“NORTHERN WINDS & VOICES” was created by composer & multi-instrumentalist Heikki Koskinen for a project featuring new and old Finnish music arranged in innovative new ways, exploring the universal connections between immigrants and their motherlands. NW&V brings together musicians from many past projects and performances utilizing each musician’s unique sound in creating new sonic textures and ways to interpret these songs that are well known to the Finnish community yet arranged in non-traditional ways. NW&V takes the listener on a musical ride through a wide variety of styles and approaches, from written arrangements to free flowing extemporaneous group improvisations.
"Inside / Outside" was recorded in various settings ranging from studios and live gigs to the Berkeley Finnish Kaleva Hall utilizing its wonderfully unique acoustic ambiance. Playing late night sessions immersed in fantastic sounds swirling in the dark empty hall were a memorable experience.
About the songs:
“Kotimaani onko Suomi? / “My Homeland, Is It Finland?” is based on the often sentimental and patriotic song “Kotimaani ompi Suomi”. Our version takes a different, but still wistful, approach featuring spoken passages and saxophone: the Prelude includes passages from the Finnish national epic “Kalevala”, in Finnish & English.
“Songs My Mother Taught Me” gave us a chance to apply Charles Ives’ methods to his own song by infusing dreamlike Finnish folk melodies into Ives’ main arrangement. The intro & outro freely superimpose traditional melodies drifting in & out of our collective consciousness. My mother actually did sing these songs to me! Both the studio and live versions are on the CD.
“Niin kauan minä tramppaan” / “As Long Shall I Walk” is a song from Pohjanmaa district, its lyrics reflecting the boastful attitudes of the local bad boys, called “häjyt”. The saxophones and vocalese are employed through several tempo changes and moods.
“Tuoll’ on mun kultani”/”Yonder Is My Darling” lyrics are from Kanteletar, a collection of old Finnish folk poems. I heard it on my very first theater visit in my hometown, Turku, and it has stayed in my head ever since. Our arrangement features Kati’s expressive voice with flutes, piano and bass backgrounds with a new written intro
“Aamulla varhain” / “Early In The Morning” features Kati’s beautiful voice with ethnic Finnish instruments in this typically sad traditional song, filled with sweet pathos. It begins with the birch bark horn and atmospheric free improvisations with wooden flutes. Both the studio and live versions are included.
Original melodies such as “Maanituslaulu”, “Velkutus”, and “Vilu” are stylistically influenced by archaic Finnish music and the national epic “Kalevala”. Besides written themes the arrangements of these melodies employ lots of free flowing improvisations, including vocalese and many woodwinds.
Several of the CD tracks (Wall-nuts, Vaaputus, Kukerrus & Paljakka) are extemporaneous group improvisations that complement the arranged songs and feature ethnic woodwinds, small “sound” instruments, voice and double bass. Many of the free improvisations were inspired by the unique sounds at the Finnish Kaleva Hall.
Edgetone Records was founded by musician/producer, Rent Romus. The label took shape in 1991 to support his group’s original
jazz recordings. After being on a long hiatus Rent re-opened Edgetone in January 2000 and expanded it to support new music crossing the genre boundaries specifically for D.I.Y. (do it yourself) artists looking for a ground base and community label identity....more