Last week one of the t-shirts I wore was my souvenir of participating in the World's Largest Sauna at FinnGrandFest in 2005. While thinking about it I realized that we no longer had any digital pictures from FinnGrandFest as they got lost when the confuser died. While searching the intratubes for info on the World's Largest Sauna I found a video of a kid playing an electric Kantele the national musical instrument of Finland. As for info on the World's Largest Sauna where it was just me and Miss Michigan and 500+ of our closest friends, no luck in even finding if it made the Guinness Book of World Records or the exact number of people in the sauna.
The Kantele is stringed instrument with anywhere from 5 to 40 strings. Usually acoustical but there are also electrically amplified ones. According to sources in Finland Anttu Koistinen is making a name for himself playing his electric Kantele. When he started playing, my first thought was that it looked like he was playing an electric skateboard.
In Finland's national epic, Kalevala, the magician Väinämöinen makes the first kantele from the jawbone of a giant pike and a few hairs from Hiisi's stallion. The music it makes draws all the forest creatures near to wonder at its beauty. Later, after losing and greatly grieving his kantele, Väinämöinen makes another one from a birch, strung with the hair of a willing maiden, and its magic proves equally profound. It is the gift the eternal sage leaves behind when he departs Kaleva at the advent of Christianity.
The gig in the Grand Finn Fest 2005, Marquette, Michigan, USA from Anttu Koistinen on Vimeo.
The sound on this video isn't anywhere near as good as it was in person. Might be the little speakers on this confuser or they weren't able to make a good recording under the conditions in the ice hockey arena. Looks like it was done with a hand held videocam. The crowd loved his performance and at the end of the video you will hear them cheer!!