Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Irrepressibles - The Human Music Box Tour

Listening live music. It's whole lot different from listening to a cd or watching a videoclip. Live music gives something special, but when it doesn't work in whole, then it doesn't. I went to see finally The Irrepressibles live and was waiting for something totally amazing, but was disappointed. It's a feeling when you are waiting for something great, but you get to hear only guitar and no singing. The debut album "Mirror, mirror" is great but now they played only one song from it, "In this shirt" but mostly songs from the coming album "Nude".

Beginning of the concert took too much time to start musically. Beginning was bit flat. Jamie McDermott has amazing voice but now the energy couldn't come always trough. Set up with big cube and turning stage was nice, but when you have to perform in four different ways and show is only one hour long, you get to see lot of the back of the performers which is a pity. White curtains that were hanging trough the whole show was blocking too much and keeping the performers distant. Special thanks go for using the video projections that were beautiful. Having a hall full of projected white flying birds is beautiful.

Here you can find a video of the performance at Holland Festival.

Also the costumes and "uitstraling" of the performers was less that I would have expected after seeing the videos. McDermott had a normal shirt with long wings sort of like straps hanging from the sides and the hair covered lot of his face. In the videos you see how they put so much effort on every small detail; the hair of all the musicicians, make up, costumes and movement. Now there was only couple moments where players took the movement into their playing.

The track list was partly something like this: "Ship", "The state of it all", "New World", "Pale sweet healing", "Arrow", "In this shirt", "Boy in the lake" and "Prince".  The most special songs left in my mind were "In this shirt", "Prince" and "New world". "New world" had a special beginning that turned the whole hall into a sweet sound box. You didn't know where the sound was coming from anymore. You were send into a dream like world of sound. "Arrow" was a great song with a beautiful piano and cello. "Prince" was most beautiful and captivating song of the whole set, a beautiful song about love. McDermotts voice got the space that it needed and grew until the ceilings with beautiful lyrics...
"...see me running, running, running, from here, to you, it's a strange love inside, it's getting louder, louder..."

I was still waiting for to hear "Nuclear skies", "Forget the past" and "The tide" but the end of the concert came like crush into a wall with a hi-speed car. Sudden! It felt like something was brought only half away. Like somebody would guide you only halfway the crosswalk, to be hit by the cars? I think they could have given so much more. Also the audience was quite strange, lot of people left in the middle of the show and in the end you could hear some "Boos!" It feels bit empty when one of your favorite band lets you down live, when I know they could have given so much more.

I replace my loss with listening the missing songs from "Mirror, Mirror".
And watching the video clip of live concert "Mirror, mirror" from Queen Elisabeth Hall 2010 and Holland Festival the other day. Miss that costume, that make up and the hair. After watching the clip now two times from Holland Festival I start to like it again.

"Forget the past"

You'll be the way to begin
You'll be the the water on stain
You'll be there calling my name
Jamie, Jamie
You'll have a warrant to kill
All of my fears in you spell
Into me all of your world
Find me, find me (x3)
My love, my love
My love, my love 
You'll be the essence of fire
You'll take all of my desire
You make me bold and inspired
Know me, know me
You'll be the eye of the storm
You'll be the lectures of warm
You'll be the dreams and the throne
Know me, know me (x3)
My love, my love
My love, my love 
Find me inside the calm of the storm
Where lovers' desires might come with the dawn
we sit on the grass wait for machines
and forget the past (x2)
You'll be the way to begin
You'll be the the water on stain
You'll be there calling my name
Jamie, Jamie

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Missing my language - Äidinkielen kaipuu

Today I felt that I was really missing my language, Finnish. When you are living abroad and using your mother tongue maybe like once a week things get different. You use different words than normally, you can be accidently more rude than you would think.

Language is something extremely important to everybody, people just don't understand it sometimes. You communicate with it, you hear it, it's in you. I feel I'm stuck with my English, I use often the same words and when you are not broadening your vocabulary you stick on one level. I miss the richness of speaking in Finnish, using the exact words that I wouldn't know in English or could not be translated. Sticking in this level makes things dull, it makes speech boring and simple. You talk but aren't using the words what you would like to.

Oh and all these words without meaning like "fine, okay, perhaps, good, niin kuin, ehkä, aivan, todennäköisesti" I use these filling words more while speaking English. In Finnish it's more straightforward, you say your thing and that's it. That's why there's no small talk in Finland. It's bit useless, it doesn't really tell anything, it's filling of the air. Or how often people answer into "How are you?" something else than fine or okay. When was then last time somebody answered actually "No, I'm not feeling fine?" and not just fine.

In lot of the songs there are no words. And for a reason. It's good to leave space for the imagination. But if there are words I really want to hear them. I want to have my concentration on it. That's why it's extremely difficult for me to listen any kind of music, words or without, while reading a book. My mind want's to float and go with the music.

Why then there are words in the songs? Do they always add something? I think if there are words they should have a meaning. People want to tell something through songs but very often they fall themselves. There are also lot of these "small talk" songs, songs that don't really have any point. They go in and out of your ears immediately, it feel like hot shower without warm water. You are left pissed up and cold standing outside of the shower with your rubber duck, that you were planning to put to sail in the water, in your hand. That's why I want lyrics to have a meaning. And that's why there are songs like this:

It is a beautiful song called "Veden Alla" by Emma Salokoski Ensemble. Emma Salokoski is one of the best Finnish female singers, she has an amazing voice. From here you can find more songs from this ensemble:

Other extremely good artist is Kimmo Pohjonen, an accordionist from Finland also.

