5 Jul 2009, 11:40
15 Ago 2008, 10:28It seems like ages I've been to watch a gig, so I'm thrilled that within a few weeks I'll be seeing some kick-ass live music action! I also was at this year's QStock. I was working there 12 hours on saturday in the vincinity of the Rockpolis stage, so I sort of caught a good bunch of bands, but couldn't really concentrate on them obviously. It was great to hear Dian's Sunshine Eventide, anyway! I also watched a bit of Punaisen kuningattaren periaate on my lunch break. I was a bit underwhelmed - I enjoyed it, but I felt this probably wasn't their best gig ever.
On friday I had no work, and I was free to enjoy some bands! 22-Pistepirkko, Äänijännite and Artificial Latvamäki were all great. 22-pp had some shaky spots in the gig, but some awesome moments as well. I was surprised they played Birdy. After that they were quietly negotiating what to play next. I think Espe commented this was the first time they stuck to the preplanned setlist - apparently they played it through and still had lots of time. :) Anyway, somebody from the audience shouted "Rat King!" and Asko said something like "hey... that's a brilliant idea! It fits so well after that!" And it did. It was great.
Other acts I saw, Rättö ja Lehtisalo and Sahara Hotnights didn't really do much for me. I didn't enjoy Ismo Alanko Teholla either, unfortunately, as I was quite looking forward to it. Adding to the disappointment was that I had left a perfectly fantastic Artificial Latvamäki gig early to make it to that one. Moral of the story: if you're already in the middle of a fantastic musical experience, why leave it in search of another one?
Anyways, upcoming gigs I'm psyched about:
Axes Denied at Jyrkkä \o/. It feels like it's been way too long I've seen them, and I've some insider information about tasty new pieces added to the set!
KTU at Tavastia. I really hope we can make it and the traveling etc doesn't turn out it would be too expensive for us. I've seen these guys three times and all the gigs easily rank in my top five live music experiences ever. Also, there's an upcoming solo show by Kimmo Pohjonen over at Haukipudas. Travelling should be easier! :)
Bajo Cero at Kuuska-Folk. My fiancee played me a track from their myspace site.. and it was like a piece I had wanted to hear all my life. That's all I can say.. I really can't wait for this one.
28 Sep 2007, 7:06Here are some of my initial thoughts about Voices of the Lifestream. This game music rearrangement/remix album totals 4 CDs worth of material, and the originals are from Final Fantasy 7.
I have given it a few listen-throughs as background music and a few pieces have caught my attention and got more focused listens. So it's got some gems. The album is also nicely segued, so a lot of transitions between the tracks have musical quality in themselves and add to the whole. And the overall quality is good. Often I feel many rearrangements are overproduced - I like more visceral takes. Comparing to - in my opinion - rather limp Chrono Symphonic, this collection sounds fresh.
I've only played FF7 a little so the music isn't particularly nostalgic for me, although Nobuo Uematsu (the original composer of much of Final Fantasy music through the series) is always a favourite. I do recall thinking that PS1 sounded worse than Super Nintendo when it came to Nobuo's music. So I guess from that point of view FF7 is great source material for reinterpretation.
I particularly like:
* djpretzel's and Vigilante's Short Skirts (Tifa's Theme) - mellow nujazz treatment of (apparently) a really tasty original melody. I've liked djpretzel's stuff before and really should listen to more of his tracks.
* Mustin - Serenity (Main Theme of FINAL FANTASY VII) - again a somewhat nu/acidjazzy track, with atmospheric pianos, tasty rhythm guitar licks and excellent development of the music through different moods and tensions/releases. I'm intrigued by the track partly because the original theme itself is a more tense variation of the "Prelude" theme of the whole series. A guitar figure towards the end reminiscent of Mansun's Legacy is also a plus.
* Shnabubula - Stone Eyes (The Great Warrior) and pot hocket's Daydreaming Again (Words Drowned by Fireworks) make up a rather pleasant segue: first an emotive solo piano track, then a peaceful acoustic guitar duo piece.
* JigginJonT - Hydrophone Breakdown (Secret of the Deep Sea). I'm not sure if I like the wailing on the cymbals here, but the track has good loud-peaceful dynamics and the source piece (again, apparently) has some really engaging chord changes. This is mainly an electric piano piece - seems there's a lot of piano in these tracks that I enjoy..
