My first album is finally published. I've had some serious doubts over the years, whether this day would ever come to pass. Finishing the two tarot books felt exhilarating and unbelievable, but this is in a completely different category. It's somehow much more personal. These tracks have been there with me, witnessing all sorts of things, from the early 90s onwards. I'm not sure if I can be called the author of them - I think they've come into this dimension through my fingers onto the keyboard, but that doesn't necessarily mean that's their origin. They're both incredibly personal and yet completely impersonal, at the same time. If that makes sense - probably doesn't. Incidentally, today happens to be Jung's birthday, and "paradoxa" is a Jungian concept. I quite like this synchronicity thing. I hope you'll enjoy the album as much as I've enjoyed playing and recording the tracks.
July 26th 2022
Available via DistroKid: YouTube | Apple Music | Spotify
1. Spitfire (1990/1994)
This is the oldest piece on the album. I remember when I played the core melody for the first time, as a 13-year-old boy. It felt strange, the melody sounded somewhat familiar and yet completely new. I don't play it very often. At the heart of the Battle of Britain lies the RAF, and at the heart of the RAF lies the Spitfire. Original title Bismark Moment. Recorded on Noire by Native Instruments.
2. Kallat (2000)
Kallat is linked to Spitfire, both sonically and thematically. Kallat is a Finnish word, meaning “callas”. The flower is associated with both weddings and funerals, so the symbolism is quite interesting, dealing with transitions. Mental images I see while playing this piece are usually of geometrical shapes based on Art Nouveau or Cubism. Recorded on Una Corda and Noire by Native Instruments.
3. Etteilla (1995)
Dedicated to Jean-Baptiste Alliette or Etteilla (1738-1791), who was a French tarot pioneer, author, teacher and a key figure in making card-reading a professional activity. Recorded on CineHarpsichord by Cinesamples, based on a Franco-Flemish 1624 Iohannes Rückers Colmar harpsichord.
"Etteilla knew how to capture the imagination and minds of the populace of his time. He adapted the tarot pack to his own system and promoted cartomancy to its fullest... During the perilous days of 1789 he forebode the fate of many Frenchmen who would fall victim to the events of the times." —Stuart R. Kaplan: Tarot Classic
4. Ride to Paris / Midnight / The Pact (2013)
I have a huge soft spot for revolutions and revolutionaries. It's also interesting to think of different types of revolutions, and where they take place. There are collective revolutions, but also personal ones. If we can oppose and overturn our old ways of thinking, old beliefs, anything that doesn't work or support us anymore, we can transform ourselves. That is internal alchemy. Personal, or inner, revolution is the most important of all. Recorded on Hybrid Keys and Noire by Native Instruments; Monochord, Water Organ and Piano Pads by Spitfire LABS; Bassoon, Mellotron and Synth Pads by GarageBand.
5. Hunters in the Snow (2008)
My knowledge of art is limited at best, but Pieter Bruegel the Elder's works I have always loved. Bruegel's works show the everyday life of medieval people. The images draw me in. There is something heart-warming and simple about his characters. Even with The Hunters in the Snow (1565), although a winter scene you don't really feel cold when looking at it. People playing on the ice, a fire burning in front of an inn, hunters coming back from the woods with dogs, crows sitting on bare branches, the sign of the inn hanging from one end, showing a kneeling saint. Maybe there's a little boy walking behind the hunters, just outside of the picture, whistling to this tune. Recorded on Hurdy Gurdy by Sonokinetic and Synth Pads by GarageBand.
6. Elixir (1997)
I'm not sure which one came first, the melody or the images. In 1997 I was studying complementary medicine in the middle of nowhere in Finland, surrounded by fields and woods. The lulling melody began to tell a story of two children, brother and sister. There was a manor house, rainy days which meant playing in the attic with lots of old boxes waiting to be explored, and a child's curiosity. Inside one of the boxes was a smaller box which shouldn't have been there. A gateway to another dimension was briefly opened, and the brother was gone. Sometimes when I play this piece I see the sister bringing him back, other times they are both lost forever. Yet, I don't think it's a sad story. Recorded on Hybrid Keys by Native Instruments; Spitfire LABS Piano Pads; Glockenspiel, Harp, Chinese Kit and Synth Pads by GarageBand.
7. Madinah (2014)
From very early on I developed an interest in World Music. Ofra Haza, Ravi Shankar and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan were among the first ones that I can remember. Later, I discovered Sussan Deyhim, Ostad Elahi, and Dead Can Dance, which was probably the most important thing that happened to me musically after Tori Amos. Qalandar Black Rose: Sufi Trance Music by Klaus Wiese and Saam Schlamminger was my gateway into Sufi music and the desire to find out more about Sufism. Thomas de Hartmann's pianoworks for the Gurdjieff movements remain the best example of how to translate traditional Sufi melodies onto the piano. Out of the newer (heavier) bands three names come to mind: Narjahanam, Melechesh, and Al Qaynah. Madinah refers to Al-Madinah or Medina, the City of Light. Recorded on Oud, Ney and Daire from Spotlight Collection: Middle East together with Hybrid Keys, all by Native Instruments.
8. Technomagical Garden / Pidro (2004/2007)
"Techno-magical garden" is mentioned by Frances A. Yates in her book The Rosicrucian Enlightenment. In 1614 an engineer named Salomon de Caus began to design a garden at the Heidelberg Castle in Germany (Hortus Palatinus). Within five years this garden had become "Germany's greatest Renaissance garden" and was called the "Eighth Wonder of the World". According to Yates, this garden contained wonderful mechanical devices, moving statues, water organs, and other wondrous inventions. I wanted to capture the feeling of those moving, magical objects. Pidro (or Pitro, Pedro) is a 4-person, trick-taking card game played within a small area in Finland. Four players, two pairs, each trying to win the game. Four is wholeness: four elements, four cardinal points, four seasons, etc. The cards themselves are the fifth element, the spirit, moving around and between the players. Microcosm and macrocosm. Pidro is dedicated to Heimo 'Hemppa' Huvila (1940-2005), the best Pidro player in the world. You are missed. Recorded on Modular Pianos by Spitfire LABS; CineHarpsichord by Cinesamples; Noire by Native Instruments; and Hohner Clavinet D6.
9. Music Box (2011)
Inspired by Josette's Music Box melody in Dark Shadows, composed by Robert Cobert. Recorded on GarageBand Synth Pads.
10. Ouija (2004/2014)
Ouija (from French and German words meaning “yes”) refers to a spirit board, where all the letters of the alphabet and numbers from 0 to 9 are marked, alongside words such as 'Yes', 'No', and 'Goodbye'. This piece deals with my interest in the paranormal. Stanislawa Tomczyk and the floating scissors (telekinesis), poltergeist phenomena, ESP, astral projection, stigmata of Therese Neumann, old school trance mediums with ectoplasm -- spooky stuff! Recorded on The Grandeur and Noire by Native Instruments.
11. 5th Avenue Angels (2015)
My original intention was to have the piano version here, but when the time came to record the album, it said to me: "No, I won't go there. Not in my piano form. Change me, and I will." I'm not sure where the idea to transfer the music onto pipe organ came from, but it seemed to please the song-being enough. The original piano version ended up on my second album, Viidakko. Recorded on Spitfire LABS Pipe Organ.