Friday, May 13, 2011


A short while ago I became enchanted with Finnish music collective Paavoharju. Imagine lying on your back in a meadow next to an abandoned train platform, listening to various neighbors tune their radios to different stations. One's playing what sounds like a Finnish folk tune, another's playing Indian film music, you think you hear a reggae rhythm being strummed on an acoustic guitar, and church organ in the distance. The radios keep fading in and out, crackling and popping, and the tinkling of wind chimes and the cawing of crows add to the whole wash of sound that reverberates across a landscape of industrial decay, while a cool breeze wafts a scent of wildflowers across your face. This is the best way I can describe the music of Paavoharju.

The group centers around a pair of ascetic Christian brothers, who assemble a collage of sounds that according to their MySpace is ambient, experimental and folk in its nature. In spirit, they appear to have found beauty and peace in the chaos of hard scrabble existence. The music is a perfect backdrop to peaceful day.

In essence, this is one of the many sorts of music that sits well with me. It paints the contentment I feel wallowing in my own despair, so that I can stop stressing about my own inability to convey such feelings, and simply live my life surrounded by the musical outpourings of people who Understand.

They've released two albums: Yhä hämärää (2005) and Laulu Laakson Kukista (2008), as well as a DVD, Unien Savonlinna (2010). The EP/Single for Laulu laakson kukasta contains that song, plus Kirkonväki and a 12 minute collection of live material under the title Kasetti Moskovasta.