These links seem to break when posting, so I'll stick them here in the end.
http://ff7.ocremix.org - Voices of the Lifestream" href="http://www.lastfm.es/music/Various+Artists/http:%2F%2Fff7.ocremix.org+-+Voices+of+the+Lifestream" class="bbcode_album">http://ff7.ocremix.org - Voices of the Lifestream
http://chrono.ocremix.org" href="http://www.lastfm.es/music/Various+Artists/Chrono+Symphonic+-+http:%2F%2Fchrono.ocremix.org" class="bbcode_album">Chrono Symphonic - http://chrono.ocremix.org nofollow=yes
10 Abr 2007, 12:22Sisäfestari Läsnä Rock tapahtui lauantaina. Odotukset olivat viimevuotisen nappitapahtuman jälkeen korkealla, eivätkä ne pettyneetkään, huolimatta siitä että turhan paljon tuli jännättyä meidän omaa esiintymistämme. ;) Noh, sehän meni sitten loppujen lopuksi oikein hyvin. Päätimme esiintyä liki täysakustistisesti pientä basson ja laulun vahvistusta lukuunottamatta ja NUKU:n näyttelytila olikin mainio tila meille. Claudius sai toivottavasti uusiakin ystäviä - festarilla oli sikälikin kiva soittaa että uusia tuttavuuksia tuli odotetusti katsastamaan että mikäs se tämä tämmöinen on, ja hyvin näytti kelpaavan. Yay! Lisäksi julisteessa oli oikein hauskasti kuvattu bändiämme Läsnän "kaunismusiikkisimmaksi ja meluttomimmaksi".
No, tuli niitä muitakin bändjä onneksi nähtyä. Omaa rämpyttelyä ennen saatiin International Auto katseltua ja mainiohan se oli siitä huolimatta että loppua kohden soundi tuntui menevän pelkäksi säröpuuroksi, johon rummuniskut louhivat välillä lovia. Mutta kyllä bändillä on intensiteettiä ja tunnelmia, joiden vaihtuessa ainakin tämä kuulija löytää itsensä yllättävistä hengenmaisemista. Harmillisesti laulusta ei saanut tasan tarkkaan yhtään mitään selvää: kun julistuksessa ei oikeastaan ole melodiaa, ja sanoitukset ovat sellaisia että niitä kuuntelisi mielellään, on tämä sääli. Viulu on kyllä hieno rock-soitin. Parempi keikka kuin viime vuonna, joskin paras on edelleen NUKU:n isossa salissa jokunen vuosi sitten takaperin nähty veto, jossa soundi oli erinomaisen erotteleva näiden kahden mökäblastaamisen sijaan.
Fridge oli tarkoitus kuunnella, mutta oman soiton jälkeen oli tarpeen chillata soittajille tarjotun herkullisen hernesopan parissa, ja bändi tuli kuultua vain seinien läpi. Kyllä se niinkin ihan mukavalta kuulosti. Kuha. sen sijaan tuli nähtyä ihan kunnolla ja olihan se elämys, positiivinenkin. En ehkä ole heti levykauppaan juoksemassa, mutta kyllä intervallibiisi (ilmeisesti uusi tai levyttämätön? valaiskaa jos tiedätte) jäi mieleen yhtenä lauantain riemukkaimmista biiseistä. Ja täytyy tähän väliin todeta ison salin toimivan aivan loistavasti tällaisten vähän visuaalisempienkin bändien kanssa.
VUK sen sijaan kolahti aika lailla kympillä, tai vähintäänkin ysillä. "Tekotaiteellista jodlausta!" toteaa skeptinen kymmenprosenttinen mutta helvetti, jos osaa laulaa tuolla tavalla niin miksei laulaisi tuolla tavalla. Erinomaisia, koukeroisiakin biisejä, bändisovituksissa kolmen taustalaulajan kanssa oli ihailtavasti ilmavuutta ja hiljaisuutta.. hienoa, vaikka varmasti vielä tulee kehittymään. Levyä on tulossa, se pitää hankkia.
Cleaning Women valitettavasti jäi katsomatta loppuun - väsymys voitti ja bussi oli menossa. Pahus näitä nykyisiä tervehenkisiä nukkumaanmenoaikojani.. Sekin kyllä tuli todettua että festarit ovat myös sosiaalinen tapahtuma musikaalisen lisäksi ja pääsiäinen oli sopivasti vetänyt paljon kavereita ja tuttuja kotikonnuille Ouluun käymään. Buenoa.
