The Music of Kalevala
Have you ever heard of the epic of Kalevala? Did you know that J. R. R. Tolkien used it as his inspiration for the tragic love story of Túrin Turambar and his sister Nienor in Silmarillion?
Today I’m talking about Kalevala, a collection of Finnish mythology, at Debra Kristi’s blog as part of her brilliant Immortal Monday series. I tell the myth of Louhi, the Sorceress of the North. Head to Debra’s blog to read the story.
To give you a taste of what the Finnish language and some of our music sounds like, I wanted to share with you three songs I really like. Two of the songs are played with kantele (also called kannel), our national instrument.
In Loituma’s Eriskummallinen Kantele (Strange Kantele), a woman sings her version of the origin of kantele and kantele plays in the background. In Kalevala Väinämöinen built the first instrument from the jaws of a giant pike. But according to Loituma, kantele was made from sorrow. And indeed, much of the Finnish music is melancholy, especially the old folk songs.
In the next one Mitsuko Sato plays a song with a concert kantele that has 38 strings.
For the last song I wanted to include something more modern. Here’s Aamutähti (Morning Star) by CMX, my favourite band. (For a random detail, CMX stands for Cloaca Maxima, the Roman sewer system)
What do you think of folk music? And do listen to music sang on a different language? I’d also love to hear some music recommendations. Any genre is welcome