My lovely 5-string Kantele has been my quiet companion ever since. I play her outside and at home when ever the mood hits me. I had discovered this lovely little folk instrument when I was searching for Autoharp music online.
Here is a video featuring Diane Jarvi playing her 5 string Kantele, also made by Gerry Henkel in his Kantele Shop:
She also wrote a prose poem about the 5 string kantele, and my favorite passage is this:
My kantele gives me the feeling of nature under my fingertips. Whether I play it on my lap for myself and my cats, quite and gentle, or on the kitchen table which provides a wonderful resonance, I find myself connecting to my Finnish ancestry. It's as if the sound travels through time and Väinämöinen speaks to me through the harmonics that sound from the strings. My soul is welcomed home again, through the birch and pine of my kantele to the first forests in Finland, so like our own here in my native Minnesota.Big is not a sound you will get from this wooden box. It is more like the threading of sighs, wind over wild grass, a way of coaxing joy from silence, a way of mastering grief. It is the truest song of solitude. But also the reckless tumbling of cool water over heavy stones, the tinkling circlets of sound lifting from a bird nest.
As I write this, I have been without my dulcimer for two weeks because I am adding a 1 1/2 fret to it. Once again my kantele has kept me company while I have a favorite instrument with a luthier, and it has sought out the quite places of my heart to remind me of my mother's heritage. I have been going through the book "My Kantele is My Teacher" by Lani K. Thompson to learn the traditional way of playing my lovely five string folk instrument, and learning traditional finnish songs while I'm at it. This music is in my blood, and I love learning more and more about it. I adore history, music, and folk tales and the kantele combines all three for me. It always puts me in my happy place, even when I'm playing in D minor. What could be better?