Mari Kalkun’s music springs from the landscape and the rural life of South Estonia. Her compositions are redolent of the forest, the earth and the icy waters of rivers and lakes, setting the lyrics of local poets or her own reflections, sung in the regional Võro language, in sparse arrangements that allow her voice to speak directly to the listener. She accompanies herself on the Baltic box zither known as kannel, as well as piano, accordion, guitar and various pipes and whistles.
She has toured through Europe, to Russia and Japan and released three solo albums and one with her Finno-Estonian project, Runorun.
The latest, Ilmamõtsan, covers themes from the personal to the environmental to the deportations inflicted by the Soviet regime during and after the Second World War. Sometimes joyous, sometimes lamenting, always enticing.
Mari Kalkun - vocals, 12-string kannel, 26-string kannel, footshaker, accordion