I’ve been working on a new solo album and soon it will finally be released.
I say finally because the process started what already seems quite long ago, in 2015. My biggest inspiration for these songs were human faces in the many often fairly short cinematic moments we experience in daily life. It’s magical how a little moment can have such a strong message be it with or without words. Also an inspiration was music by composer Max Richter and the atmosphere his music with the other elements created in The Leftovers. For me an inspiration can be something you might clearly hear in my work or it can be something not so audible that has helped me in the process, in this case both and more.
In autumn 2015 I had a vision what to create and I composed some 20 songs in about two weeks in my studio in Helsinki, half of the songs were what I wanted and half was trash but the failed songs are also very important for the process, as the old wisdom says, if you don’t make mistakes you’re not trying hard enough. I composed these songs on piano as I felt it’s a better tool to work on the chords and on the combination of chords, melody and bass.
During 2016 I worked on different arrangements for the 10 songs that qualified my fairly critical ears. It was quite a lot of work in arranging them for cello, selecting the right keys and finding the perfect lines and I can be quite critical, believe it… I worked also a lot on beats, on recording percussive tones with cello and on pushing the limits of electric cello with effects.
Finally in late 2016 and early 2017 I recorded the album, again in my studio in Helsinki. As I record and play and produce at the same time it sometimes gets a little crazy with the multiple roles, you might see the cellist me getting mad at the producer me for requiring to play something way too complicated and the recording engineer me laughing in the corner at this very non productive moment but don’t worry, this doesn’t happen in my ”normal” life! All in all the process was very educative, also thinking about all future musical activities, I tried various studio set ups both for acoustic and electric cello and can say that I know even more about working with cello in the studio.
As the recording was ready I completed audio editing, worked a lot on effects, got totally wild with them even compared to what I did before and pre mixed the album. Later in 2017 a good friend of mine and a fantastic mix engineer Xavier Dromard mixed the album in Dijon, France and mastering engineer Svante Forsbäck at Chartmakers in Espoo, Finland gave it the final audio polishing. Without them it would not be the same.
To summarise the album, though still being a cello album I think it is more song writers album, whereas before I was playing around and making songs especially for cello now I sat down and wrote songs which could be arranged to any artist. The songs are very diverse from cinematic sound design to upbeat electronica and I really love the contrasts, from very fragile ambient moments to inevitably driving choruses. I would say it’s by far my best album and also a start of a new era for me as an artist.
More to come.
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