(A colourful and brisk Karelian dance)

1. Vot i kaalina

This is a story about friendship. As one becomes an adult one is busy with work, getting married, having children and sometimes you don`t have enough time to meet your friends. But if the friendship is strong enough it will overcome any obstacles.

In this tune I wanted to experiment with how to combine modern drum loops with a traditional sounding melody and lyrics.

2.Rapakatrilli/Slush Quadrille

This tune was originally composed for a dance choreography. The idea of the choreography was a chase. I found it first quite difficult to depict that feeling but when I got the melody flowing, it was basically “born by itself” (a Finnish saying). This tune is one of my favourites.

3. Orvokin valssikatrilli/Waltz Quadrille for Orvokki

This tune is dedicated for my mother, Orvokki. She is the best mother one could hope for.

4. Kirkonkellot - Lemmen katrilli/Church-bells - Love Quadrille (Lempi is a Finnish word meaning love or passion)

“Church-bells” playing is a traditional Karelian style of playing kantele (the Finnish national instrument, a bit like a harp). Centuries ago, when people were living in the middle of the forests in small villages the most powerful human-produced sound that they experienced was the sound of church-bells. The “church-bells” tradition was born out of this and in this tune, I have applied this tradition to the accordion.

The Christian faith and the older beliefs of nature worship/shamanism lived side by side for centuries.

After church-bells playing comes a quadrille in which I try to describe youthful love. Sometimes it can be slippery!

5. Tuuli taivutti - Lanssi/Bended by the wind - Lanssi

This is also a combination of two different tunes. ‘Tuuli taivutti’ (Bended by the wind) is a story about a reckless young girl. Lanssi is a typical tune according to the Karelian accordion-playing tradition.

6. Liianmies (A name of an island)

Liianmies is a small island owned by my family. It`s a very dear place for me because I have spent all of my childhood summers there. For me, it`s perhaps the most beautiful place on earth.

7. Kadonneet kirkonkellot/The Lost Church-bells

This tune was inspirited by an old story told in my home village. According to the story, an old monk used to live as a hermit in a little chapel on a top of a small hill called Church Hill. When the Russian invaders arrived and burned all the houses of the village, the monk managed to take the silver church-bells from the chapel and sink them into the deeps of the lake before escaping. He never returned and nobody knows what happened to him since. But if one goes to the shore of the lake at midnight on a Midsummers Eve one can hear the church-bells ringing from the bottom of the lake.

8. Vipukatrilli/Lever Quadrille

This tune is also composed for a dance choreography. This choreography contains two villages competing with one another (playfully). In the end the people of the village shake hands and everything is fine.

9. Kaalina timojaa

This is once more a tune about the life of a young girl. She is pretty and likes to dance but life isn`t always easy, even when you are young and pretty.

10. Katrilli Kintaan kylästä/Quadrille from Kintaa village

This is my own composition even though it has the same name as another, traditional tune. I have always loved this traditional tune and I wanted to create my own image of its theme. Although it´s a long way from Northern Karelia to New Delhi I felt that the Hindustani colours became a natural part of the tune.

11. Delhi.katrilli/Delhi.Qudrille

In this tune I wanted to combine traditional Karelian quadrille playing, traditional Hindustani singing and modern drum loops.

12. K.K.K. remix

This is a remix of the Quadrille from Kintaa village.

MALANJA (Karelian name of a girl)

1. Jo mie viikon/A Long Time…

This tune is partly traditional from Eastern Karelia and partly my own composition. I loved the traditional melody but as it was quite short, I wanted to add to its length. The story is about a girl waiting for her groom to arrive. She keeps singing to make the time pass quicker.

In this tune I wanted to combine the Bulgarian kaval and the Carnatic violin tradition with a traditional Karelian mood. To combine different elements of different musical cultures comes naturally to me because I truly feel that the ethnic/traditional music of different parts of the world have something in common. I believe there`s something universal and very human in traditional music that profoundly touches people.

2. Touko/Spring

In Finland, we have four very different seasons during the year. Spring is a joyful season after a long, dark winter. As a child I loved to play in the streams as the snow melted. Even though the sun is shining and the evenings are light, it`s still quite cold and the landscape is wet and devoid of colours. However, one can already see “the cats of the willow” (buds) growing and so summer will eventually come and that makes me very happy. In this tune I try to picture this feeling.

3. Etelämyrsky/Southern storm

In this tune one can sense the last warm breath of autumn. This is a gentle storm coming from the south. The leaves have already fallen but the snow has yet to come. I have recorded the sounds of nature on the island of Liianmies which is a small island owned by my family and the place where I have spent all my childhood summers. Liianmies is where I get my strength from.

4. Malanja

This is a sad story about a girl who is lost. Luckily, there`s a happy ending and she eventually finds her family and her groom. This is my own composition but it has very strong traditional Karelian undertones. This is one of my favourites among the vocal tunes that I have written.

5. Kaisan katrilli/Kaisa`s Quadrille

This tune is composed for a dance choreography. The dance is about girls and boys playfully courting each other. In this tune, the Irish low whistle creates a pleasing combination with the accordion.

6. Tanssi poika/Dance, oh Boy

This is also a combination of a traditional and my own tune. The traditional part is from Eastern Karelia. This was a total hit at festivals in Germany…Vibraphone, percussions and Peter`s wonderful drone guitar create an exiting mix in this tune, arranged by guitarist Tuomas Logrèn (a childhood friend from Rääkkylä and a member of the original line-up of Värttinä). In this track I sing with my little sister, Hannamari, who is the main vocalist on this tune.

7. Kirkonkellot II/Church-bells II

This tune is recorded by me in our own kitchen! I`m fascinated by the old Karelian tradition of church-bell playing. I think that this theme will follow me all my life.

8. Amerikan katrilli/American Quadrille

In this tune the dobro and the accordion mesh very well together. The result is aptly named the American Quadrille. This is an easy-going, relaxed and a beautiful tune.

9. Yön tyttö/Maiden of the Night

The second sad story of the album is about a girl whose groom has left her. In the story the girl finally understands that the end of one period of time is at the same time the beginning of another one. And even though she is momentarily very sad, there´s something new and maybe better waiting for her. This tune is composed together with my little sister Hannamari with whom I have played and sung since she was a very small child.

10. Tulikatrilli/Fire Quadrille

Fire is a powerful, primitive and destructive force, yet also gentle, even playful. In this tune I try to describe this. Last summer I had an opportunity to experiment with a completely new instrument called the deltar. It is a harp-like instrument invented by the Iraqi-born acoustics professor Ali, currently based in London. I`m very exited about this instrument and I think that it suits this tune very well. Fire Quadrille is the recording debut of this instrument.

As the deltar ends this tune I can hear influences of the koto-playing I studied at the Geidai University in Tokyo.

11. Aallot/Waves

After fire comes water. In my mind, the water around the island of Liianmies. It is summer and the waves of the lake are gentle, the water smooth and warm (“the milk of the bird”). The only sounds one can hear are the birds singing and the leaves of the trees rustling in the gentle wind: it`s the most perfect of days. The sounds of nature were recorded on a similar summer day as the one I just described, on the island of Liianmies.

Music samples

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Jo mie viikon (3.34 Mt) download mp3
Malanja (2.54 Mt) download mp3
Tanssi poika (3.66 Mt) download mp3
Touko (1.95 Mt) download mp3


Kaalina timojaa (2.53 Mt) download mp3
Orvokin valssikatrilli (2.17 Mt) download mp3
Rapakatrilli (1.95 Mt) download mp3
Vot i kaalina (3.43 Mt) download mp3