SANS is the quartet of multi-instrumentalist Andrew Cronshaw, the great Finnish singer Sanna Kurki-Suonio (ex Hedningarna), multi-instrumental reeds player Ian Blake, and Tigran Aleksanyan, Armenian master of his country’s heart-rendingly voice-like reed pipe, the duduk.
Formed by the musicians who made Cronshaw’s most recent CD, The Unbroken Surface of Snow (which spent 3 months in the top 10 of the European world music airplay chart), SANS is an instrumental and vocal combination not found in any other band in the world, in which the four members draw deeply on their different but remarkably compatible traditions including the ancient Karelian songs that became Finland’s Kalevala, the sweeping melodies of Armenia and English folk-song.
They combine to make a genuinely new music of extraordinary beauty, intensity and fluidity in which each performance is a new creation. Therefore the band’s debut CD 'SANS LIVE' was recorded live, on its Flanders tour in December 2013. Released in April 2014, it entered the WMCE (World Music Chart Europe) top 20.
Andrew Cronshaw: Electric zither, fujara, marovantele, kantele
Sanna Kurki-Suonio: voice
Tigran Aleksanyan: duduk
Ian Blake: bass clarinet, soprano sax
“A subtle, at times gently unsettling album in which ancient laments from around the Baltic are fused with themes from England, Scotland and Armenia. Exquisite.” - Robin Denselow, The Guardian
“An entrancing and majestic weave of influences” - World Music Chart Europe
"SANS are riveting. They play weightless drifting drones and soundscapes that pick you up and deposit you somewhere else entirely. Categorise as ‘otherworldly’." - The Irish Times, on the WOMAD show
“Kurki-Suonio's voice is elemental, summoning mythological beings in a way that has you looking over your shoulder long after the song has ceased." - Canberra Times, on the Canberra show