The SANS Sessions

SANS Sessions poster allowing for bleed

The SANS Sessions is a series of performances by SANS, each different and with a theme, in two intimate London venues.

Uniting the powerful, ancient Karelian runo-songs that became Finland’s Kalevala with the lingering duduk laments of Armenia and ghosts of British folk-song melody, SANS makes an atmospherically wide-screen new music surging between glacial stillness and passionate power.

The band’s very original music draws together its members' long experience in Finnish, Armenian and British traditional musics. The magnificent singing of Finland’s Sanna Kurki-Suonio, the heart-pausing sound of Armenian Tigran Aleksanyan’s duduk, the deep woodiness of Ian Blake’s bass clarinet, the dark, glassy chiming of Andrew Cronshaw’s electric zither and unique Madagascan/Finnish marovantele, and the breathy, shivering harmonics of a pair of man-high Slovak fujaras, all unite in a rich soundscape.

SANS's material is evolved in performance; while every performance results in new material and approaches, these intimate SANS Sessions shows will bring in wild ideas that the band perhaps wouldn't try on one of its bigger shows, and add instruments - such as Hungarian citera, Chinese hulusi, Madagascan marovany and a harp made from a Scottish red deer antler - that aren't currently in the SANS touring armoury. And some shows will have surprise guests collaborating with the band.
All SANS shows are recorded on digital multitrack, and this new material will become the basis for the next album.

Since formation in 2011, as result of all four working on Andrew Cronshaw’s 9th album ‘The Unbroken Surface Of Snow’, SANS has played very successful shows in Britain, Finland, Norway, Croatia, Belgium and Australia. The CD 'SANS Live', recorded on the 2013 Flanders tour, released in April 2014, reached the World Music Charts Europe top 20.

Each performance will be different, so it’s worth coming to more than one. The themes are:

Mon 13 June, at Cecil Sharp House: The SANS Sessions: 1 – “‘Never, never’, spoke the sea-waves”
Tues 14 June, at Cecil Sharp House: The SANS Sessions: 2 – “And the leaves they do grow green”
Wed 15 June, at Sands Films: The SANS Sessions 3 – “There are deer on the slope of the rolling mist”
Fri 17 June, at Cecil Sharp House: The SANS Sessions: 4 – “The bird of burnished copper”
Sat 18 June, at Cecil Sharp House: The SANS Sessions: 5 – “From a city dead by fire I wander”

There's also a non-Session SANS show at Colchester Arts Centre on June 16th.

See below for all ticket links

Video links:

at WOMAD 2014


- "Äiu, Äiu" - on Flanders tour

SANS website: 

Andrew Cronshaw - electric zither, fujara, marovantele, kantele, ba-wu, di-zi etc.
Sanna Kurki-Suonio - vocals
Tigran Aleksanyan – duduk etc.
Ian Blake - bass clarinet, soprano sax, fujara etc.

"SANS are riveting. They play weightless drifting drones and soundscapes that pick you up and deposit you somewhere else entirely. Categorise as ‘otherworldly’." - The Irish Times, on the WOMAD show

“Kurki-Suonio's voice is elemental, summoning mythological beings in a way that has you looking over your shoulder long after the song has ceased." - Canberra Times, Australia

“A subtle, at times gently unsettling album in which ancient laments from around the Baltic are fused with themes from England, Scotland and Armenia. Exquisite.” - Robin Denselow, The Guardian

“Beautiful, spacious, haunting, visceral” – Rachel Nelken, Arts Council England

"SANS led us into a dark night of ethereal beauty. In fact it was almost perfect night music - like an evening raga, matching music to time and place and state of mind. Quite, quite beautiful" reviewing SANS at Home Festival, UK

“An entrancing and majestic weave of influences” – World Music Charts Europe

“SANS inhabits its own, beautiful sonic space.
Intelligently, lovingly, this international quartet marries ancient traditions, unusual instrumental and vocal sounds, original compositions and improvisation.” – Doug Spencer, Australian Radio National

June 13, Cecil Sharp House:
June 14, Cecil Sharp House:
June 15, Sands Films, Rotherhithe:
June 17, Cecil Sharp House:
June 18: Cecil Sharp House:

June 16th: Colchester Arts Centre:


There are no comments

Add yours

There are no comments

Add yours