5 Abr 2007, 11:20Näin kuukausi tapahtuneen jälkeen on hyvä kirjoitella edellisestä keikasta, eiks je. Ja hyvinhän tämä meidän Claudius siitä selvisi, niin mikäs on kirjoitellessa. Fiilis oli kohdallaan ja yleisö vastaanottavaista, soitimme ja lauloimme suurinpiirtein niin hyvin kuin osasimme ja settilista oli onnistunut. Kohtuukokoinen yleisö oli vissiin tullut kuuntelemaan eikä esimerkiksi tanssimaan ja vähän tuntui että sellaisia kuuntelubiisejä olisi voinut olla vaikka yksi enemmänkin, mutta reipas matsku toimi kyllä myös hyvin.
Suoraan miksauspöydästä otettu keikkatallenne kuulostaa soundiltaan hitusen hassulta, alussa kaikua on reippaasti (Sana soin delay-kikat ovat kyllä aika kewlejä) ja varsinkin cajonin soundi on jotenkin pyöreä ja tuhnu. Suoraan linjasta otetut akustiset kitarat onneksi kuulostavat hyvältä, eivätkä niin kuivilta kuin lavamonitoroinnissa. Meininki on narullakin aika lailla kohdillaan. Varsinkin rytmipuoli (Pirjo, Hannes ja Mikan kitarointi) kuulostaa mukavan tiukalta ja Mikan ekstemporisoimat kitarafillit ja muut sellaiset erottuvat kerrankin edukseen. Meno on sinänsä aika rauhallista, niin kuin lavafiiliksen perusteella saattoi odottaakin. Ehkäpä tästäkin voisi Jarkon kanssa väännellä jotakin julkaistavaa, Jarkon kanssahan tuo Elävältä Hanneksen kellarissa - Live 17.11.2006 tuli käsiteltyä, aika spontaanisti itse asiassa. Harmillisesti ensiesitetyn Musiikki on kuollut -biisin kohdalla minidisci vähän hypähteli.
Tuokku omassa journalissaan kertoo enemmän muista esiintyjistä, meidän pariskunta liukeni paikalta ytimekkään ja aika hyvän Skyfixin setin jälkeen eikä Kiwaria ja Saastetta tullut kuultua kuin soundcheckissä. Lupaaviltahan ne kuulostivat jo siinäkin,varsinkin Kiwarin viimeiseksi tsekkaama biisi oli mieleen varsinkin yhden rullaavan bassokuvion puolesta.
Seuraava keikka on ensi lauantaina 7.4. Läsnä-rockissa. Soittelemme NUKU:n galleriatiloissa puolen tunnin setin 17:55 alkaen. Puolen tunnin setti on tiedossa, mikä passaa oikein mainosti, ytimekkäitä settejä on hauska soittaa ja voi keskittyä parhaiten toimiviin biiseihin. Ja sitten kirkumaan Cleaning Womeninille!
4 Abr 2007, 7:49Another enjoyable Super Retro Party! This was the third in the series of evenings of classic videogames and live videogame music by Blanko, our proud student organization. The atmosphere was quite relaxed, Pong and Vectrex courtesy of LudoCraft were rather popular, but so were Duck Hunt, Super Mario Bros. and Metal Slug 3 on Mame (and X-Arcade double joystick, again courtesy of LudoCraft).
Axes Denied were responsible for the live music once again and did not disappoint. It was arguably not nearly as wild a gig as some AD events have been. I think the venue is/was a bit difficult for rock gigs as the tables were not cleared out of the way and the audience was sitting down. There were moments of sloppiness which destroyed at least one piece (Magical Sound Shower), while others survived (Ocean Loader and Turrican, which was great despite the mistakes). Lots of the repertoire sounded as fresh as ever and I found myself really enjoying the Star Control 2 medley, which I thought I had heard to death, and Gianna Sisters which generally hasn't been my favourite. Encores, two classic platformer pieces, SMB and Bubble Bobble had great energy, SMB was really funky (the best yet I think!) and we even had some special bubble effects for BB. ;)
There were three pieces/arrangements in the set which I hadn't heard before: Duke Nukem 3D, Monkey Island and the full band version of Epyx Theme. All of these were really good (the band claimed afterwards there was serious blundering in Monkey Island, which nobody but them noticed), but I was most blown away with the Epyx theme reworking. A lot of effort was put into a brilliant arrangement for a rather simple two-part melody, and the result was incredible. I have to also compliment the visuals playing on the video screen, which added a lot of nostalgic atmosphere to this piece especially. There were a lot of nice touches, such as the flag in the end of SMB; instead of the regular red star that's risen on the top of the castle roof when Mario finishes a level, now was spelled "AD". It's those little things..
