Meisterjaan – A fusion of ancient and modern sounds

We caught up with Eesti Laul hopeful, Meisterjaan ahead of the semifinals to share his thoughts about the competition.  With his song ‘Parmupillihullus’, MeisterJaan will be offering something a little different, with a fusion of ancient and modern sounds.  Here’s what he had to say to us…

Firstly, congratulations on reaching the semi-finals of the Eesti Laul.  Many of our readers won’t know much about Meisterjaan (at least not yet!). Can you tell us a little about yourself and what your career has been like up until now?

At the moment my main interest is to make deep music with a totally new sound using mostly jew-harps and other ancient acoustic instruments alongside synthesizers and electronic effects. Of everything that I’ve done in past 3 years ‘Parmupillihullus’ is the one song that resembles the most to a classical pop song.

And the song itself, ‘Parmupillihullus’, how would you describe it and what is the message in the song?

The Jew's Harp is considered as one of the oldest instruments in the world.
The Jew’s Harp is considered as one of the oldest instruments in the world.

“Parmupillihullus” in translation would mean “Jew’s Harp madness”. Jew’s Harp (aka trump; aka jaw harp) is my favourite instrument and maybe sometimes I am too maniacal about it. For example, I have a theory that it’s possible to enchant women by playing it – a theme that’s also included in the song.

Songs performed in Estonian have generally given better results at Eurovision (Kuula, and Randajad being good examples).  How important is it for you to perform in Estonian and would you ever think of translating it into English or another language?

I had to do a rough translation for TV but the poetic side was totally lost in English. I have made only one song in English. I guess Estonian is the language I think in and since I have little ambition to appeal for international audiences I see no point in making songs in English. Ah, by the way, most of my songs are instrumental anyway.

How are the preparations going?, have you decided on the performance and how it will appear on stage?  Are you able to tell us anything about that now or will we have to wait and see?

There will be three dancing girls. 

And outside of Eurovision, what sort of music do you like to listen to? Are there any bands or artists that have inspired you or helped to shape your sound?

I try not to copy the sound of other artists but at least for the recent years I’ve mostly listened to instrumental electronic music like Aphex Twin and Plastikman but also some pop stuff like PJ Harvey and Ariel Pink.

Finally is there any other message you would have for our readers?

Thank you for reading my thoughts, I hope this isn’t the last you hear of me.

MeisterJaan will compete in the second semi-final of the Eesti Laul on 20th February.  In the meantime, the full song has been posted online, and you can listen to it here:

You can also learn more about Meisterjaan and sample more of his music at his Souncloud page:

If Meisterjaan is your favourite in this year’s Eesti Laul, you can cast your vote for him in our poll right here (click).

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