Soundscapes mixed with electronic experimentations

18. April 2015
Giulia Oro

Finnish percussionist Tatu Rönkkö featured an unique performance at Jazzkaar 2015. The event took place at Punane Maja in Telliskivi Loomelinnak, one of the most well known creative public spaces in Tallinn.

Tatu Rönkkö is one of the best composer in the contemporary electronic music scene.


He’s actually well known to have recently found the band Liima together with Casper Clausen, Mads Brauer and Rasmus Stolberg, members of the Danish indie-rock group Efterklang. After a two week residency in Turkey, the band performed their debut in Istanbul on July 2014, then in Berlin, Aarhus, Aalborg and Copenhagen as well.

Rönkkö makes music with electronic devices such as sampler and computer. He loads and records sounds combining them later. Percussion sounds mixed with these kind of digital machines are quite common nowadays in the electronic music scene. However, what makes Rönkkö’s performances unique is his continuous experimentation combining sounds recorded from the surrounding environment or from human voices.

During Jazzkaar concert he offered a performance with tunes never staged before. The first tracks, presented as a tribute to Tallinn, displayed his typical digital tricks. Rönkkö showed his skillful fingers on the machines, mixing the sounds he recorded walking through the city in the previous week, as well as the voice of the president’s wife recorded while she was describing her feelings and emotions. The atmosphere was really deep and intense, somehow gloomy and introspective.

The stage also featured two well-known Estonian jazz musicians: double bass and electric bass player Peedu Kass and the keyboard player Taavi Kerikmäe. Together with Rönkkö they experimented a possibility to generate sounds combining different kind of instruments and electronic devices. The most particular was, for sure, the program that Kerikmäe used on his keyboard. It was basically a system based on Kyma, a visual sound design environment, which uses graphical language for creating, modifying and combining sounds in real time.

This extraordinary ensemble of algorithms was emphasized by a great game of light design. Even the outfit of Rönkkö fit perfectly with the exclusive scene, as he was dressed in a silky garment in leopard print. He got it from the Russian market near Balti Jaam, the train station. He shared a joke about the costume: “When the old woman asked me if it was a present and I answered that it is not, she went silently around the corner.”

Though the crowd was not big they were really involved with what was going on the stage. Some of the audience showed a few dance moves, some closed their eyes in order to feel the music more deeply. After the show, Rönkkö thanked the audience, chuckling again a bit. “Late birds we are,” he said, as it was already quite late in the night, but still the perfect time to enjoy the music together.

Tatu Rönkkö Blood On A Sampler
Punane Maja, Telliskivi Loomelinnak, Tallinn
Friday 17th of April 2015

Tatu Rönkkö – percussion, electronics
Taavi Kerikmäe – keyboard
Peedu Kass – double bass, electric bass