In the Footsteps of Wilho Saari

May 14, 2020

Wilho Saari, born in 1932 in Naselle, Washington, USA, is a fifth-generation kantele player down from the famous Finnish kantele icon Kreeta Haapasalo (1813-1893). Wilho’s parents came to the USA with the wave of Finnish immigration in the beginning of the 20th century: mother, Aili Lindström (1898–1981) from Rauma in 1911, and father, Wilho (Leppä)Saari […]


A comment on the unfortunate misunderstanding among English speakers regarding the string numbers

January 16, 2020

It was about nine years ago when I seriously bumped into this issue for the first time. I was visiting an US based online forum for kanteleplayers and I was following the discussion of our (then) new 11-string kantele guide book Invisible Vibration. I was completely surprised by one comment in which the kantele string […]


Latvian kokle

July 10, 2019

I had the wonderful pleasure to visit a kokle weekend course in Latvia, Dauguli, June 28-30, organized by Laima Jansone and the Kocēni Municipality. On the 30th of June we also took part in the 155-year anniversary of the Latvian Song festival in Dikļi. The kokle course had ca. 40 participants who attended different kinds […]


Quiet exaltation – When the instrument plays the musician

March 24, 2019

In the world of small kanteles, the long lasting, slow esthetic’s improvisation, means a combination of playing techniques, instrumentation and tuning systems; the old plucking technique combined with other playing techniques and the variety of timbres from historical small kanteles, which is deepened even more by strengthening the resonance via suitable tuning. (Read more: […]


The Kantele Manufacturer Elias Lönnrot

February 28, 2019

We all know Elias Lönnrot (1802–1884) as the father of the Kalevala–the Finnish national epic. But what people usually don’t know is that he, among many other things, was also an innovator and a manufacturer of kantele instruments, as well as also a teacher of the kantele. Here is one example of Lönnrot’s kanteles; SM95 […]