Bajo Cero @ Lost in Music Festival

Lost in Music is an annual city festival held in downtown Tampere, southern Finland. There over 100 artists perform to approximately 15 000 viewers in the best clubs and venues of Tampere. Lost in Music is a unique live event, serving a broader selection of current music than any other festival in Finland. This is the place to check out the hottest artists of today and tomorrow!

Bajo Cero is performing at Lost in Music Festival
Fri 16th Oct at 19:00 Bar Passion
Ticket info: https://www.lostinmusic.fi/tickets

We’ve got the fire burning!

This Autumn has been a different kind of Autumn in many ways. The Bajo Cero crew left in Oulu has been kind of re-organizing itself after Okko moved down to the Big City (a.k.a Helsinki) and we’ve been having a pause in doing gigs too. Sometimes it’s good to slow down and stop for a while. Like our song Hierro suggests:

Everyone’s been up to something on their own (for example someone has been continuing his renovation project, which has turned into something almost philosophical, another has re-discovered his love for basketball, one has gotten engaged without the other band members even hearing about it… etc) I myself have been travelling around because of my work so much during the Autumn that it feels almost like I’m on a trip all the time.

Now we are finally travelling all together – the whole Bajo Cero! Last night we gathered the Oulu crew and had a band practice for the upcoming mini tour this weekend. We sure got the fire burning again!

 

So now it’s good to continue on together, towards the urban rhythms and electro-acoustic experiments of Autumn. And above all, towards dear friends.

Bajo Cero’s Rewind Mini Tour in Helsinki and Hämeenlinna 31.10.-2.11.2013.

– Anna

The Song Navigator: A Volar – Take flight

We wrote our song A Volar (“Take flight”) as a request for the final gala of Oulu Music Video Festival 2008. The project was really interesting because the theme that year was Finland and being Finnish. Our challenge was to fuse Spanish language music with being Finnish. We had the chance to perform our song and choreography in front of an audience of a thousand people. The songs theme is really dark – men have left for war and a woman has been left behind, alone, crying on the shore.

 

“To the faraway islands travelled
my loved one, leaving me
on an island without trees
and with rivers of blood. “

 

The songs rhythm is one of flamencos most fascinating, siguyrias, which makes it very mystic, and it suits very well a song telling about the bird of death, bringer of sorrow.

 

“The bird is calling
with the voice of the dead,
the bird is calling,
the bird of oblivion.

And dressed in a blackbird´s gown
it crosses the sky
and changes the light into dark”

Bird themes have always fascinated me, and I also have picture of a crow embroidered onto one of my show dresses. There is a lot symbolism related to birds and people have believed that birds had a big part in the birth of the world and circle of human life. The “swan of the underworld” is a symbol of death, and a “wounded albtraos” is free in the sky but a prisoner on the land. At one time birds were thought of as the embodiment of peoples hopes and dreams, as they could fly upward unto the heavens.

Finnish mythology contains a lot of bird-related thematics. “Lintukoto”, Bird home is the place where a human soul goes in the end after detah. You can also see human soul described as a bird figure, and they believed that the raven took a dead persons soul. In our folk poetry also women could be described as a bird, a bride being elegant with her feathers like a dancer.

-Elina

The Song Navigator – Mi Esquina: My street corner

(c) Jussi Heikkinen

This song brings back memories of a time when Bajo Cero was still Anna, Okko, Kili, Elina, Antti and Joonas and I was still playing some rock-type music. To be honest I was getting tired of trying to find the perfect marriage between the sounds of Metallica and Incubus. Hence, it was no surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed seeing “Bajo” for the first time in Tervahovi, the long lost neighbor of the beloved NGO.

During this gig I went through all the emotions that an emotionally restricted and artistically introvert Finnish man would experience when he feels the need to dance but can’t bring himself to do more than grin and tap to the tempo with his foot. Even after that I would look around me nervously –did anyone see me do that?

Mi Esquina brings together some of the things I like about Bajo Cero the most. It is danceable, lively, groovy and catchy. The funky rhythm, contemporary arrangement and fusion between different musical styles like reggae and flamenco make it interesting to listen to as well as play. At first pretty much all I did was listening as my one and only instrument in the song was the shaker. Say what you will, but even if my role as an instrumentalist wasn’t great, because of it I got a chance to ease myself into the band and the style of music it was playing quite easily. Later on I started scratch in Mi Esquina as well as some other songs which gave much more personal depth to the expression from my side of the turntable.

