Voices of Spirits

A Hungarian-Norwegian world music exchange programme
with Roma and Sami musicians in the focus


Cooperation of Sami and Roma musicians, Norwegian performers and conference speakers at the biggest world music festival in Budapest.

Listen to our playlist featuring Sami and Roma artists!

World Music  is a perfect vehicle of communication between two cultures and both cultures can be proud of its musical heritage as cultural forte. The differences and the similarities between the two musical heritages create an ideal mix for cross-cultural communication.

At the core of project is the exchange between Sami and Roma artists.

The Sami and Roma share a lot of issues – communities without a state, former nomadic lifestyles that have been forced to settle down, musical heritage as a main vehicle of maintaining the identity, distinct language, cross-border groups, lower economic power compared to the majority. Musicians and community workers share their best practices and experiences; we invite Roma and Sami musicians to collaborate in the framework of this program.



In the first stage of the project we select Sami and Roma artists, encourage their cooperation by creating a connection and invite Norwegian groups to perform at Budapest Ritmo.


Sami artists

Roma artists

Budapest Ritmo


We have invited professionals from Norway who spread the message of cross-cultural cooperation and world music in various ways: as producers, through the radio, or the largest Norwegian world music festival. Budapest Ritmo gives an opportunity to network and learn about their take on the possibilities of the world music scene.

Norwegian experts shared their insight on music and migration, identity and the role of music in non-majority communities. The opening panel saw Sigbjørn Nedland presenting the theoretical framework of ’Voices of Spirits’, highlighting the similarities between the Sami and Roma communities and the beneficial role music may play the lives of minority cultures. The next day Arne Berg of NRK moderated the Minorities, Identity, Music panel where presenters looked at cultural and political aspects, the relationship of music and language in the culture of non-majority communities as well as the representational potential of cultural identity.


Sigbjoern Nedland had a crucial role in the project connecting Sami and Roma artists. A seasoned professional working for the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK), he shared his experiences in intercultural projects and the role of music.


Sigbjørn Nedland is a radio and TV producer and presenter working for NRK (Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation), an experienced music producer who contributed to numerous albums of Norwegian and international artists. He has initiated and managed many international cultural collaboration projects through his company Nedland Kultur specializing in cross-cultural projects. He played a key role in connecting Sami and Roma musicians in the ’Voices of Spirits’ programme, assisting the rehearsal process and ensuring the project’s success. At Budapest Ritmo conference he drew paralels between the two communities; how stereoptyping goes hand in hand with oppression; and highlighted the positive role of music as a form of cultural self-expression and a possible answer to some non-majority issues.

Full conference program

Bands from Norway


Workshop of Sami and Roma musicians, exploring the intersections of the two communities through music. Intensive rehearsals were followed by two concerts; at the Farmers’ Market in Városmajor and later in Mupa Budapest. Click on the link below to find out more.

Voices of Spirits concerts

Oslo World Music Festival


Oslo World Music Festival (OWMF) is a prominent world music festival in Norway presenting music from around the world, with special focus on Asia, Africa and Latin America.

This year organized for the 23rd time, OWMF will host Hungarian professionals brought to the event by Hangvető. Roma music, networking and the meeting of cultures through music will be in the focus of their activities.

Photos & report by Balázs Weyer