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Bouncing and dancing

Saturday noon, after the sauna and brunch my friends left for work (Such is the life of professional artists; they tend to work on most of the weekends). It was a warmish sunny day, I went walking. After a nice walk of an hour I met my son and his girlfriend. We went shopping for food, and at their apartment we cooked and ate together. After the meal we tried The Jackbox Party Pack 3, which is a suite of simple yet fun multiplayer games, especially suitable for party entertainment. That was nice and got us into playing more. Next it was Spaceteam - it was great, made us laugh a lot. Finally we tried Eon Altar which made the time fly. Laughing together and co-operating on exploring a RPG world surely doesn't hurt! It was refreshing and inspiring in many ways.

Well, and I had bought a ticket to a music event that night at Tampere. The event program included Mara Balls playing with her band, and I wanted to see them. Since the weather was still nice I went walking to the city centre, so that I got some fresh air before entering a music club.

I've been following Mara Balls for a longer time, but so far I've missed her live shows for this and that reasons. Well, but she has an active facebook feed, and she is not only a musician but a free creative spirit, multi-talented indie artist working with many kind of interesting projects. Earlier she was running a free art venue, which got the city award for cultural work. And then the house was demolished for some road construction project. One of Mara's new projects is playing acoustic gigs at elders' care homes, hoping to attract more life to those quiet places, encouraging different generations to meet and to do things together. There is this sense of voluntary grass-roots revolution in what she does. Also, she often tells fairly openly about her own issues with mental well-being; always honest, but always with hope. She delivers an inspiring example of 'see, we all have some problems, but let's do something to overcome the issues!'. It really seems like creativity, rock and grass-roots projects are not only a therapy for her but it also uplifts many people around her. At this point I probably don't need to mention why I wanted to see them play live =) Plus, that I wanted to support the artist by buying an LP.

And they really were worth it! They sent the crowd bouncing and dancing. Mara's stage charisma came with a touch of primordial powers. The band played intensively, like a single beast with three heads. It felt like exhaling memories of angst, and inhaling the untamed power of being fully alive. Most of Mara's songs are in Finnish, but for a link I chose one in English. There's a deliberate lo-fi garage indie charm in their sound, and I like it. If their music was an image, you could tell for sure it has not been photoshopped, but this is the real thing. Just like us humans, we have all kind of random imperfections, but that is what we live with, and that is how we rock.

They made me dance, yes they did, and it was good. After the gig I sat down to talk with friends. And bought that LP.

Finally I drove back home. I was thinking how different music Mara and Astrid make - I like both ways, and they both feel like touching the same kind of essential qualities of art, yet they approach the core from almost opposite directions. Hehe, I was also thinking about how to write about these two musical events. I decided to have a separate blog post for each. Originally, I wanted to have each post reflect the nature of music the post is about. Like, what if the post about Astrid's album release would be poetic, with short eloquent paragraphs? Oh well. After the first couple of sentences I just dropper the whole idea of consciously adopting this or that style, and just went with the spontaneous flow of writing. Same with this one.

So, time to just post this without thinking too much =)

Mara Balls
Mara Balls
and her band
and her band
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