Monthly Archives: August 2013

Ruut – Glimpse

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.

Noah Kin – You Never Asked

Ahead of his show at Flow Festival today, you can check out below the new video by Noah Kin. The young Finnish-Nigerian rapper/producer from Helsinki might only be 19-year old, but he was already released two albums and is working on a third one set for an autumn release. Kin is one of the rising stars in the increasingly busy Finnish rap scene.

Flow Festival 2013 – Top picks

In ten years, Flow Festival has grown from a small alternative festival presenting a handful of bands to the largest city festival in Finland with more than 60 000 visitors over four days. Once a year, Flow is the place to be for any indie-oriented, hipster-looking music fan.

The magnification of the festival means that it also became mainstream. Big names, like Alicia Keys, Kraftwerk, Kendrick Lamar, My Bloody Valentine and Nick Cave, are the ones that justify the 150 euro tickets (180, if you want to see the opening show), while less known local bands are relegated to small stages or the early hours the afternoon. Finnish music is represented by established indie bands, (Rubik, Husky Rescue, Satellite Stories) rap/hip hop artists (Ricky-Tick Big Band & Julkinen Sana) and successful songwriters in Finnish (Samae Koskinen, Minä Ja Ville Ahonen). Alternative bands or newcomers offerings are harder to find or reduce to niche genres like jazz or dj sets.

Nevertheless, the line up is so diverse and varied that is not difficult to find a good show at any time. Here are some suggestions in no particular order.

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