Ever since the sixth grade, I’ve avoided horror films that have something to do with the devil and people being posessed by the devil. My scare was created on a late, cold and dark autumn afternoon; just late enough for the atmosphere to be scary and yet not too late for parents to start worrying about us. We had almost our entire 6A-class gathered together to watch The Exorcist.
I don’t know whether it was the 360-degree head turn, or the unnatural distorted male voice spoken by a little girl that got me so frightened. All I do know is that I couldn’t sleep for a fortnight afterwards.
Then I grew up and grew out of being scared of the unnatural. Actually, I don’t think I have had to be scared of much anything since then, at least not to the same degree. I had found my limits early on and that was that. Little did I know that those limits would be extended exactly on my 32nd birthday.
The film was recommended to me by no other than my dear friend and band member Antti Rundelin. What he said went something like this: ”The most horrible film I’ve ever seen must be The Martyrs. I actually felt depressed for real after watching it!” Well, who would not want to watch it after a teaser like that?
It was exactly on the 58th minute into the film when I had to switch the TV off. I was all alone in our basement, lights out in the whole building. The weak light of my mobile phone was my only guide as I tried to find my way into the bedroom. What’s the first thing you do when you’re scared shitless? You make a facebook update about it! At least then you’re not completely alone and you can also make it seem like it’s half a joke. After all, can a 30-something man be scared of a film? Luckily Antti was still up and read my status. He rang me immediately. We talked about the film and laughed at the situation. Then I curled up next to my wife and fell asleep. A friend in need is a friend indeed.
The next day I started to analyze why I was so deeply infuenced by this film (which I was able to finish in daylight) and arrived to a conclusion: Recently there have been so many horrific things happening all over the world that they are starting to get to me. Horrible things happening to real people. That’s what The Martyrs was about too. It told an absolutely horrific and absurd story but still one that could happen in real life.
As a child I was afraid of the same thing after all. I was only less aware of the real evil in this world. A child is innocent, full of potential and good by nature. Then at some point we get possessed and loose our sense of right and wrong. Luckily it’s not actually so that we need to call for an exorcist to get rid of the devil in us. We just need to realize that the good that is done for us needs to be put forward. So next time someone claims on facebook that they have watched such a scary film that they couldn’t finish it, I’m going to be sure to give them a ring and calm them down!
It has been a great summer for the band. Our adventures around the summery highways and smaller roads (not to mention the even smaller shortcuts or detours) of Finland have lead us to this point where we can concentrate on our own hometown and throw some gigs closer to home. After our big summer tour away from home, we’ll have a gig at least once a month in Oulu: we rocked at Qstock festival in july, played at Elojazz festival in august and will have a show at the Dance Abundance festival in september. It’s good to be back now as the light is notably turning a little bit colder and the air is beginning to have a hint of that autumny crispness. After all, autumn is our official favourite season.
Autumn and our beloved and well branded home town have one thing in common. That thing is called the Oulu Music Video Festival, or in short, OMVF. The 18-year-old festival is a proof of Oulu having an actual livable cultural life. At least one big, unique festival has managed to stay alive and interesting and keep it’s somewhat independent approach for almost two decades.
The Music Video Festival is practically a week in august, filled with music videos and other music related program. There are live clubs, a rave party, all kinds of special shows, music videos on silver screens, some of them competing for the best finnish music video. And
then there’s this crazy idea of the World Championships in air guitar playing. A contest where nowdays people from all over the world come to compete.
The whole week culminates to this big event called The Pumpeli Award Gala, which is a glamourous gala with a twist for the rock people – and is said to be the best guarded secret in town every year. The best finnish music videos are awarded in the gala every year. Through the years we’ve seen all kinds of spectacular Pumpeli Galas. We’ve had a christmas gala with an actual reindeer on the stage. Yes, in august. We’ve seen a bollywood/glitter-gala with a kinky twist and we’ve partied the old finnish film style in an old circus tent. (That same year Bajo Cero actually had the priviledge to perform at Pumpeli Gala. We composed the song “A Volar” for the occasion. But that’s another story…)
According to the official OMVF webpage, the whole festival’s manifest is that music videos deserve to be shown on a big screen at least once a year. This autumn at our home town and at the OMVF is yet again turning to be an exiting one. Our both music videos “A Volar” and “Hierro” are shown at the festival’s cavalcade of finnish music videos and are competing amongst 207 other great videos for the title of “Peoples Pumpeli” – the most popular video of them all!
You can see our videos on a big screen at the festival on Wednesday 24.8. at 17.00 and thursday 25.8. at 16.00 at the culture center Valve (Studio). You can even vote for the videos (or at least your favourite one of them) online by clicking either ones competition number at: https://omvf.inertica.fi
Check out the festival programme at https://www.omvf.net
See you and other music video lovers at OMVF!
Wikipedia tells us that “A cajón (Spanish pronunciation: [kaˈxon], “crate,” “drawer,” or “box”) is a box-shaped percussion instrument originally from Peru, played by slapping the front face (generally thin plywood) with the hands.” To put it shorter, cajón is a box that you hit.
The reason why I just love my main percussion instrument is not only it’s sound, but also the simple philosophy of the instrument. Of course you can debate on the best cajón manufacturer and the best ways to make it sound good, materials etc., but in my version of the cajón philosophy, you should never forget that after all it is just a simple wooden box. And that is why you should respect it and feel humble as you sit on your cajón.
I feel that I can truly respect an instrument that won’t cost a million and still sounds good. There is something honest in that, and the fact that you can quite easily build yourself quite a nice box if you just put a little effort to it, makes the cajón even more glorious as an instrument.
It is only a box. Never underestimate it.
I built my fifth cajón a few weeks ago. It started as I found some leftover pieces of plywood that seemed to sound nice. It may have been teak or mahogany. Cannot tell. Then I remembered a friend of mine in Helsinki asking me whether I knew anyone who could sell her a cajón, maybe a used one, for a reasonable price. I wanted to know how this new material would sound like, so I decided I’d make her a cajón as a present so that at least I could just experiment with it. I would deepen my relationship with cajón and my girlfriend wouldn’t be mad at me for bringing another percussion instrument to our living room.
The core of the instrument was made of Finnish birch wood, the exotic plywood was used for the front and back of the instrument, and the rest was just me enjoying working on wood with an open mind and enthusiasm. I’m not a very handy man, but I can honestly tell you I was happy with the result.
It sounded good, and still, it was only a box.