Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Myself singing a Georgian Song, "Gogo Shavtala",
something about "give me this woman or give me my knife back",
apparently this song is my forte...
I do enjoy the energy in it.
During a performance in Penstrowed Chapel.
Wales has a strong musical culture and is especially known for its strong male choirs. Above is a song from an album by Karl Jenkins whose roots are in Wales (he's quite well known in Finland, my country of origin, as he has used Finnish singers). This album was a disappointment as all but one song are traditional and not written by himself. Yet I would say that this particular song expresses something Welsh even though the sound is very much like songs from Adiemus (Jenkins' first album). I must say that although I respect the Welsh sense of patriotism, I think they are a little too bitter about England and the English. It seems to me it's about time to get over old injustices.

Singing in choirs is one of the most popular hobbies in the UK. When I was 15 I was admitted to Brage's music school in Helsinki, but due to problems with fatigue, I did never attended and have since lived to regret it deeply. Here in Wales, I finally got a chance to return to singing. I sing in a choir or singing group, The Angels, lead by folk singer Sue Harris. In general, I profoundly dislike typical choral singing with the wishy washy, woozy sounds. This type of singing, however, is much more distinct. We often learn short songs by heart, and they are from around the globe. It can sound quite powerful and groovy. It is a rewarding hobby because for once I feel appreciated and welcome in a group. It was not easy to catch on, the pace is hard and all songs are new for me, but now, a year later, it feels easier and more fun. I have also had seven flus including a bad throat infection which is new to me. Throat infections are apparently common in this wet climate. In September, we have been invited to perform in a chapel nearby (a postscript-um: photos of the occasion have been added here).
A Postscript um: The Wild Angels singing in Penstrowed Chapel, in September 2011
lead by Sue Harris.
myself in the middle
(We are not a religious group)
Vivi-Mari sings "My Place on Earth", Martin accompanies
I have also sung a couple of Finnish-Swedish songs, including Sylvia's Christmas carolI Seek No Gold or Majesty, The Autumn Song (all in Swedish) and House of the Rising Sun in Finnish at the pub The Mount during Thursday folk music jam sessions. Martin usually goes there to play his fiddle. In addition, Martin and I performed at our wedding, among others by Evert Taube's Nocturne , and at my private view at The Great Oak Cafe in December last year Take This Waltz by Leonard Cohen. I called my exhibition Garland of Freshly Cut Tears, which is taken from Cohen's surreal lyrics. The words are based on a poem by Frederic Lorca. I absolutely wanted to sing the song to emphasize the surreal and maybe somewhat dark atmosphere that I wanted to express through my exhibition. My art was in a way proverbial  necklace of tears, often created from a certain sadness regarding the human condition. I don't know if the message hit home. We did not have many visitors at the opening, mostly because there was a blizzard at the time. Around here, there are loads of musicians - in fact, almost all the artists make music too - so I have learnt not to expect much attention from anybody unless what I do really stands out.


Now in Vienna there are ten pretty women.
There's a Shoulder Where Death Comes to Cry.
There's a lobby with nine hundred windows.
There's a tree Where The Doves go to die.
There's a piece that was the tower from the morning,
and it hung up the Gallery of Frost - 
Ay, ay ay ay
Take this waltz, take this waltz,
take this waltz with the clamp on ITS JAWS.

Oh I want you, I want you, I want you
on a chair with a dead magazine.
In the cave at the tip of the lily,
in some hallway Where Love's Never Been.
On a bed Where The Moon speed Been sweating,
in a cry filled with Footsteps and sand - 
Ay, ay ay ay
Take this waltz, take this waltz,
take ITS broken waist in your hand.

This waltz, this waltz, this waltz, this waltz
with its very own breath
of brandy and death,
dragging ITS tail in the sea.
There's a concert hall in Vienna
Where your mouth had a thousand reviews.
There's a bar, Where The Boys Have stopped talking,
they've Been Sentenced to Death by the blues.
Ah, but who is it climb to your picture
with a country of freshly cut tears? 
Ay, ay ay ay t ake this waltz, take this waltz,
take this waltz, it's Been dying for years
This waltz, this waltz, this waltz, this waltz, etc.

There's an attic Where children are playing,
Where I've got to lie down with you soon,
in a dream of Hungarian Lanterns,
into the mist of some sweet afternoon.
And I'll see what you've chained to your sorrow,
all your sheep and your Lilies of snow - - 
Ay, ay ay ay
Take this waltz, take this waltz
With its "I'll never forget you, you know!"
This waltz, this waltz, this waltz, this waltz, etc.
And I'll dance with you in Vienna,
I'll be wearing a river's disguise.
The hyacinth wild on my shoulder
my mouth on the dew of your thigh.
And I'll bury my soul in a scrapbook,
With the photographs there and The Moss.
And I'll yield to the flood of your beauty,
my cheap violin and my cross.
And you'll carry me down on your dancing
to the pools That you lift on your wrist - 
O my love, O my love
Take this waltz, take this waltz,
it's yours now.
 It's all that there is .

Leonard Cohen sings "Take This Waltz"

Martin and I intend to do more music together once his broken guitar gets fixed. Once a long time ago the instrument was kicked by a careless musicians, and now seems to have a bent neck. We can not afford to get the guitar repaired so the collaboration will have to wait. Martin also has an electric guitar that needs repair. You can tune it into sounding like various stringed instruments (unfortunately I can not explain it very well). Martin plays an especially commissioned electrical 5 - string violin in the photo above, but it's tough to play and does not always go with ordinary songs. Martin has several violins and occasionally plays in a Ceilidh band (Irish music) as it sometimes generates a small extra income.

More on my art show in the following blog posts.

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