A voice that seems to speak to us from the heart of the Estonian forest, Mari Kalkun’s music is at once of a place and deeply personal. Rooted in ancient Estonian and Võru traditions, and played on a variety of instruments including kannel and accordion, her music—for those of us with ears and hearts open—resonates deep within us to touch our spirits, our souls, even when the language is strange to us. Songs and musical arrangements that are sparse and stripped down allow emotion to surface, and the song breath and reveal itself as something organic and real. Hers is an intimate music—born of Baltic winter forests and icy landscapes—and yet there is renewal, hope and celebration to be heard. Mari Kalkun’s music has a timeless quality and unhurried sense of time and space.
As of 2019, Mari Kalkun has released five full-length albums and has worked as a soloist in projects with acclaimed orchestras and choirs.
She has toured through Europe and Japan. Her newest album "llmamõtsan" covering themes from the personal to the environmental to the deportations inflicted by the Soviet regime, received widespread coverage and recognition by international media.
"Gentle, dignified and utterly beautiful. As a singer, writer and instrumentalist, Kalkun is a musician whose work is a jewel in the crown of the rich Estonian scene." - Songlines
"Kalkun’s singing is at the heart of things; joyous and lamenting by turns, but always poised and melodious, her poeticism apparent even without translation. A magical creation." - The Guardian
Mari Kalkun - vocals, 12-string kannel, 26-string kannel, footshaker, accordion