Connected Alone -Exposition in the Ruukku-Journal


September 30, 2022

RUUKKU-journal #18, Responsibility, published on the 30th of September, 2022, containes the exposition Connected Alone – An Ancient Musical Culture As a Tool For Self-Expression Today by Arja Kastinen.

This exposition examines the possibilities and problems of using the elements of ancient musical culture for producing new music. It contains eleven video clips and associated texts explaining Arja’s artistic research on the Karelian kantele improvisation of the 19th century and earlier, which the kantele players called “soittaa omaa mahtia” (“playing their own power”). The word “mahti” (“power”) means inner strength and knowledge. In this article, this particular music is called inner power improvisation.
In addition, the article includes two case studies that exemplify the use of tradition and its philosophy as tools in creativity education. Arja addresses the question of whether she can surpass the challenges of understanding a musical culture from a different time era and of an entirely different society than her own. Is it possible to receive an insider view through artistic research, by learning to make music according to the information found in the archives, historical texts, and folk music research? How do you perform responsible research and introduce your conclusions and musical interpretations when there is not enough reliable information about the original tradition?

The exposition is accessed here.