Cooking music in your kitchen

22. April 2015
Pilarica Martin

Finnish musician Tatu Rönkkö played in four different kitchens in Tallinn, from Saturday 19th to Tuesday 21st of April at 18:00. He has already performed in more than 20 kitchens in five countries, but this time the gig was set in the diverse neighborhoods of Tallinn: Kalamaja, Nõmme, Kristiine and Lasnamäe.

At the Kalamaja concert, near Jazzkaar’s main venue, people from all ages and a cat participated, with some wine and snacks to warm up the spectacle. Things that you would never think can make music were used, such as a pot filled with tap water and leaking over. It was to show how the amount of liquid in the recipient changes the sound. Also a cheese cutter and the back of a pan were the DJ’s mix table while he was adding some extras like the mixer machine or some nuts in a jar as a maraca.

Playing with taps, a metal strainer, plastic and glass bowls both empty and full of snacks, were the climax of the performance where children were putting things on the table to feel part of the display. Giggles filled the room when Rönkkö was trying to do some sounds with wooden spoons hitting the air. In the end, after one glass bowl crashed into the ground, the cat decided that it was enough for that day and jumped into the drummers arms, ending the concert. The kitchen owner, Maria was quite happy with it: “I didn’t like that much the bowl, thanks.”

On the other side of the city and the last day of I Play Your Kitchen, the percussionist finished the tour in a house in Lasnamäe that has incredible views. Rönkkö kicked off the concert shaking and stamping a box of biscuits on the counter-top, and eating some of them later. A metal spoon solo or cups and glasses tune were followed by some new fresh ideas: some ice from the freezer and a big shot of Vodka before continuing with the shelves of the fridge. He found a big wooden box full of matches and after playing with it, he lighted one of them. Suddenly someone said: “I hope Kadri has a good insurance.” As in a song of ice and fire, after the fridge, it was the turn of the oven. He baked some new melodies, shouting, humming and beating the oven as if it was a box of resonance. He finished the concert with a lullaby dedicated to the audience for their walk home.

All concerts were special as every kitchen was so different: the environment, the tools and the interaction with the spectators. The musician was not familiar with the space as he came only 15 minutes before the start of a gig. Everything was unique and completely improvised. There were no identical performances but always the same effect on the audience. He was able to impress them and make their jaws drop.

There is not a better way to get someone filled with music than a kitchen concert by Tatu Rönkkö. It took some Estonian kitchenware and Finnish spices to braise the most original rhythms and the applause of the audience as a roaring fire to make and bake the whole performance. The pleasure of chatting with the drummer in the end was the cherry on top. Estonians have definitely acquired a taste for kitchen music!


April 18th Maria’s kitchen, Kalamaja
April 19th in Nõmme
April 20th Reili’s&Lucia’s kitchen, Kristiine
April 21st Kadri’s kitchen, Lasnamäe.

Tatu Rönkko – percussion