Play together kantele
There are only a few musical instruments in the whole world that have been designed specifically for the purpose of playing together. North Karelia, Finland, is the birthplace of one!
Kantele is the national instrument of Finland, and a kantele company, Koistinen Kantele from Rääkkylä, eastern Finland, has now developed the kantele concept into a multiplayer form. The 5 and 8 string kanteles have an easygoing blues tuning that calls on novices, professionals and parents with their children alike to jam on the same instrument.
At the same time, the blues tunes that are based on the pentatonic, five-note scale, truly bring the world together. Those tunes are heard in Celtic, Hungarian and Greek folk musik, Sami joik singing, Afro-American rhythms and Eastern Asian music – to name a few.
Originally, the traditional kantele got transformed into a 4-player mode – surprisingly – in the Nevada desert. A six-meter tall pike head installation deriving from the Finnish Kalevala mythology was assembled for the Burning Man art festival. The heart of this piece was a shared kantele for four players, made of several 5 and 8 string kanteles. The festival goers fell in love with this magical instrument and its unique sound that stems from the Eurasian, millennial tradition of kantele-like instruments. It brings people together to share primitive power around a “musical campfire”, as the shared vibration of the multi-player kantele is something that truly leaves a mark in you.
We would like these play together kanteles to encourage people to find the joy and the power of improvising and playing together. Because that is what we desperately need right now.
Want to know more about play together kanteles?
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