A voice that speaks from the heart of the Estonian forest, Mari Kalkun’s music is deeply personal, yet at the same time rooted in ancient Estonian and Võru traditions. The purity of her voice and her sparse musical arrangements resonate with meaning, even though sung in the Võro language, which only about 75,000 people still speak. Combining folk traditions with innovative songwriting, Kalkun is one of the most forward-looking folk artists today, creating intimate music, born of Baltic winter forests and icy landscapes. She plays a variety of instruments, including kannel (ancient Estonian zither), piano and drones and has released eight albums in Estonia, Europe and Japan, where she has her largest listener base.
Workshop - Secrets of Estonian Runosong:
Singer and musician Mari Kalkun’s workshop offers an experience to the archaic world of singing and poetry called the runosong. Introducing the 4,000-year-old song tradition, Kalkun takes us to her home region in Southern Estonia and offers an insight into her own music creation inspired by the forest and contemporary poetry. Võro runosong tradition is characterised by speech-like melodies almost reminding us of rap music, repetitive choruses, laments and powerful wedding songs. Võro language, in which the songs are sung, is the language of Mari's home region. It is the oldest Indigenous language actively spoken in contemporary Estonia, spoken by 75,000 people. As Estonian runosong tradition has endured for a relatively long time, the archive collections are considered to be one of the largest in Europe. You only need your voice for this workshop!