In case you haven’t had the chance to listen to it yet, Maarja Nuut’s album, Hinged, from August 2021, brings her voice to an even more remote place than we’ve heard before: the afterlife.
The title is deliberately bilingual, with “hinged” referring to spirits in Estonian, as well as how “one’s existence hinges on past generations…” As Nuut eloquently outlines the concept of her album, “…we are what has come before.”
The album was recorded in her seaside studio while sorting through a farm that she had inherited from her grandmother. She was looking at “five generations’ worth of personal possessions; land that had sustained my forebearers. Clearing the impenetrable brush, and sorting through buildings bursting with artifacts, felt like a long ritual filled with layers, layers, and more layers.”
Unearthing layers like these, through the possessions of one’s family, can bring on a heavy mood. The variable condition of possessions serves to remind us of what we have forgotten in the past. Holding something that was last touched years ago brings us back to that last pair of hands. It can bring tears to your eyes, just as much as it can make you smile from ear to ear.
Written by Vincent Teetsov, Toronto