welcome guest
login or register

Lost in Music

Thursday night when I went to sleep, some random thoughts ran through my mind. And some of that stuff was so fun that they made me laugh aloud. A moment before I fell asleep I thought that I'm getting along with my solitary semi-hermit life. I often find myself laughing and dancing all by myself, most of the time solitude doesn't feel like lack of company, but more like full presence of life, my life. And Friday it was a peaceful sunny day, I had planned to go visit the city of Tampere to see my friends and to listen to some music. Once again, I was pondering should I stay or should I go; I was thinking of all the nice things I could do at home if I just stay here. Going fishing, picking mushroom, working with the horses etc. But I decided to go, not to escape my solitude, not to fill a hollow place in my soul, but just to enjoy things which I don't have at home.

I arrived at Tampere at about 9pm, and sure it was an another world. Walking on the streets there were a lot of people who had already started to party for the weekend. Compared to my ordinary quiet life it was funny just to get to hear random sentences of discussions of unknown people passing by. This weekend it was Lost in Music -festival at Tampere, according to their web-page "The festival showcases a multitude of hot up-and-coming pop, rock, indie and metal bands as well as hip hop and world music artists and some experimental acts.", that together with some already established names. From their plentiful program I had picked one concert for Friday night. It was Cats of Transnistria and Manna, both playing at a same venue. They both work for the record label Soliti, which I discovered when I started to listen to Astrid Swan. And I've been so glad about it, I'm too lazy to follow music blogs or magazines, so just following Soliti has been enough for me to discover new bands I like. Well, the concert was solid gold, I enjoyed every minute of it. I'll return to that in more detail.

After the concert I wandered the streets of Tampere, listening to even more of people getting drunken. I briefly paused to dance to the music played my a street musician. And when i got to the more quiet part of the city, I spent an unhurried while watching an art exhibition which was installed on the big windows of a workshop by the street. The exhibition consisted of pictures and stories of the world and then of special places, as experienced by the participants. And somehow I found that very touching and enjoyable. None of the participants were professional artists, just common people expressing their personal experience of life - and as as watcher I'm just an ordinary person, so I found it easy to relate to the art of other ordinary people. For the night I crashed at my friends' place.

Saturday morning it was lightened with friendship. Strong good coffee, tasty breakfast, dear friends, freely flowing good discussion, a playful dog - once again I realized how this kind of small ordinary things are a balsam for my wounded soul. I remember some of my earlier posts where I described an overwhelming fear of talking aloud - something which I learned as a kid, for so many times I saw that if I say what I think or what I feel, it will lead to my family members getting mad at me. Solitude is good for letting that kind of deeply seated fear to fade away, but sometimes healthy dose of warm social interaction helps, too =)

My trip to Tampere had been so good, and I was unsure if I should stay for another night. There were more good bands, but what if I'm too tired to actually enjoy the music? I've already had such a rich and deep experience both with the music and with my friends, so I could just be happy with that and take the 4pm train back home. Well, still thinking about this I went to see some other of my friends. And slowly I made my mind and decided to stay. I had brought some home-grown mutton with me. My friend had been working for a row of night-shifts as a nurse in a hospital, so I let her rest and cooked a meal for us. All of sudden, my previous uncertainty had turned into a joyous evening meal in the beautiful home of my wonderful friends, a creative and intelligent lady and a seasoned sailorman with a friendly smile and a glad spark in his eyes. They like to decorate their home with self-made stuff, there is this lively atmosphere which is a mixture of care-taking and relaxed bohemian lifestyle. So even tough I have no problems laughing all alone in the solitude of my home, I certainly do enjoy good company!

For Saturday night I went to another venue which had three bands for the night. I picked a place near the corner of the bar, at table with a small group of people I didn't know. The first band was Maarja Nuut, an Estonian woman playing and singing based on the old Estonian folk tradition. I found her solo performance energetic and inspiring. While waiting for the next band to start, the strangers at the table started talking with each other, and I found myself taking part in the discussion. Which is not typical for me, I don't go to a bar to make contact with other people, and I usually just drift into my own autistic state of mind, listening to the music and ignoring the crowd. But there I was, having a nice and a meaningful discussion with unknown people. Obviously, something has happened since those times when I was too afraid to speak even in the company of my closest friends =)