21 Feb 2007, 22:09This was the third and final gig of the short Finnish tour from KTU, which includes Pat Mastelotto and Trey Gunn, my favourite King Crimson rhythm section (also known as the duo TU) and Kimmo Pohjonen and Samuli Kosminen (who form the duo Kluster in their own right), although Samuli is inactive until summer.
I dubbed the KTU gig of Tavastia the best gig I'd ever been to. Was this gig good? Yes it was good, good, good!
Setlist was the same as the previous nights. The boombastic opener began it's buildup through blue lights and smoke. When it locked on an ethereal groove I experienced a few minutes of the best music that's ever come across me. I was shaking and moved not far from tears - sorry for being corny! Seriously, this one is a powerful piece of music.
As the tune shifted gears into a more earthly groove, however, I must say that this time the transition didn't have the kick that it had in Tavastia. The first three tunes had their share of flaky moments: equipment not working, players out of synch, and other sort of fumbles. When it was good, it was really good. When it was flaky, it was rather flaky.
Sometimes both happened: during Absinthe Trey's gear botched his solo: for the first bars all he could get out of the upper register of his Warr guitar was a screeching sound and it sounded the same regardless of what notes he played on the fretboard. I thought it sounded pretty good, although it didn't seem intentional! Trey looked at Pat and Kimmo, they went "oh well" and Kimmo took the reins, going absolutely apeshit with his solo. Wonderful recovery, I'd say!
Animus next didn't start all that smoothly either, but somewhere along the way the music came together and it was complete bliss once again. From here on the gig was consistently good. While the playing wasn't always 100% accurate, the mistakes started turning into happy accidents: There was a bit of silence in the middle of Optikus after a buildup, which I think was supposed to be followed by the main percussion loop starting up again, but Pat only struck the pad after a bar or two of silence/applause - this was fun and good. The players started to communicate more and have more fun.. this gig was perhaps a bit more relaxed than Tavastia, actually a bit more wild!
The circular-saw lines by Trey in the intro to "30th Century Agent Film Theme" or "Matka" were as powerful in Lutakko as they were in Tavastia. Next piece, the doubletapped merry-go-round theme seemed to me really different from Tavastia! I thought the guys were really jamming there a bit. Especially Kimmo I recall shined on this one. Personally the naked doubletapped line which began the piece sounds a little anachronisticly Typical 80's Stick Line when played alone, but some really really great music emerges in this piece! And it's pleasantly different from the other material.
Next piece ("Vienna") was began with a heavy STAB "interlude" and the construction of the rhythmic loop, along with evocative accordion lines from Kimmo (for a while I thought they'd changed the set list and would play the beautiful encore piece here). This was a lovely transition. I seem to recall in Tavastia the transition was different, with Trey playing soundscapey looping, nearly solo - or maybe it was in some other part of the set, anyhow it didn't occur in Lutakko. The piece it self was one of the high points of the evening. Beautiful, beautiful.
Voima this time held together, altough the later half still isn't one of my favourites. :) The sound was a notch too loud, I managed without earplugs but it was slightly uncomfortable during one or two pieces.
Before the first improv Pat had to do a bit of stand-up comedy because "Kimmo needed to hydrate because of consuming so much alcohol". Then they went on to perform the beatiful piece, which I'm happy was indeed a solid new piece (or who knows, became such). It was really unashamedly beautiful and melodic, and a great contrast to some of the darker more muscular pieces.
Unbelievable Untamed Chicken followed. It was played with a crazy energy (great red and white lights too!) and really relaxed: there was a lot of communication between the three where to go with the riffing and in the STABSTABSTABbing section Pat was again suggesting numbers to the other guys, which was funny in itself but when he struck the chicken samples into the mix it was hilarious - a thought/image struck my head: the man was selling chickens! There was a lot of laughter from the audience too in this bit, which was really, really wonderful. I love this side of the band which has really come up during this tour!
