Dutch artist Kati Rán is a marvel in the world of music. Self-taught and proficient in numerous historical folk instruments, Rán is a master of the Nordic narrative, spinning her melodies on instruments such as the Swedish nyckelharpa, moraharpa, hammered dulcimer, Norwegian Kraviklyra, and Finnish kantele, among others. This varied and eclectic choice of instruments lends a unique versatility to her sound, creating a rich tapestry that is as complex and intriguing as the Nordic folklore that inspires her.
In addition to her vocal talent, Rán’s instrumental prowess is applied to the creation of her music for television, film, and video game productions. With her rich and evocative sound, she has contributed to the soundtrack of the Netflix series Vikings: Valhalla, and the highly anticipated video game from Ubisoft, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. Rán’s mastery of historical instrumentation combined with her evocative vocals brings the rich history of the Viking era alive for a modern audience.
Rán’s ability to weave history into her music doesn’t stop at her solo projects. Her collaborations with other artists have been a testament to her versatility and talent. She has worked with Icelandic composer Borgar Magnason, and renowned Norwegian vocalist Gaahl, among others, to create powerful, immersive sonic experiences.
One such collaboration was the ten-minute-long musical interpretation of the Icelandic poem Unnr | MINDBEACH. This project was a two-year-long journey of philosophical discussion and emerging insights with poet Palli Banine. The track features contrabass by Magnason and vocals by Gaahl and Yana Veva, creating a stirring tribute to the art of Skaldic poetry.
In addition to her musical collaborations, Rán has made a significant impact as a content consultant for Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. Her contribution to the creative team helped shape the game’s Nordic identity, reinforcing her status as a Viking music virtuoso.
Kati Rán continues to be a force within the world of Nordic folk music, her unique approach to composition and her intuitive understanding of historic instruments allow her to create music that is both timeless and innovative. Whether she’s conjuring the Viking past for a new video game, or lending her voice to a new Netflix series, Rán ensures that the echoes of the old world continue to resonate in the new. You can visit her website here.