Mari Kalkun is a musician, singer and a composer relying on her Southern Estonian roots. The songs are largely her own compositions, inspired by nature, Estonian poetry and folk music. Many of the lyrics are written by local poets carrying the feeling of rural life, the forests, the landscape. The flowing sound of Estonian language and its dialects create a meditative atmosphere in her music intertwined with the traditional singing – regilaul - and folkore.…
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.
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.
Gorgeously intimate record. There’s nothing rushed about the music here. It unfolds gently, enfolding the listener, caressing and inviting and taking flight. Supremely honest music, joyful, dark, aching and smiling.
There is wonderful musicality and beauty in each of the backdrops, but it is Kalkun’s vocals that propel these songs. The singing is often soft yet always intense, emotive without lapsing into sappiness, somehow bridging a chasm between soothing touch and a visceral rawness. Even for those of us who speak nary a word of Estonian, these songs are compelling and engrossing.
“Ilmamõtsan” has an ancient, timeless quality to it that is difficult to imitate and downright impossible to replicate. Combining folk traditions with innovative songwriting, Mari Kalkun is one of the most forward-looking folk artists today.