First of all, thanks to everyone who's been reading and commenting on this blog already! It's been a surprise to get so much positive feedback, so thank you! I hope you've all had a lovely Easter holiday!
My April (also Easter) has been full of ENKEL! ENKEL is my trad girl power band. We played the first notes as a band in the summer of 2014 but we got the idea a year earlier. We were on a study trip with a big group and all the flights were delayed. We four ended up having coffee and playing music at the airport since there was nothing else to do in that chaos. Someone said that our relaxed traveling attitude would make the best touring band in the world and we took that as a goal from the very start. The repertoire of ENKEL is based on traditional Finnish melodies and songs and our own compositions in that style. We have wanted to really find interesting traditional material and therefore we have limited the amount of our own compositions a bit - otherwise we might get too productive on that area. :) We also wanted to be easily portable so we decided everyone can only play one instrument and it has to be small. So no harmonium or big 38-string kantele in this band!
In ENKEL I get to work with Miia Palomaki, Maija Pokela and Iida Savolainen. Miia plays the same kind of melodeon as I do and we've played together ever since we started in 1996. We come from the same small village and as you can count, this year we've played together for 23 years. Crazy, ha? In other occasions Miia plays also fiddle and she has the best surprising jokes rising up when you are least prepared. Maija plays 15-string kantele. She's amazing in remembering chords and arrangements and always keeping the mood up and shining! On viola we have Iida with whom I started the folk music studies the same year. Iida is crazy creative and can come up with everything from amazing fluffy outfits to beautiful posters and rich viola voices and singing harmonies. We all compose, bring material to the band and do all kinds of administrational stuff.
It sounds kind of impressive that in freelancer life you get to concentrate on one band for a month, doesn't it? Well, impressive it was. We got to do so many different things, in one month only. We played a couple of gigs, a school concert, accompanied two folk dance groups performing, made new music, had several video meetings about music video, sent and received thousands of Whatsapp-messages, made the music video and after all, had a wellness and spa day together as a band!
In Finland there are lots of performing folk dance groups. ENKEL have wanted from the very start of the band to get to co-operate with dancers also and that dream came true! We accompanied two folk dance groups at the dance event Tanssimylly. The other group TÃ¤rsky (in the picture!) had their choreography made to our music and I can't believe how touched I was to play. There was very warm and friendly atmosphere at the whole festival and people were really encouraging each other. You could see that both on and off stage, and I really had to concentrate not to cry too hard when playing. That's how touching it felt to be a part of a big moving group!
From Tanssimylly we moved on to something different - except that it had a lot of dancing as well. We shot a music video for my composition Lempi-ihmisille (Girl Gang Quadrille). It's directed by fabulous Saara Mantyla and it will be out in the Summer. It was AWESOME. We had a stylist and a make up artist and good food and friends helping us out. Help was really needed with those fake nails. I've never ever worn anything like that and I needed to be fed and someone needed to tie my shoe laces. It was a good way to practice how to ask help which is not my strength usually, I have to say.
âI can't wait to show the world the results!!! Meanwhile you can listen to the tune on Spotify and follow ENKEL on Facebook and Instagram. There will surely be more posted about the video!
I N O T H E R N E W S
my Easter has been peaceful and nice. After the video shooting day we went to spa for a whole day with the ENKEL babes. It was the most amazing idea one could have got. We got to relax together in the hot pools and saunas and didn't have to talk about work â the kind of time you need with your best friends also!
I also fixed my bike to be ready for the summer. Hope we'll spend some time together during the upcoming months! Yesterday I wore shorts outside for the first time this year (only for a little while!). If I could, I would only wear shorts always. I absolutely love them. Also I've been eating chocolate and changed the curtains to my working room, it's almost ready to be worked at!
I wish you all a happy rest of the Easter and sunny spring days! Hi until next time!