hear the harp of Väinämöinen...

Summer Land

"When the cold wind sings its song and the snow lies deep, I will lay me down, close my eyes and sleep...."

I wrote this song on my 10 string kantele. I hope you enjoy it.

My Western Mountains

Michael King, a UK luthier, made the beautiful pentatonic kantele I'm playing in this song, which I wrote to express my love for my home in the western mountains of Maine.

Under the Stars

Another song on my pentatonic kantele....

In Rivendell

This song doesn't feature any kanteles...but I'm a huge fan of Lord of the Rings and can't help but be inspired by Tolkien's vision!

Kalevala Melody

I collaborated on this music with Finnish Indie game developer - and musician - Sami Maaranen. His RPG game, UnReal World is strongly inspired by and based on Iron-age Finland and the "Kalevala culture". I play the kantele and Sami plays drums in this song, which is the opening song of the game. If you're interested, you can download a free copy of the game at: www.unrealworld.fi.

Aino's Lament

Aino's reaction to being told she is to marry old Väinämöinen, after her brother Joukahainen loses a singing contest to him, is told in Rune 4 of the Kalevala.

Thumb Plucking

Something Funny

by Lani K. Thompson

I developed my own method of playing kantele because it was hard for me to pluck the strings in the "traditional" way. Some people who've seen me play like my style of plucking, and have adopted -- and adapted -- it to suit themselves.

My plucking style gives a clear attack. If you have smooth finger pads that slip off the strings, you will find this style of playing a lot easier. Click on the video to see and hear me play a shortened version of my song, Something Funny, using my thumb plucking style of playing.

Credit: Playing the Kantele picture by P. Halonen, 1897
Copyright by Lani K Thompson All rights reserved