Iki-Turso started as a runo song project in October 1998, transforming eventually towards voice theatre. Together Heikki Laitinen, Eila Hartikainen, Taito Hoffrén, Maari Kallberg, Ilona Korhonen, Anna-Kaisa Liedes, Outi Pulkkinen and Juha Valkeapää were better in vocal improvisation than in runo song. Or vocal impro was more interesting.
From September till December 1999, Iki-Turso gave a series of runo song concerts at the Finnish National Theatre. The series consisted of 14 different performances, with themes from Finnish folk poetry. Every performance night ended with a runo song club in a near-by café, where everybody could join the singing. Year 2000, the group performed at the Arts Berezillia Festival, Kiev, Ukraine, and in Kajaani, Finland.
In the end of Sep 2000, the island Suomenlinna, in front of Helsinki, was filled with Iki-Turso happening and The Cry of the Iman.
In February and March, 2001, Iki-Turso led Singing Guidances at the Museum of Cultures, Helsinki, and gave gigs here and there: Cathedral Sings in Turku, Kulttuurikimara in Kouvola & Kirkko soikoon in Helsinki.
In 2002 voice theatre work The Cry of the Iman at the Ateneum Hall in Helsinki and at Cairo International Festival for Experimental Theatre, Egypt. “Love each other people!” Cries and whispers, singing and tolling bells, war and peace. Some gigs: Kalevaladay & Lönnrot Happening in Sammatti, 15th night at SKS in Helsinki, hhrrrmmmm at Kuusankoski Children Theatre Happening, Time of Music in Viitasaari and Marina Takalo Happening in Kemi.
In summer 2013 Iki-Turso came together still one more time, for Sommelo Festival, Kuhmo and Haikola.
Iki-Turso celebrated its 20-year anniversary with tens of concerts, workshops, and two seminars, on 22-28 February, 2020. The wildly packed festival was called Oodi runolaululle / An Ode to the Runo Song. It happened in Oodi, National Museum, Helsinki Music Centre, Manala and on seven Kalevala statues.
”Suurin osa lähikylistä tulleista häipyy, kun rantalavan kantele- ja kuoroesitykset päättyvät. Onko Valkeapään kokeileva kukkuminen niin pelottavaa? Vai säikäyttääkö heidät pois Iki-Turson naisten arkaainen huutelu? Hehän ääntelevät ihan kuin karjaa kaitsisivat.” Tuija Yli-Lonttinen, Kainuun Sanomat, 14.7.2013
Photo: Wilma Hurskainen