Thanksgiving without turkey

Browsing through our last year’s bolg brought back all the highlights of the year and all the things we need to be grateful of, now that the year is coming to an end.

We had an awesome summer, filled with gigs and festivals, each one very different from the other. From Kuopio dance festival to Haapavesi folk festival to Pori Jazz to a Tampere flamenco festival and then to Oulu’s biggest rock festival Qstock. Now tell me, what other bands have such a wide variety of places to perform at? And that wasn’t all folks. We are truly glad to have had such a warm welcome at each place we went to. This litte article was published after Qstock festival at a musician’s web-portal called meteli.net. They wrote something nice about us too.

Last year we had also done some serious songwriting as we worked on most of the songs that are now in our repertoire. The same songs, including some brand new ones will ofcourse appear on our album next spring.

Last autumn will surely be remembered as the “recordings autumn”. Each one of ous had our turn at the Hietasaari studio, built by our own recorning and producing genious Okko. Since then he has been working hard to get our upcoming album to sound as good as it can – to sound like us. For that we are also grateful. Thanks Okko! <3

We have also been granted some financial support for the publishing of the record from various directions – yet another thing to be thankful of. It really is important to know your music is considered to be worth the support, especially when you decide to push through with your own decisive ambitions and want to be independent.

There’s still alot of work ahead. That’s why now it’s time to take a moment and enjoy the silence, candle light and rest. Next year will be even better and busier.

Anna

Electronic fusion on three continents

Digital is for noobs! I love the sound of ancient analog gear and we have used it during our record making as much as possible. That can take you to unforeseen places.

Good gear costs a fortune so I build my stuff myself. Anyway, you can’t buy the parts needed from local hardware store. You have to hunt them down from weird places around the world. There is a small number of obsessed freaks like me scattered around the globe who feel passionately about music and electronics and can help you in the process.

So when you hear a sound on our upcoming album here is the story of its path from the recording room to your sound system:

First there is the instrument (for example: Guitar, made in 2001, Hietasaari, Finland ):

Then that sound goes to year 2010 and to a small one-man shop in Denmark that makes über-quality microphone transducers.

Next it travels in time to a mega facility in USA 1972 that made the amplifier tube inside the mic.

Destination no. 3 is a factory in USSR 1967 that produced high grade paper-and-oil-type capacitors out of PCB and other nasty stuff for the soviet aerospace.

To cut the long story short here’s the rest:

Sweden, 2004, Mic transformer >

Germany, 2009, Mic chord >

UK, 1974, Preamp transformers >

USA, 1956, Compressor transformers >

China 2010, Audio level meter >

Australia, 2011, Compressor circuit board >

And in between there are hundreds of other small parts made in countless eras and cities.

Through the years, these parts have travelled the places and finally found their way to my little studio. Some of this stuff has been used thousands of times before, to record countless songs, who knows where and when. Audio electronics is a big part of the history of the art of music. The hunt for the most compelling sounds ties the world together in curious and inspiring ways.

-Okko

Chili for the soul

This august I got a real dream job, working as a producer at JoJo – Oulu dance center. JoJo is a production house that organizes dance productions and events throughout the year. It has been really interesting both professionally and socially as new winds have been blowing and I’ve learnt alot and met some really interesting people. The best thing about my job is that I get to see all kinds of dance pieces and performances, mostly contemporary dance.

Since my main channel to dance and performing live music has earlier been flamenco, I tend to take the same approach to these two even when watching a piece that completely differs from flamenco.

It is somewhat written in the whole consept of flamenco that it is always packed with so much feeling, gathering tension and then letting it burst, something that can be quite over the top or even pompous. Flamenco pieces (or if you cut it into smaller bits, even a single dance or a song) have the same structure as any good Disney movie. There’s the serene beginning, after which a turning point or a problem that needs solving and then it all builds up to a big explosive ending scene during which everyone cries or laughs or preferably both. There are archetypes aswell as the three basic feelings: happiness, sadness and hate. In flamenco, there is not so much space for things in between. No grey zone. It’s all traditionally red and black.

When I started seeing more contemporary dance pieces I felt that something was missing. There was alot of movement but no climaxes. Where was the loud, breathtaking fury? Where was the feeling, the beginning, the middle and the end? After a while I started suspecting my own agenda as a member of the audience. Did I just want to experience the same safe and familiar thing all over again?

Just the other day when I was having lunch, it hit me. Flamenco is a little bit like chili. When you start seasoning your food with it, you will want more and more and in the end it will turn your tastebuds numb so that you can’t taste any more of those subtle flavours and nuances.

This year has opened my eyes (and maybe tastebuds) alot. Even though I still love and live flamenco, I’ve seen that there’s more you can do and experience. Maybe if at first some things don’t seem to open up to you, it might be that it’s you who needs to be more open and not the thing. The same goes with life, work, music, dance and art. I’ll try to keep my eyes more open next year and maybe I’ll find more colours than red and black.

Anna