Runorun is my new international project. Consisting of one Estonian, two Finns and one Australian, the approach of the band is strongly worldmusic related. Relying on fantasy, adventure and leaving room for improvisation, we invite the audience to a musical journey where they can follow, sing or dance along.

Mari Kalkun & Runorun concert programme “Tii ilo” celebrates the beauty of moving and being on the road. Deriving power from Estonian song tradition, contemporary poetry and music from Finno-Ugric areas, the soundscapes of “Tii ilo” are growing from inner rhythms into the wild roar of voices and strings.

Demo recordings of the project are available to listen in Soundcloud.

Mari Kalkun – vocals, Estonian 12-string kannel

Mari Kalkun is a composer, singer and musician. She has released two solo albums “Vihmakõnõ” (2010) and “Üü tulõk” (2007) which have been warmly received in Estonia and Japan and have brought her touring around Europe and Japan. In 2011 both of her albums were released by Japanese label Nature Bliss. Her music is a personal collection of stories and pictures deeply rooted in Estonia’s nature and poetry. Kalkun’s roots are in the southern edge of Estonia, Võrumaa.


Maija Kauhanen - vocals, Finnish Saarijärvi kantele

She has played folk music since she was a little girl and likes to find new ways to use kantele in it. She had a nice year in folkmusic solo competitions in 2011, winning the National Kantele Competition in Finland and being second in the Nord11-competition in Sweden. You can see Maija performing with many groups, for example Rönsy, Trio Aino, Essi & Maija, Sytyke and Rosa.

Nathan Riki Thomson - double bass

Nathan was born and raised in Australia where he completed undergraduate studies at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and later at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London. He can also often be heard playing various western and non-western flutes, as well as African kalimbas. Nathan has collaborated and performed with musicians from many parts of the world, with a special interest in Africa, where he lived and worked with traditional musicians for five years.

Tatu Viitala - percussions

A percussionist from the heart. Tatu discarded the drum set years ago when he got to realize the huge variety of ethnic percussions. He finds beauty in many cultures and traditions and tends to blend all his knowledge into one unique world of rhythm.

Tatu has also put the vibe and philosophy of the Runorun band well into words saying:

„Our band is like an interrail ticket – you can plan your trip ahead, but then you have the freedom to change plans while you travel.“