He is rocking the accordion with style! He has played for example with Kronos Quartet and Samuli Kosminen in Uniko. Uniko is a very special performance. Pohjonen has played in many interesting projects like Earth Machine Music which was a perfomance with music made with and sampled from the farming machines. Here is an impression of "Earth Machine Music"

And from "Uniko"

I think this very concert changed my life bit. Kimmo Pohjonen is a big inspiration for me. He's genius. I love Uniko. Now it's also available in cd after loong waiting.

Hyvää yötä!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

My Dream Team Extended


"HELIOS (or Helius) was theTitan god of the sun. He was also the guardian of oaths and the god of gift of sight."

Helios aka. Keith Kenniff but also known as Goldmund (solo piano works) and Mint Julep (together with his wife Hollie). He started to write ambient electronic music in 2001. Released "Unomia" in 2004 and "Eingya" 2006, "Caesura" 2008 and "Unleft" 2009.

If you think that the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt is great you should also check out Goldmund. Don't say any words about it, just listen to it and you understand. At Type records homepage you can listen two albums of Goldmund, "Corduroy Road" and "The Malady of elegance".
Myspace of Goldmund, click on the album.

Deaf Center aka. Erik Skodvin and Otto Totland is an amazing duo from Norway. Theirs music is cinematic, I feel. Deaf center has released "Pale Ravine" 2006, "Neon City" and "Owl Splinters" 2011. Totland with the piano and Skodvin on the cello. I have to mention some songs from Owl Splinters. Time Spent is amazingly beautiful piano piece with haunting feel with cello. Animal Sacrifice is a powerful piece with strong cello. I use some of the songs from Owl Splinters in my graduation piece. It gives the haunting feeling of stillness. The feeling of a time that has stopped.

Listen Owl Splinters here, click on image:

Johan Johansson is an amazingly stunning composer from Iceland.

Some of his albums: first solo album "Englabörn", "Virðulegu Forsetar", "Dís", "IBM 1401, A User's Manual", "Fordlândia" and the latest "And In The Endless Pause There Came The Sound Of Bees". He has also composed music for several films.

You can listen to the soundtrack And In The Endless Pause There Came The Sound Of Bees here, click on the image.

Listen and enjoy!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Never ending search

I look for music. I search for songs. I lurk behind the computer to find the tunes. I feel like a detective trying to solve out the murder, on the dance floor... I want to share immediately some of the places where I find songs, lots of lots of songs. (X-files remark) so you people can find easier some music that you might like or hate. Good idea is always to browse trough some interesting record labels like for example:

Ninja Tune                    (Home of Amon Tobin, Bonobo, Daedelus, Mr. Scruff)
Planet Mu                     (µ-Ziq, Venetian Snares)
Warp                             (Aphex Twin, Autechre, Bibio, Boards of Canada,
                                     Brian Eno, Nightmares on Wax, Plaid)
Toytronic                      (Gimmik, Digitonal, Abfahrt Hinwil, Ochre)
U Cover Records         (Lackluster ,he's from my hometown, Tim Koch, Joel Tammik, Ontayso)
Type Records              (Helios, Deaf Center, Johan Johansson)

Last trio is sort of my "dream team"! And there must be more that I'm forgetting.
Then there are sites where you can buy or search music.
Is very handy one. It's good to subscribe into different newsletters so you might come up every month some new tunes!
Is a great place to search lot of different kind of music. Just dive and search. Could spend hours here.
Extremely handy place to create your own music playlist.
Good place to search something totally new. Recommends artists to you.
And of course youtube, all libraries and music magazines and record stores.

Today I found some cool songs..
Planningtorock: Doorway, and One

Holy Other: Touch

Marina and the Diamonds: I am not a robot

Deadboy: Here 4 U

Redinho: Whips

And I want to end this post with Burial: Forgive.More about Burial later. He's awesome.

And back to commercials...where it all started from - a car ad.

Is there something good in commercials, most often in car commercials? And why there's never nobody driving the car in the commercials? Are they actually taking a train or waiting for the buss in the rain or what?

I found my first album that I listened for so many years through a car commercial. It was Play by Moby. The song was called Natural blues. Play was full of great songs like PorcelainBodyrock and Honey. After Natural Blues there came hits like In this world and We are all made of stars. Moby was the first artist with electronic twist that I heard and was blown away. This is what I want to listen, I though. Then when I got to see Moby live at the 18 tour the warming up band was Röyksopp who had released only Melody a.m.! Such a great combination.

After Play there came albums 18, then Hotel and Wait for me. Last one was a slight disappointment, but had some great songs like Study War, A seated night and Ghost return. Moby has just released his new album Destroyed. After quick listening album feels like coming back into to the roots. Catchy Sevastopol pops out from the rest, even though the remix version Sevastopol (John Lord Fonda Cathedral Remix) sounds slightly better. The quiet grace of Stella Maris is a intervention with its church choir like mix with electronic sounds. I guess The Day might come a radio hit, but sometimes I miss lot hits like Feeling so real, what used to be a loong time ago some of the fastest songs ever.

The music video for The Day you can find here

Listen the John Lord Fonda Cathedral Remix of Sevastopol here. It could be one of this summer's hits if it's according to me!

But back to commercials..another rememberable is the bouncing balls of Sony

A great jazz singer Fredrika Stahl from Sweden will get the credits to end this post with her magical voice in the car commercial of Nissan Juke