Unejõgi (Dream River) is a duo that is mixing Estonian runic songs with electronic sounds: Meelika Hainsoo (vocals) and Mirjam Tally (electronics). Unejõgi flows through mythological runic songs and takes listeners to a strange and mystical world. These stories are a bit like fairy tales that talk about a mermaid being born from a fish; about geese disappearing from a flock; about a horn found in the woods and so on. These runo-pictures sung by Meelika are surrounded by Mirjams beautiful and mysterious soundscapes. That is how the eternal dream river flows from one world to another, bringing with it a sense of timelessness, wonder and humanity.
There are several types of Estonian folksongs and Meelika sings the older type called runic songs. Runic songs are probably thousand to two thousand years old and were common among Finnish-Ugric and Baltic folk tribes. In Estonia, the runic songs were common up to the middle of the 19th century when the newer type of folksongs became more popular. There are many epic ballades among runic songs. There are unusually long runic songs which are about work, herding animals and weddings.
Meelika Hainsoo is a performer and teacher of Estonian folksongs and traditional violin music. Since her early childhood she has been surrounded by traditional music, first as a grateful listener of her grandfather who was an Estonian zither player (in Estonian kannel). Because Meelika’s roots are from South of Estonia, she is mostly interested in South-Estonian region´s stories and songs, traditional interpretation and use of language. Meelika has studied traditional music at University of Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy and holds a masters degree of folk musician-interpreter at Estonian Music Academy of Theatre’s and Tartu Viljandi Culture Academy’s joint curriculum. She is a soloist of traditional music ensemble Lepaseree.
Jewelry gone missing (Peetri)
I went down to the river to bathe. I took off all my beautiful jewelry and laid my treasures carefully on the sand. While I was bathing, a strange bird flew out of the waves and stole all my jewelry. I ran home to my parents and told them the sad story, but my father assured me that everything was going to be fine and I would get new jewelry soon.
Roll along, day (Rõngu)
Roll along, dear Sun. Roll over the treetops to where my sisters and brothers live. I will give you my belt, I will give you my brooch. Put on my belt and my brooch and give my love to my family when you see them on the other side.
Three fields (Hargla)
My brother has three fields – one for wheat, second for buckwheat and third for oats. My brother has three meadows – first one full of clover, second blooming with flowers and the third one is covered with lady’s-mantle. He also has three lakes – the first one is filled with vodka, beer fills the second one and the third lake is full of fish. He will keep one of each and share the rest between the bride and the wedding guests.