The next band was also from Estonia, Odd Hugo. More crowd had poured into the bar, the atmosphere grew more intense. Finally it was time for the last band, Color Dolor. I found myself dancing in the corner of the bar, together with some of my unknown company. I'm glad that I stayed for another night, as at this point I was happily lost in the music =)

I returned back home at Sunday. It was a sunny day, I went walking in the forest looking for mushroom. Usually at this time of the year there are plenty of Cantharellus tubaeformis, but now I had to check all of the good spots and I could only gather a small amount enough for a single meal. Maybe it is because this autumn has been far less rainy than usual. The world and life appeared shiny and beautiful, it was so nice to be back at the peace and solitude of my home. And, somehow, the whole trip to Tampere was such a crazy funny rich experience, that I felt hard to write anything about it. There would be plenty of themes to focus on, a lot of thoughts to discuss in more detail. But failing to do that, I once again chose this diary-like format, just writing down some of the things in a chronological order. But, as promised, let's still go back to the Friday night concert.

When Manna came to the stage, she said that usually they've been performing with a full band, but lately she had been interested in keeping it simple and focusing on the bare essentials. Which is one of the themes I find attractive. So, it was a talented guitarist Mikko Joensuu playing and Manna singing. The duo seemed to have a connection like telepathy - again one of the themes I enjoy in live performances. And, half way down their set list, Manna said that they've been pondering for the whole day if they should play the next piece or not - and it was exact that moment, standing on the stage when she made the decision and took the risk to sing that piece. And, as you might already guess, that is yet another theme I find touching and attractive. Those precious moments when you step over a fear or uncertainty, when instead of hiding you make your inner world visible, express yourself to the world and the others. And playing on a smallish venue, all the audience concentrated on listening, the atmosphere was thick and rich.

Well, and the first band of the evening was another duo called Cats of Transnistria, Tuomas Alatalo and Henna Hietamäki. They are good old friends and bandmates from other groups. And they've said that jamming and improvising together they accidentally found a style and a genre of their own, something unique which they wanted to develop further. And indeed, their music is ambient deep dreamlike poetry of sound. I don't know if there is a label or a name for such a genre, and in their music it really doesn't matter. I find it extremely refreshing that they are creating music of their own liking, taking the risk if the audience will understand or not. And for me, this really works. It is like they are exploring the dream-like layers of subconscious mind, bringing up areas of experience which would be rather hard to describe with words. And indeed, at a times Henna's voice goes way beyond words - you know that there are lyrics to it, but you find yourself carried away into the realm of ambient forest of sound, where Tuomas plays the roots and the trees, Henna adds the wind and shades of colours. Thinking of it, I've had a tendency to approach music either by listening to lyrics, or just dancing to the beat. But here we don't have that much of those aspects, but instead something else, like a beginning of a path, the first steps of an adventure and I certainly do want to see where the path takes. This is a band whose journey I'm going to follow =)

Cats of Transnistria
Cats of Transnistria
A hipster with a beard? Nope. Just a mountain man visiting citylife =)
A hipster with a beard? Nope. Just a mountain man visiting citylife =)
Manna and Mikko Joensuu
Manna and Mikko Joensuu
394 users have voted.


Thanks for recommending Cats of Transnistria, I listened to a few of their songs on Youtube and they sound really good!

Although now my recommended videos list is full of basically irrelevant East European stuff...

Ooh, I'm glad to hear that you liked it! I understand that their music isn't quite the stuff everybody loves right away - but for those who might like this kind of stuff, Cats of Transnistria is a great band to find. Groups like these don't get big promotion, you propably won't hear them on major radio stations. So, all in all, I'm happy to hear that someone else also enjoys discovering their music.

I remember they said that they picked the name for the band before crisis in Ukraine escalated and made the headlines. So, back at those times, Transnistria was just a cool name for an ambiguous area. And ambiguity fits their music, plus that "trans" carries a lot more or less vague associations to different directions - so even better. Hehe, I also realized that after drinking two glasses of red wine, it became increasingly difficult to pronounce their name =)

EDIT: I don't know that much about the technical side of modern instruments, but I understand that they use different kinds of guitar effects, loops and echo to create a multilayered texture of sound. It was very charming to witness how the dreamlike atmosphere was summoned in the live performance.


Add new comment

Please reply with a single word.
Fill in the blank.