what is the sound of 21st century folk music?

a workshop and performance event

Participants: John Grzinich, Siim Angerpikk, Toomas Thetloff, Evelyn Müürsepp, Anna Hints, Merili Sulg, Liina Lepik, Sveta Bogomolova, Mari Jõgiste, Maarja-Liisa Plats

Workshop Dates: Sun-Wed 13.1.08 – 17.1.08

17.1 public performance – Eesti Rahva Museeum (Estonian National Museum)

In asking the question, “What is the sound of 21st century folk music?”, we are positioning ourselves in both a theoretical and real state of practice. The question looks much more at the broad purpose of thinking about music in terms of how it defines the social relations and meanings by those who practice it, rather than the usual conventions of tonal, harmonic and rhythmic structures.

We wish to start from the beginning, to ask; what is music? who are the “folk”? what forms of expression are they capable of? what instruments do they need to construct? how do they construct them? how can they play their instruments? for who do they play for? what influences from everyday life influences this music? what forms of expression result from people from different backgrounds?

The aim of this project is not necessarily find an answer or solution to these questions, but to explore ideas in an open and encouraging manner, to allow any numbers of possible outcomes, most importantly the interests of the expressions of those who participate. Think of this workshop as an exercise in speculative play and rethinking tradition within a changing contemporary context.

Workshop frame: The workshop focused on several structures sessions of individual and group activity and interaction. We began by familiarizing ourselves with the aims and intentions of each participant through discussion on the primary topics of the project. This was also combined with some practical ‘hands-on’ experience of designing and constructing simple instruments or even sounding objects if you will. As the character of the instruments and their makers develops we will attempt to look at our abilities to play our creations and see if we consider it music or not. Finally we developed a performative work with our own structure, style and form to present to the public.


Excerpt of improvisation session (3:09) Estonia, January 2008:

Final Performance, abreviated (32:00) Estonia, January 2008:


Circling rounds

final performance at Eesti Rahva Muuseum


21st Century Folk Music?
21st Century Folk Music?
21st Century Folk Music?
21st Century Folk Music?


Eesti Rahva Muuseum, P.O.T.T., MoKS

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