Wednesday, January 22, 2014

39th meeting, Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

with Antti Tolvi
Wednesday, January 29th
Eesti Rahva Muuseum, Tartu

Well folks, i'm very excited to announce the plans for our first helikoosolek of 2014!

Helikoosolek regulars will be familiar with a certain beautifully out of tune piano in the corner of the lecture hall at ERM where we meet. Over the years it has been used, purposefully and spontaneously, for various gatherings and activities, and i've always dreamed of using it more thoroughly.

So imagine my excitement when a new double LP of stunningly beautiful piano music, by Finnish musician and good friend Antti Tolvi, arrived in my mailbox.

Antti has accepted our invitation to join us for our january helikoosolek and perform on our wonderful ERM piano. It will be a relaxed, intimate, hypnotic acoustic performance, not one to be missed. Below you'll find a link to an extract from the aforementioned album, and you'll see what i mean. And for those of you in Tallinn who can't make it down, he'll also be playing a few days later (on the 31st) at Ptarmigan, so you won't miss out. Better yet, come to both!

What's more, not only is Antti a great musician, but he is also a student of Tao and Zen, and is a professional Tai Chi teacher.He will begin our meeting with a few breathing and stretching exercises (Qigong) to focus on how physical movement and meditation can lead to deeper listening and heightened perception. This will prepare us for his piano performance.

You can here a sample of Antti's pianowork here:

And another from Fonal Records here:

And here's some text from the Fonal Records site, about Antti and his piano-work:

Antti Tolvi is a self-taught, multi-talented musician. He has played in numerous bands including Lau Nau, Rauhan Orkesteri, and Lauhkeat Lampaat. Born in ’77 in Panelia on the west coast of Finland, he began making music with his brothers, untutored. From 2000-2001 he studied classical Indian music in Varanasi, and this marked a turning point in his perception of music. On returning to his native Finland, he became embroiled in Free Jazz for a number of years, until a recent relocation to the countryside pushed him ever more towards solo improvisation – deriving inspiration from, in Antti’s own words, “harmonies, overtones, going into sound, no ends, no starts, from nothing comes something, just perfect, peace”. 
‘Pianoketo’ can be seen as a culmination of Antti’s musical experiences to date. Featuring three extended meditations on a theme, all played on solo piano, it is a sound that defies categorisation, with nods towards classical, avant-garde, improvisation, psych, free jazz and Indian music. A shimmering flux of tones and harmonies, each of Pianoketo’s pieces seem to collect notes as they gather momentum, expanding and shifting form as Antti breathes life into them. At times, it is almost as if there are two instruments, the overtones working like feedback, playing counter-melodies as notes weave through each other. Antti’s technique combines neatly with the personality of the instrument to convey an evocative, psychedelic nostalgia. 
He expands: “This record was recorded with binaural microphones, attached to the players ears. While playing, as you move your body or head, there is a ‘flanger’ effect - that's why the overtones are really flying. There’s no overdubs, effects or EQ. 
My main instruments have been saxophones, clarinets, flutes and all kind of wind instruments. In Pianoketo I play piano as I play saxophone. Just using 11 notes. Because I don't have to blow, I can focus more on other things. And actually soon I don't have to focus on anything, just listen to what my fingers are doing. It's amazing to find new melodies, harmonies, drones, rhythms or whatever. And then I can follow that for a while, and then just let go and wait for a new direction. 
This piano had not been played for more than 40 years, so the tuning had dropped “a little”. I tuned some notes, to get more overtones. Most of the notes have found their own resting place over the years, just resonating in sounds and vibes at Grandma’s.
So spread the word, and put Wednesday, January 29th, 6pm at ERM on your calendar for our 2014 opening meeting/performance with Antti Tolvi! Oh, and lest i forget to mention, as always it's FREE!

Helikoosolek:tartu is a regular gathering for the exploration of sound in all forms. The meetings comprise presentations, concerts, workshops, discussions, and field trips pertaining to sound and its consideration in art, music, architecture, ecology, philosophy, social and cultural interaction, and any other context that presents itself. Participants are encouraged to propose activities or discussions on topics of their interest, or to present projects of their own for feedback. Sessions take place on the last Wednesday of each month, from 6-8pm at the Eesti Rahva Muuseum.

Helikoosolek:tartu is organised by Patrick McGinley and supported by Eesti Rahva Muuseum and Tartu Linnavalitsus.