Minna Raskinen is free-lance musician and composer from Finland, specialised on the kantele. Visit Minna’s website “The art of kantele” to find out more. Regular participants of the Nordic Harp Meeting will remember Minna from 2009, 2010 and 2014, where she gave concerts, taught Finnish folk dances, songs and improvisation in Finnish kantele music, and also a combined plucking+damping+nail-strumming style in small kantele playing.
At the Nordic Harp Meeting 2016, Minna taught a workshop in archaic Finnish runic singing (runolaulu). Until the seventeenth century, virtually all Finnish singing was in this style. The tunes in runo-song have a narrow range, usually using just the first five notes of a scale, a time signature of 4/4 or 5/4, and alliterative lines. Among runo-song there’s a large body of epic poetry, tales and mythology. From the corpus of these epics, doctor and folklorist Elias Lönnrot linked and organised the material to make the Finnish national epic Kalevala.