Recordings from the Estonian Folklore Archives 3

Liisu Orik

Hendrik Jantson and Liisu Orik at a recording session in Tallinn in 1937–1938. Photo by P. Parikas. ERA, Foto 862.

The Estonian National Radio recorded the singing of Liisu Orik (1873–1970), from the village of Alu, in 1938, and also together with Hendrik Jantson, against whom she used to sing at weddings. Her singing was also recorded much later, during the archive’s 1964 and 1965 expeditions, when she was already over 90. She had learned her large and varied repertoire of songs from her parents but also from many other older singers. In addition to singing at weddings she also sang in the church choir. The versions of the regilaul that she sang in 1938 are noticeably different from those she sang in 1964, which demonstrates her ability to adapt to new situations and improvise. Even during the last recording session with her, Liisu was alert and cheerful. She still did rather heavy housework, took care of her grandchildren and recalled many regilaul that she had not performed for the folklore collectors before.