Roaring, roaring applause and good vibes. They did indeed come back for a second encore and Kimmo this time announced that Trey wanted to do a little speech. As you probably can guess this was Kimmo being mischievious again. He said that we should really be quiet now, since Trey didn't have a microphone and his voice was "really soft and feminine".. Well, Trey was up to the challenge, didn't blink and decided he would speak into Kimmo's microphone (which is one of those types that you wear on your head a'la Britney Spears), so things got a little intimate.. in fact I can't remember what Trey did announce in his soft voice while staring into Kimmo's eyes!
I was rather hyped for the evening and it wasn't for nought! People I stayed with have noticed it also and Valquis even let himself be persuaded to join me and Sanxion to the gig, although he at least so far hasn't been into this kind of music. We watched Absinthe and Optikus from Youtube and he thought that the music had an intresting atmosphere and had potential.. He rather enjoyed it and thought Mastelotto was The Man, and that Kimmo was quite crazy, jumping up and down and not deciding whether to sit or stand..
Hope to see these guys reasonably soon again. This tour was a real boon.
First posted at http://www.projekction.net
21 Feb 2007, 15:21Oh boy, what a gig. This was the best live gig I've ever been to.
If you miss this band it's going to be the best show you've ever missed.
All these guys are monsters. Not the evil kind. Mastelotto especially was very sympathetic, with his little waves hello and thank yous to individual audience members during bows. Also his long announcement before the final encore was very nice and funny, as he explained why Samuli (who was present at the gig) is not playing this tour ((paraphrasing) "he has his solo career.. he'll be back when it flops" (joking of course)).
Pat asked how many were at KTU's first gig in Nosturi in 2004 and there was a good handful. He went on to say how every gig is a first gig for KTU as it's so hard and expensive to find time together to rehearse and there are such long intervals between gigs etc.. among other things. The man has a lovely speaking voice.
Pat also said to the effect this Finnish tour is a warm-up tour for the States and commented that the music was a little rough around the edges - ok, whatever.. ;) Well, Pat had visible difficulties (although the music didn't really suffer) to do Samuli's part in Kohtu, the last piece but these are really good players and the new music is so exciting to hear (and probably play) for the first time who could complain.
I'm happy the attendance seemed to be pretty good, the main area was pretty packed. We were pretty close to the stage with my girlfriend and a friend of hers. Sound was excellent and the volume was just right - no need for earplugs but satisfyingly loud. Lot's of dynamics as you'd except from this band. Trey Gunn's bass sound was huge and you could feel it as much as hear it. Kimmo Pohjonen was perhaps a little overpowered by TU but still no problems hearing him. Anyway, thanks to their soundman!
Good insight from Pirjo (my girlfriend) was how absence of Samuli affected the band. Samuli's playing and presence adds a certain lightness and "air" to the music. This time it was closer to "gothic jazz" mentioned on the myspace site. Denser and darker.
Not that this was a funless, somber band - quite the contrary! It seemed to me there was a lot of fun, even a dose of silliness in the music and interplay between the musicians. Their communication, smiles nods and a little laughter was really great to watch. A lot of times I had to laugh out loud.
Another good insight from Pirjo's friend was that this was a band you didn't need to know well beforehand to enjoy live. (She's heard some 8 Armed Monkey though). Many rock bands are not super-enjoyable if you don't know the songs. I felt that almost the contrary was true for this gig: I enjoyed hearing new music the most, which is not to say I didn't enjoy pieces I knew! And there was a good bit of new and different arrangements in those too (obviously since they lacked a player).
And yet another good insight from her was that the gig was a cleansing experience - this we all agreed on. I had dared to hope it would be and I'm really happy now - from this experiece I can draw strength and power for the rest of the year. Oh boy, what music can do. Last couple of days I had felt sort of dull (although not unhappy) and wondered if I had seemed unsocial - so it was also really wonderful to share thoughts and feelings with Pirjo and our friend after this gig. I felt like I kind of could open up.
I had planned to see the guys two nights later in Jyväskylä with a friend of mine, and we were seriously contemplating with Pirjo if we should change our plans and see them in Tampere too.
