The songs are largely her own compositions, inspired by nature, Estonian poetry and folk music. The flowing sound of her language and its dialects create a meditative atmosphere intertwined with traditional singing – regilaul – and folkore. She accompanies herself on the kannel, piano, accordion, guitar but sometimes also pipes, whistles and experimental instruments.
Rooted in ancient Estonian and Võru traditions, her music resonates deeply, even for those to whom the language is strange. Hers is an intimate music—born of Baltic winter forests and icy landscapes—and yet there is renewal, hope and celebration to be heard. Mari Kalkun’s music has a timeless quality and unhurried sense of time and space.
Her fifth and acclaimed latest album, llmamõtsan, covers themes from the personal to the environmental, to the deportations inflicted by the Soviet regime.