Participants of the festival 2019

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Duo Ruut


Duo Ruut presents authentic Estonian tradition with modern twist Duo Ruut (Duo Square) identifies itself as a ‘modern-folk’ band. That is because the music is composed of old Estonian folk songs, but arranged by its two members so that every piece has its own modern twist, but also a feeling of the authentic Estonian tradition. The four walls of Duo Ruut are held up by Katariina Kivi and Ann-Lisett Rebane, who have been playing music together since middle school. Once, by the concurrence of strange circumstances, they found themselves playing together on one single kannel, Estonian zither. It turned out to be a really interesting and innovative way of playing. Apparently kannel can be simultaneously used as a melodic, harmonic and percussion instrument, and thereby create very different soundscapes. Starting to use the kannel was a fresh start for them, since neither had any experience with kannel before. Both of them had been studying and writing music since early childhood; by the time of forming the duo, Katariina had a background of playing wind instruments and cello, Ann-Lisett piano and percussion instruments. That variety of instruments transferred to one single kannel allows them to ‘think outside the box’ and handle it freely, resulting in mature and thoroughly composed arrangements.

All the music of Duo Ruut is composed and played on one Estonian zither and two vocals. Duo Ruut differs from other Estonian zither players, because of their unlikely way of playing - two people on one instrument. Estonian tradition is the heart and soul of the music of the duo, as they get inspiration from the archaic music from all over Estonia. The main principle of Duo Ruut is to make new, modern arrangements that young people nowadays would listen to, without losing the original essence of the music in the process.