Tuomas Rounakari is an internationally acclaimed violinist, composer and an ethnomusicologist from Finland. He rocks the world with his fiddle in the phenomenal folk-metal band Korpiklaani performing close to a hundred live shows per year globally. Tuomas Rounakari is often referred as a shaman violinist after his first solo album entitled Shamanviolin.

Shamanviolin performance was born from studies of archived songs from Siberian shamans. These songs had an immense affect to Tuomas’s personality. Through studying these songs he found a way back to the trance state experiences of his early childhood. (You can read the story in his own words here.)

Tuomas Rounakari is a founding member and a music director of a theatre group Ruska Ensemble, with an agenda to promote collaboration between first nations across the arctic areas. Ruska Ensemble has collaborated with Finnish National Theatre (Helsinki), Ob-Ugrian National Theatre (Khanty-Mansijsk), The Sámi National Theatre Beaivvaś (Koutakeino) and the National Theatre of Greenland (Nuuk).

Rounakari has done field work among the Khanty people in Siberia as an ethnomusicologist. One outcome of these field trips is a Bear Feast performance that combines ritual, music, theatre and communal dance in a four hour event. Rounakari’s version of the Bear Feast evokes the mythical bear living inside of us today. The performance is based on shared mythology between the Finns, Khanty, Mansy and Sámi people combining ancient poetry with modern poems from Jüri Wella and Scott. M. Nomaday.

Bear Feast performance led to the birth of a band Ohtoni with Pekko Käppi, Antti Paalanen and Karoliina Kantelinen. Ohtoni plays concert versions of the bear feast songs.

A key to understanding Tuomas Rounakari’s artistic world is an emphasize on dialogue in multiple levels. Dialogue between cultures, dialogue between ancient, present and future, dialogue with mythical entities and between man and nature. This emphasize in dialogue is both respecting ancient traditions and creating something new and unique. Traditions remain vital when they are both preserved and challenged at the same time. 

In the course of twenty years, Tuomas Rounakari has taught over a thousand people to create personal lament songs using the principles of ancient Karelian laments. In these laments, also known as the songs of rites of passage, Rounakari found a musical tool from his own Finnish-Karelian heritage, that resembled the shamanic songs of the arctic. Laments had become nearly extinct in Europe after the second world war. Together with Pirkko Fihlman, Rounakari created a method of teaching laments that practically revitalized the genre in Finland.

Presently he consults the lament revival starting in Ireland. The first seminar and workshop on keening was held at the University College of Cork, Ireland in 2017.

 

Tuomas Rounakari is an internationally acclaimed violinist, composer and an ethnomusicologist from Finland. He rocks the world with his fiddle in the phenomenal folk-metal band Korpiklaani performing close to a hundred live shows per year globally. Tuomas Rounakari is often referred as a shaman violinist after his first solo album entitled Shamanviolin.

Shamanviolin performance was born from studies of archived songs from Siberian shamans. These songs had an immense affect to Tuomas’s personality. Through studying these songs he found a way back to the trance state experiences of his early childhood. (You can read the story in his own words here.)

Tuomas Rounakari is a founding member and a music director of a theatre group Ruska Ensemble, with an agenda to promote collaboration between first nations across the arctic areas. Ruska Ensemble has collaborated with Finnish National Theatre (Helsinki), Ob-Ugrian National Theatre (Khanty-Mansijsk), The Sámi National Theatre Beaivvaś (Koutakeino) and the National Theatre of Greenland (Nuuk).

Rounakari has done field work among the Khanty people in Siberia as an ethnomusicologist. One outcome of these field trips is a Bear Feast performance that combines ritual, music, theatre and communal dance in a four hour event. Rounakari’s version of the Bear Feast evokes the mythical bear living inside of us today. The performance is based on shared mythology between the Finns, Khanty, Mansy and Sámi people combining ancient poetry with modern poems from Jüri Wella and Scott. M. Nomaday.

Bear Feast performance led to the birth of a band Ohtoni with Pekko Käppi, Antti Paalanen and Karoliina Kantelinen. Ohtoni plays concert versions of the bear feast songs.

A key to understanding Tuomas Rounakari’s artistic world is an emphasize on dialogue in multiple levels. Dialogue between cultures, dialogue between ancient, present and future, dialogue with mythical entities and between man and nature. This emphasize in dialogue is both respecting ancient traditions and creating something new and unique. Traditions remain vital when they are both preserved and challenged at the same time. 

In the course of twenty years, Tuomas Rounakari has taught over a thousand people to create personal lament songs using the principles of ancient Karelian laments. In these laments, also known as the songs of rites of passage, Rounakari found a musical tool from his own Finnish-Karelian heritage, that resembled the shamanic songs of the arctic. Laments had become nearly extinct in Europe after the second world war. Together with Pirkko Fihlman, Rounakari created a method of teaching laments that practically revitalized the genre in Finland.

Presently he consults the lament revival starting in Ireland. The first seminar and workshop on keening was held at the University College of Cork, Ireland in 2017.