You may or may not know who Aulis Sallinen is, but he is one of the greatest Finnish contemporary classical music composers with six operas and eight symphonies, composed over a 50 year long career. Far from Finland, Ruut, one of his granddaughters has deviated from the family’s classical music tradition and embraced a style closer to the greatest American songwriters from the 60s and 70s like Carole King and Paul Simon. At a very early age, the songstress left Finland and travelled the world until moving to the States when she was 16. Nowadays she lives in Baltimore, from where she is resuming her musical career after motherhood, with a new album, called Glimpse. It is classic piano girl with sweet vocals delivering an elegant arrangement leaning on indie folk sounds.
Listen to Ruut’s new album title track below and read a short Q&A in which she remembers Finland from across the Atlantic.
What can you remember about your childhood in Finland?
There are so many beautiful memories I carry with me from growing up in Finland. I still miss the summers, swimming in the clear, green sea, picking wild blueberries and of course, the sauna.
My best memories are from the Finnish countryside where my grandmother’s house is. That still feels like home, and I’m trying to recreate it for my kids here in the States.
Do you follow any Finnish music?
I’ve been listening to Juno, especially the single he released featuring Janna. I love hearing Finnish rap! I think The Rasmus is a great band. There are also a lot of new artists I’m just getting to know.
What influences have you picked up from your family, which comes from a classical music background?
Growing up, my parents would rehearse at home constantly, so hearing live music was just a normal part of life. My parents instilled an appreciation for classical music in me, and listening to my grandfather’s music makes me realize I get a lot of my musicality from that heritage. But seriously, sometimes I have to check my passport, because American singer/songwriters from the 1960’s and 70’s have influenced me so much.