Saami culture represented at grand opening in Alexandria

Lawra Somby, a traditional yoiker (saami chanter or singer) is set to perform alongside Norwegian singer Anneli Drecker at the opening of the library in Alexandria. Says the overwhelmed chanter: - It’s such a great honour, I don’t think the magnitude of this has completely sunk in yet.

On October 16th, the world’s largest library will open in Alexandria, Egypt. To mark the occasion there will be a grand opening ceremony. Beintein Baardson who conducted the opening ceremony at the 1994 winter Olymips in Lillehammer, has been hired by the library to make their opening ceremony an event to remember.

Since the library will be open to, and hopefully benefit the entire planet, artists from all over the world have been asked to perform at this special occasion. One of them is Norwegian singer Anneli Drecker, well known in her native country for her band Bel Canto and also a critically acclaimed solo-artist. On her solo album ”Tundra” (2000) Lawra Somby chanted on one of the songs, and that is the song Drecker wanted to perform at the grand opening. So she called Somby and asked him to join.

- I was so overwhelmed when Anneli chose to sing that particular song and wanted me to perform with her, says ecstatic chanter to

Somby has performed several concerts since his debut in 1997. In addition to his traditional chanting and collaboration with Anneli Drecker, he has also been involved with heavy metal band Turdus Musicus. They have played a number of concerts and released the album ”Intimate Noise” in the year 2000.

Last autumn he was asked to play one of the leads in the Saami Theater production: A rebel in Saamiland. He was on tour with that play until March of this year. So it is safe to say that he is going places.

The singers and Bentein Baardson are not the only Norwegians who are involved in this grand opening by the way. The Norwegian architect firm Snøhetta has actually designed the library building.

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