When playing live, Mi Esquina is one of those songs that spark a good connection and interaction between musicians on stage. Often I find that when the set list says “Esquina” the tension that everyone felt before the gig gets finally turned into eye contacts, jamming, dancing, shaking, clapping, laughing and even fooling around to a degree. At this point I usually also notice the guys standing on the edges of the audience slightly grinning and tapping to the tempo with their hands in their pockets. They would like to move to the music too.

Mi Esquina talks about a loss being a blessing as well. The narrator of the lyrics sits in a street corner and watches a stream of people passing by. This is still only one side of the story, because Mi Esquina is the street corner in which I learned to dance and express myself better. I hope that some other people will stop here in my street corner too by listening to the album or coming to the gigs.

-Juhani

 

The Song navigator: Caras Escondidas – Hidden Faces

When we first started writing the song Caras escondidas there was just a massive big bang in the beginning and some eerie sketches of a song melody made by Okko along with some ideas for the rhythm for the vocals.

As I started to write the lyrics in a suitable rhythm and length, with words that would somehow fit the mood, the story soon started to form into this ”scary ghost story at sea”.

Ahogan las olas del mar
en la distancia

oyes a
alguien canta

/

Drowning
waves of the sea
in the distance
you hear someone singing

We wanted the atmosphere to be somewhat spooky and even apocalyptic. It didn’t matter if the story itself was quite abstract and left a lot of room for imagination. The ”Caras escondidas” (=hidden faces) in the story are a symbol for the fear that creeps up on you when night falls. They are the faces of those abstract figures you think you see in the dark when you are scared enough.

The ”me” in the song is a force that is commenting the occurrences in the story but also affecting them.

She is singing for the poor drowning soul that is the object of the happenings:

No hay cuerda pa’ cogerte
mi voz te ahoga
buscas el fondo,
pero no encuentras
la cuerda pa´ salvarte

respira la melodía, resipira la melodia            

/

There’s no cord* to hold on to
My voice will drown you
You search for the bottom
but won’t  find
the cord that will rescue you
Breathe the melody
Breathe the melody

*la cuerda means not only a rope or a cord but the string of a musical instrument and a chord as in the term used in music

For a musician it’s not so unusual to be drowning in melodies. Sometimes it would be nice if someone threw you a rope to hold on to (be it a chord that makes the song make sense or something else that helps you) when you feel that the song is just not coming together and the ideas are floating on  some other, distant, ocean. With this song the only solution was to let go and permit myself to write such an ambiguously heaving story that it shall take the weight of itself to carry afloat – or just let it drown in the melody. Whatever happened, we got through with the song, and it even ended as the opening track for the album.

-Anna

 

Music Education is Sin

I do pedagogical studies. That means they’re expecting me to be a teacher one day. Let’s not talk about that.

As many of you may have noticed, I quite much do music. The truly horrible part starts when people ask you to combine these two. Teaching and music.

Often people assume I at least have a minor in music pedagogy and a great need to spread the joy of music among children. Dear me, no. I do have a minor in arts and drama, but the idea of teaching music never even crossed my mind.

When I went to school it was the deepest low of the 90’depression. The talk was not about which kind of electric guitars they should get to the school’s music class; it was whether they could buy each pupil a pencil for the next semester.

So basically we played half-eaten claves the first six years. (The teacher was good, though).

Moving on to the next school, the equipment remained quite much the same. Just the teacher happened to be an ex-want-to-be-musician that never had an interest on teaching and had also lost his interest in music. I hope for his own sake he nowadays has got thrilled about something.

When those seven years of music education ended, I finally found it. Having found music I got to know a man who taught me how to play guitar. I also studied flamenco dance and learned the rhythms. After that I just went on doing things. Mainly things I didn’t know how to do, but because they sounded good I did my best to make my thing sound similar. I experimented.

My musical quest began when my music education stopped.

So how the hell am I supposed to teach something like that to kids? Let’s say, the exuberance of finding music? I cannot help the pupils. I can only show them a direction where to seek. And it may be the wrong direction. Pointing that direction for them, I should always remember it might be terribly wrong and total crap. And you can’t walk into a classroom declaring that.

You should never teach something you love, in a school.

If you have a strong feeling of something, who the hell do you think you are to tell people how to form their feelings?

-kili