Folk Music and Dance!
While I have tried many hobbies like hangliding, paragliding, scuba diving, cycling, paddling, etc., none of them is possible during the cold and wet Finnish winter. My favourite winter sports, skiing and skating are sometimes impossible in Helsinki, the greenhouse effect often wipes out most of the ice and snow.
However, music is always possible. I am a folk music lover, not only of Finnish music but of that from all over the globe. I started to play accordion at about 14 but made a serious mistake by stopping a few years later. Starting again at over 50 has been a challenge, but I have fun and that is the point. I have obtained a Korg MIDI module (in the picture above right) which I combined with a 100W amplifier as an integral unit. In 2004 I changed to Ketron Midjay MIDI module which is much easier to use than Korg and offers better sounds plus wave, mp3 and MIDI playing capability and wave recording capability. Unfortunetely Midjay software also has many bugs although the factory already has supplied 3 software updates.
You can see and listen some of my music samples in YouTube. I first played and recorded the music tracks with Midjay using using various instruments like country guitar, baritone sax, organ, harmonica, alto sax and acoustic accordeon through a mic. I then mixed the tracks in Apple Garageband software.
I have also invested in another MIDI instrument, the ROLAND Fr-1bx digital accordeon. Its biggest advantage is the light weight, 6 kg, whereas my Pihlajamaa button accordeon weighs 9 kg. Another advantage is that you dont need to move the bellows of the Roland to create sounds, a good feature if you happen to have a sore left hand as it happened to me.
School band 1952
"Sakarat"was the group I joined over twenty years ago. In addition to the band above it includes about 30 singers. The leader, Anja Hinkkanen (right photo at right) is a real energy package in organizing concerts, festivities and dance happenings where Sakarat performs.
"Syyspelimannit" is the latest group I am playing and we have a lot of fun together.
In 2002 I joined two folk dance groups. The groups practice every week, sometimes more.
Originally a Karelian group founded 85 years ago in Viipuri, a Finnish city at the time. The picture below shows us in old 17th century costumes in Hakkapeliitta Festival in Tammela where we performed 2003 the old dances of the same era.
TanhuVisa was founded 1934 and celebrated its 80th anniversary in 2014. The picture below shows us performing in SADKO-festival in Novgorod, Russia.
Of course, we are also performing in our home city, Helsinki and in the biggest folk music and dance event in Finland, the Kaustinen. Click the pictures for bigger size.
Folk Music Links:
Accordion Worldwide Homepage
Kaustinen Folk Music Festival
Finnish Folk Music Assn
Music page of Jaakko Heikkinen
Sata-Hame Soi (In Finnish)
Of the innumerable accordion bands I would like to introduce Air New Zealand Accordion Orchestra. They live on the other side of the globe but love to play the famous Finnish traditional tune Sakkijarven Polka