Ok, that's everything worthwhile I had to say. Now the setlist as I remember it and some probably worthless track-by-track fanboi/fetishist ramblings:
"Boom2" (New song, prog epic)
"Matka" (New song, a 30th century agent film theme)
"Clown" (New song, centered around a doubletapped figure by Trey)
"Vienna" (New song, slavic melody meets portishead)
"Boom1" (New song, calm and wonderful accordion melody)
I really loved the first piece - it began with an atmospheric build-up which in itself was such a huge sound.. I recall the track was slightly Sumu-like and I was hoping when it would build-up there would be a heavy riff breakout.. and what do you know, there was! This I appreciated, as especially on 8AM KTU's pieces seem to consist of a single "mood" or even part which is built upon. I think the new tracks have more chord changes an' stuff, well that's how far my musospeak goes and don't know if that made sense.
The piece had in the beginning some Kimmo's patented vocals, which this time resembled an orc gurgling. I admire this man's ability to go onstage and sing without lyrics, often making weird sounds and making it work.
There were really good atmospheric and otherwise transitions between the pieces. Pat played small cymbals slowly for a while between the first piece and Absinthe and then struck the vocal/wail/singing sample which begun Absinthe. There was no applause in between and at least I felt it was appropriate - it didn't mean we hadn't liked the first one, quite the contrary! There was just no need to break the music/silence.
One of the high points was Trey's playing the main bass part on Absinthe. He did incredibly good and rhythmic, leaving little stops and pauses which popped beautifully. Magnificent.
Animus was very good, I think better than in Tampere, somehow more confident. I think there was a soundscapey intro and outro, with Trey at least looping his own playing. Optikus was next and, while sounding a little sparse without Samuli, was still great. I think Trey had changed his tapping part after The Best Bassline In The World, which was exciting to hear. Also I think the middle break was different, with Pat doing a tom-tom solo-ish thing. (On top of his snare Pat had a pair of bongos instead of the usual tomtoms, which was one of the many fun things of the gig).
Next up was three new tracks if I recall correctly. First one was fun tune where Kimmo and Trey shared a descending, syncopated line a little like in Voima, except that this was a bass part. There were also some heavy distorted bass riffing if memory serves. An' stuff. I dubbed it a 30th Century Agent Film Theme (a'la The Saint more than Bond though).
Next one was built upon a double tapped touch guitar line, which was pretty archetypal as far as those lines go. Trey was tapping it, trying to find a proper tempo and "discussing" it with Kimmo and Pat, all the while tapping the line, which prompted Kimmo to introduce him, "mister Trey Gunn" to an applause. Pat and Kimmo joined in and there was one bass line which I think was in a major key.. This felt like music I would describe as "good natured", suitable for a children's playground. A gothic jazz children's playground.
Final new piece of the main set begun with a rhythm loop being constructed (I think), then a beautiful slavic accordion melody came in. Pat threw in a really nice snare beat (which reminded me of Portishead) later after playing the rhythm on a shaker. I think this piece ended with a little looping from Trey as well.
The main set was finished with Voima, which was received really well. This track didn't hold together as well as the rest of the set, for me at least. I really like the first half of Voima but when the loud cacophonic stuff starts (with Trey's solo and all) I usually lose it. Oh well, can't love it all!
The first encore was a beautiful, sweet accordion melody with aetheric accompaniement from Trey on the upper register of his Warr guitar and some shakerscaping from Pat. I thought it might have been a really good improv (but I was happy to hear it again in Lutakko), as it was followed with Untamed Chicken. I love this fun romping beast. More fun towards the end where the heavy single "stabs" occur Pat was saying the number of stabs out like "five-five-five!" STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP STOMP THP-THP-THP-THP-THP STAB-STAB-STAB-STAB-STAB "umm.. four..three?-five" STOMP STOMP STOMP etc. Hard to describe but hope you get the idea!
The second encore was Kohtu, unfortunately I've run out of things to say except to refrain: go see this band if you can. No excuses. We are poor students and we travelled hundreds of miles. ;) If you dig the dangerous live spirit of King Crimson for instance, this band is more than worth checking out.
