Gently avant garde Finno Baltic neo-folklore
Honeypaw is Interdisciplinary artist Jurgita Žvinklytė and musician/luthier Matti Palonen. They explore the interconnection of ancient Lithuanian sutartinė and Finnish runo singing traditions, infusing them with modern grooves played on kantele and jouhikko. The journal Musicology has called their music “unusual, evocative, and inviting one to rethink the concept of instrumentality.”
Honeypaw has performed at festivals including Nuit Blanche in Toronto, and Finland’s Pajot festival. They have installed tree harp sculptures in festivals including Mėnuo Juodaragis in Lithuania. They give workshops and lectures about their sculpture projects, which have been exhibited in installations in Lithuania and the United Kingdom.
Matti Palonen & Jurgita Zvinklyte
phone (Matti): +1 647 225 4544
“It struck me to the roots of my heart where the love for tradition and forest meet”
Kansanmusiikki Magazine, Fall 2019
“Honeypaw’s meditative and evocative Ninth Tree Standing fits well with the growing body of complex and gently avant garde Baltic neo-folklore”
The Wire Magazine, December 2021
Ninth Tree Standing (2021) was recorded on hollow trees strung with steel and horsehair strings in the forest near Georgian Bay in Ontario, Canada. It contains traditional chants from the Lithuanian sutartine tradition, and runos from Karelia and Ingria.
Tuta Tuta (2022) contains songs centred around secundas and other dualities. Within the rampant pandemic polarity, Honeypaw seeks to find harmony in the dissonance. This album was recorded on traditional instruments in Toronto, with tree harps recorded in Wasaga, Ontario.
Kolme käkeä (2023) began with research into the field collections of Aukusti Robert Niemi in Finland, Karelia, and Lithuania. During the recording process, the dark winter changed Honeypaw’s focus to themes of lament and loss, and the album finds itself caught in the space between melancholy and groove.
Jurgita Žvinklytė has a M. FA in sculpture from the Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts. She performed in several folk ensembles in Lithuania before coming to Canada in 2019. In 2023 she was selected to be part of the Small World Music Incubator program for emerging Canadian artists. In addition to music, she is a pottery instructor.
“Matti Palonen on moderni Väinämöinen,” proclaims the cover of the Fall 2019 issue of Finland’s Pirta magazine. He has performed Finnic and other European folk music with many groups across Canada since 2008. He studied Lutherie with David Freeman, and builds stringed instruments including harp and kantele. He has studied folk traditions in Finland with Maija Pokela, Emmi Kuittinen, and Arja Kastinen. He teaches kantele, and is the cantor at a Finnish church in Toronto.
This documentary created by filmmaker Nicolas Pollock is featured in Natural Collaborators, a new video series from CBC Arts about artists who find inventive ways to use the natural world in their work.
Past Performance Highlights
- Sept 23, 2023, Honeypaw at Nuit blanche at the Aga Khan Museum, Toronto
- Aug 19-20, 2023, Honeypaw at Port Credit Buskerfest
- Aug 2, 2023, – Honeypaw Play the Parks at College Park
- June 6-20, 2023, Honeypaw Art&Water Cultura residency – Dockside Festival, Empire Sandy
- May 23, 2023, Honeypaw at Kulttuuritehdas Siihtala, Joensuu, Finland
- May 20, 2023, Honeypaw performance, Pajot Festival, Kontiolahti, Finland
- September 16-18, 2022, Honeypaw at BWV Ukrainian Festival, Toronto, On
- August 31, 2022, KanklesCollab: Honeypaw with Agota Zdanavičiūtė at „Sodas 2123“ space, Vilnius, Lithuania
- August 25-28, 2022, Honeypaw concert and Tree Harp at the festival Mėnuo Juodaragis XXII, Duburys island, Lithuania
- August 12, 2022, Honeypaw concert and Tree Harp installation in Utena Vyžuonos park, Lithuania
- September 25-26, 2021, Honeypaw at Festival Terre Ferme, Godmanchester, Que
- March 30, 2021, Honeypaw at Pickering Arts Fest, Pickering, On
- December 6, 2020, Honeypaw at CaféMusic, Small World Music Centre, Toronto, On
- December 4, 2020, Honeypaw at Estonian Music Week, Toronto, On
- November 12, 2020, Honeypaw at Yara Arts Epic Song Festival live streamed in New York, NY
- October 21, 2020, Honeypaw Pocket Performance, Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, On