The unpredictability of Tatu Rönkkö or the art of traveling light as a performing musician

Due to a delayed flight to Amsterdam on December 2nd we almost missed the first part of a Sonic Pieces showcase at Tivoli Vredenburg in Utrecht. But Wilbertjan at F/uister who organized the event, the artists and audience were kind enough to wait the academic quarter to see if we would show up. Luckily we just made it right before Tatu Rönkkö went on stage.
Last time we saw Tatu perform in Berlin he used a drum kit and played pieces from his debut album “Spheres”, and as we found out later he had requested drums for this show too. But the drum next to him remained untouched for his entire solo performance. Instead we saw him play with specific lightweight plastic bottles he had brought from Finland, metal bowls, wooden sticks and bundled spoons that sounded like church bells. Not only his solo part was quite impressive, but also his contribution to Rauelsson´s set who played afterwards. And all Tatu needed to bring fit into a backbag and a tote, while Raúl was having a hard time getting his 36 kilogram heavy equipment on board of his flight.

Tatu Rönkkö live at Club Nine - Tivoli Vredenburg in Utrecht (NL) on December 2nd, 2018 (excerpt).
Sonic Pieces showcase organized by F/uister.

Three days later we had set up a Miasmah & Sonic Pieces evening in Berlin with Clarice Jensen and Rauelsson. Tatu joined to perform with Raúl on this occasion too, and as we liked his concert in Utrecht we asked him to also play a short intro before Raúl´s set in Berlin. During soundcheck Tatu played with the plastic bottles again, ready to do what he had just demonstrated in Utrecht.
A few hours later, Tatu had disappeared for a short while in between, Clarice had finished her set, Raúl already got a little worried, inquiring if anyone had seen Tatu; he all of a sudden showed up, asking if he should go on stage. I said “yes, please go ahead“. He responded “I need to get my new instrument“, went backstage, grabbed a ventilator and a bunch of cloth hangers and did a 10 minute performance just using that. The plastic bottles which were still distributed over the stage remained untouched for the rest of the evening.

For the first time ever we saw Tatu perform was years back in Nils Frahm´s kitchen. It was his thing around that time to play in people´s kitchens, using the room and whatever was around – a spontaneous approach, always improvised, always new. On “Spheres“ Tatu proved that he can also do different. Even if he´s been using almost only self-made instruments from everyday objects for this album too, he presented us six pieces of music which are much more composed, focused and icredibly detailed. But it was also refreshing and inspiring to see him going back to the roots, being spontaneous and just trying things out. Sometimes it doesn´t need much for a great performance, just talent and imagination. And we already can´t wait to see and hear what he´s coming up with next.