First posted at http://www.projekction.net
21 Feb 2007, 13:59Yesterday's gig with Claudius was a bit difficult, but ultimately it went alright.
The "stage" was a bit cramped for us, a piece of floor at the other end of the first floor of Teekkaritalo. We had no monitoring, just an otherwise sufficient small PA, and had to orient ourselves so we couldn't all see each other.
If we were an electric outfit with amps, this wouldn't have been such a problem, amps could have provided enough monitoring. But we play acoustic and there was a lot of background noise from the partying. It was really, really hard to hear each other.
We played a couple of gigs last year where we could orient ourselves in a half-circle. I fondly recalled that configuration as we performed. That's the way to go if possible. It's also nice it's rather "democratic" visually. Now I probably blocked the view to the back row standing in front of them.
I think we did an hounourable job in any case and the atmosphere of the party felt rather warm and good! We really played as background music rather more than "held a concert" to active listening, although there were a few who did really seem to listen and a sufficient level of noises of appreciation between the songs to satisfy this performer. Thanks!
The gig felt better than last year's gig in the same circumstances - somehow the atmosphere of the party seemed to be better and warmer, and we certainly were better this time. Last year was sort of an experiementation with acoustic gigging at least in my view. We switched to being an (electro)acoustic band full-time last autumn, so it's no surprise after six months we play better as such.
Also I must admit last time around I expected more of that "attentive listening" stuff from the audience, when the event wasn't going to be like that. I got really unsure if we were playing any good, although towards the end of the gig where we played some covers we started to get a bit more noise from the crowd and to my surprise I recall we had to play an encore, even. (Or is my memory distorted..)
- we do require either monitoring or enough room to form a half-circle so that we can see and/or hear each other to be able to play comfortably.
- having realistic expectations as a performer towards the performing circumstances and the nature of the event helps a lot :)
Regarding the first point, I already feel worried about the stage of 45 Special - BlankStock awaits! There won't be much room, but then again, monitoring should be quite good so maybe I worry for nothing.
As for the material we played, mostly our own stuff, two Kauko Röyhkä pieces and 20th Century Boy. Especially Paska Kaupunki worked well as a closing number. Listening to Mika's rhythm guitar playing was fun, it had a nice percussive quality to it. 20th Century Boy on the other hand I felt I didn't play or sing very well, not very tight at all! But then I guess it was pretty well received by the crowd, Lauri played mad demon harp and Pirjo's bass descending the lowest string during the outro roared satisfyingly. The tender Elonkajo was admittedly completely destroyed by our unability to hear each other - we were not quite on the same track especially during first and last verses!
Our percussionist Hannes usually checks the tempo with a metronome before playing but this time didn't have it with him so we had excitements on that front too. Most of it was of course as fine as usual. Our hit instrumental Ei? felt awfully sluggish though - this was probably the first time I had trouble enjoying it! I was relieved that it did get good reaction in the end from the audience regardless. Laumalogiaa also was slower than usual, but this time it worked great. It felt like discovering a new gem within an old vein. Really calm and beautiful, incredible slow forward motion throughout. I wonder if the slower tempo would work again, or if it was just a one-time thing. I do want to try it out once more!
PS. There was a great song, which sounded a little like Tori Amos, playing on the house PA as we dismantled - I checked who it was but can't remember anything except that the name began with an "A". Damn!
PPS. Thanks for the hot chocolate!
7 Dic 2006, 18:40Sometimes the music you're listening to really fits into your situation. It becomes impossible to separate the music from how you are feeling. A "soundtrack moment" - this is your life and this is how it sounds.
I've had a few musical epiphanies. Some recent that I can recall: this summer, a sunny day, trying out the new cheap portable CD player, old bicycle, just setting out to town and Dark Side of the Moon in the player, the intro and first bars of Breathe uncannily crystallizing the moment like a soundtrack to life. Or feeling particularly worn out by all the remorselessnes of being a teenager, putting on Six and it's somehow all there, all those layers of processed electric guitar is exactly how I feel.
Today the stress of the day, the busy corridors of the university, sitting down with my laptop, working was perfectly accompanied Paintings #1 For Antoni Gaudí. The clouds above my head were if not dispersed, then shown to me for what they were and I could see them as they were. It helped. The fellow behind Avangstgarden is a close friend and it sure is weird having someone you know producing not only your favourite music right now, but also the most appropriate music for your life right now! Palacio Episcopal is music at it's most meaningful here and now.