Create epic music and explore the folktales of ancient Finland with The Kalevala, an interactive painting and sound toy for iPhone and iPad. The Kalevala is a musical app featuring delicately illustrated artwork by Anna Emilia Laitinen and original music by Oliver Blank.
Kalevala is Finland’s national poem, a big story made up of lots of smaller stories from Finland and Karelia. It played an important part in Finland’s independence, helping Finns reconnect with their identity and nationality. And yet, beyond Finland, this epic poem is neither well known nor celebrated.
In collaboration with Finnish illustrator Anna Emilia Laitinen and developer Kalle Karjalainen, Oliver Blank re-imagined the Kalevala as a sound toy that uses music and rhythm to share Finnish culture. By exploring the scene and characters, music is made: instruments, rhythms, and sounds ring out. Just like a good story changes with each telling, each performance with The Kalevala is different based on the way the scene is explored.
In June 2013, the project was awarded a grant by the Kalevala Koru Cultural Foundation, an organisation that supports and promotes Finnish culture.