Estonian folk music meets contemporary influences on Mari Kalkun’s beautiful new album, “Stoonia Lood”, or “Stories of Stonia”.
Among many great things, this year’s Tallinn Music Week was an insightful snapshot of what’s going on Estonian (post)folk music scene. A scene that – next to Tommy Cash’s videos – was among those most responsible for making Estonian music recognized and respected internationally.
On the one hand, at TMW you had one of our all-time favourite Estonian folk artists Maarja Nuut. She has completely broke up with that folk past – that made her famous but also bored – to become an electronic/techno DJ. On the second hand, there were those who prefer to stick to their roots like Trad.Attack! And finally those trying to work with Estonian tradition but make it more modern (like female Duo Ruut), or more funny (like male duo Puuluup).
Mari Kalkun is somewhere in between all these trends, never distancing herself from her unique style, but keeping it fresh enough with each new album, including her new, already 8th release “Stoonia Lood”, or “Stories of Stonia”. The stories stretch from old tales to contemporary poetry; the music – from prehistoric songs that Mari explored to what is going on right now, including our relationship and our conflict with the natural world.
She employs traditional string instrument kannel, but she’s happy to use piano and electronic soundscapes as well. It’s a world on its own, one worth visiting more than once.
Stream “Stories of Stonia” LP on Spotify.