collection, anthology, or publication of any kind that presents Nordic songs accompanied by word-by-word translations and International Phonetic Alphabet, the standard tool for singers.
Her research on and performances of Nordic songs has made her an increasingly passionate and committed ambassador of this beautiful music.
Nordic songs have a place in American universities, and her goal is to provide a much-needed connection to this music for American students and professional singers, so that these songs can be included on recitals with ease and accessibility.
These three songs capture different aspects of the Nordic sensibility, from a soulful traditional song to a song written in popular style for an 18th-century king to a rollicking song in praise of the joys of Midsummer.