A Few Emails and Cards From Purchasers of Kanteles Made by Gerry Henkel

Date: August 21, 2007

Date: March 18, 2007 3:51:48 PM CDT
To: "Gerry Henkel"
Hello Gerry,
I just got back from vacation, and the Kantele and bag were both waiting for me. The very night I got it, I brought it to a friend's party and played Happy Birthday on it for her! Thank you so much for your "Guide for 5 and 10 String Kanteles" on your web site. That is very helpful for getting started. Now that I've started experimenting with chording, I am pleasantly shocked at how intuitive this instrument is. I have a music degree, but find right away there is little need for it - your fingers just kind of find the sound you want to hear. I had thought the 10-string would be a "baby" instrument until I could get a "real" large one, but I see the 10-string is perfectly adequate for a tremendous amount of music!
Thank you,
Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Date: October 31, 2006 9:21:35 PM CST
To: gerry@...
Thank you for the beautiful instrument! It has such a wonderful, full sound...such resonance! Being a bit of a woodworker myself, I truly
appreciate the fine craftsmanship. I will treasure this kantele, and am glad that I was able to order it from you.
Warm regards,
L Pike

Date: October 28, 2006 10:09:42 AM CDT
To: gerry@....
Hello Gerry,
I receive a pleasant surprise on Thursday night when I got home. The kantele arrived safe and sound. Thank you for building the instrument for me. I have already tuned and started to explore its uniqueness. Not only does it have a pleasing sound (and pleasing is not the right word), it is attractive to look at. I am pleased with your workmanship.
Thanks again for your part in promoting this instrument.
D. F.

Date: October 24, 2006 6:43:47 AM CDT
To: "Gerry Henkel" <gerryhenkel@....
Subject: Kantele Order
Good Morning, Gerry –
I just wanted to follow-up with you tell let you know that the kantele you made for me arrived yesterday in fine shape. Thank you for packaging it so well.
I looked it all over last evening and even plucked out a few tunes on it before giving it a well deserved rest from its long journey. It’s a very nice instrument.
Thank you, very much, for creating such a fine instrument for me to hone my playing skills on.
I’m hoping to go to Finland in January to visit Timo Väänänen and to hear his Doctoral concert at the Sibelius Music Academy. He is such a wonderful kantele player. I’m hoping to pick up a few tips from him as well.
Take care, Gerry, and thanks, again, for your fine work on this kantele.
D. P.

Date: September 9, 2006 5:26:31 PM CDT
To: Gerry Henkel <gerryhenkel@...
Subject: Kantele Arrived
Hi Gerry,
Just to let you know that the kantele arrived, safe and (pun intended) sound. I like it a lot!  It looks great, feels real good under the fingers, and sounds very nice indeed.

Open bottom ten string kantele made for Dan Switala

Date: May 14, 2006 12:16:10 PM CDT
To: "Gerry Henkel" <gerry@....
Subject: Re: new kantele
Dear Gerry, 
I just wanted to take a few moments to share with you how happy I am with the new kantele.  Now that it has been played for a few weeks, it's sound is becoming richer and deeper.  It is developing a warm, mellow sound with a lingering resonance. Every time I play it, I marvel at your workmanship. It is truly an instrument that is both beautiful to see and to play.  I especially like the way you made the end piece with the hole look like a bird's head.  I have had to reposition two strings because of a buzzing when they were played as per your instruction booklet, which I downloaded some time ago, and I added 3 little plastic button "feet" to the bottom so that I can play the kantele on a table with some space below the instrument for the sound to ring out.  I hope you took a picture of this kantele to add to those on your website. It is a perfect example of how good a bottomless kantele can both look and sound.  Thanks again for making it for me.
Dan Switala

From: Bill M.
Date: Saturday, 27 March 2004
To: Gerry Henkel
Subject: Re: Kantele arrives
Received the kantele today. Thanks to your excellent packaging, it arrived in fine shape.I have only had a little time to play with it but I do believe I am going to really like it.
Just a little background - First off , I do not read music so your " tab " will prove very helpful.I do play with an informal group of mountain dulcimer folks. After hearing the kantele played by the Karelian Folk Ensemble at their last two concerts here locally, I felt the kantele would go nicely with the dulcimer.Most of the tunes our dulcimer group play are in a " D" tuning, so to start with I will mostly be just chording.
I think the kantele and the dulcimer are somewhat akin in their ability to provide "ethereal or soul " music. Music that starts nowhere and goes nowhere but affords a very pleasant trip. Well, enough philosophizing for today.
It is a very nice instrument, one to be proud of. Now it is up to me to blend it with the dulcimers. That will not be the only time it gets played though. Very informative book also.
Thank You,
Bill M.

From: N. Tanabe
Date: Wed Apr 21, 2004 8:21:29 PM US/Central
To: Gerry Henkel
Hello Mr. Henkel,
My kantele made a successful landing and arrived all right. It is very good and I like its lovely sound. I am very happy! Thank you very much.
N. Tanabe, Japan

From: C. H.
Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2003
To: Gerry Henkel
Dear Gerry,
My kantele arrived this morning and it's wonderful!  It sounds wonderful, it looks wonderful, it feels wonderful, it even smells wonderful!  I'm having a little trouble getting used to using the tuning key; it takes a very steady hand, doesn't it?  But the kantele  was pretty much in tune when it arrived, except for the drone strings, and I think I'm getting the hang of it.  I took the shortest string up a tone to the second, and I have the drone strings tuned to the fourth, the fifth, the fifth, and the tonic (starting from the longest).  I can see there's plenty of exploring to do in the "plain old" major scale; so far I haven't found a combination of strings I didn't like!  Being able to play several notes only a tone or even a semi-tone apart at the same time is a luxury you don't get with a guitar!  And the quality of the sound is totally magical; it comes from the world I'm trying to find my way (back?) to.
Your book is also excellent: it looks like all the information I'm going to need is in there.  I like the calm, positive tone of your writing; the resources look about as close to being exhaustive as you can get without being exhaustive (I like your "short list" of recordings!) and the choice of songs is beyond my expectations!  ("Kesäilta" was one of my favourites on a record we had when I was a child, and I got a chuckle out of seeing "This Train".)
If I make a leather case for my kantele, will it protect it sufficiently against drying out?  It's not so bad now that the weather's warmed up, but I heat with wood and it tends to get a bit dry in the house in the winter.
Thanks again, and I'll be playing Thursday evening (and most of the time between now and then, most likely . . . it's going to be hard to get any work done!)
With joy,

From: Deborah W.
Date: Fri Aug 29, 2003 3:42:17 PM US/Central
To: Gerry Henkel
Subject: It came!
Hi Gerry,
I wanted to let you know that the kantele arrived yesterday, and it's absolutely beautiful. I love the bear-claw shaped bridge. It's lovely. I'm very happy with the instrument, and I'm looking forward to playing it. Thanks again for the wonderful instrument!
Distant Oaks
Celtic & Early Music

Date: Sat Sep 6, 2003 7:51:33 AM
To: Gerry Henkel
Subject: The kantele arrived safely.
Dear Mr. Gerry Henkel,
I just wanted to let you know that the 10-string kantele I ordered the other day arrived safely. I'm really pleased with the product. Thanks a lot. I feel happy and serene when I play the kantele. It has really beautiful sound. Thank you for making such a wonderful musical instrument for me! I take good care of my kantele. It's truly lovely and I thank you for it!
Very sincerely yours,
J. Ueda, Japan

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