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Kaamos Radio I – Resumé

„One two three: Kaaaamo-ss Radiooo!“ Kaamos Radio started into its 14-hour session with a joint shout by all studio guests present as there were:

  • Anita Hannunen – Residence coordinator of the Serlachius museums
  • Matti Kivilahti – Poet, priest of the local community, and teacher of a writing class
  • Tomi Vorinen – Poet and founder of the Mäntää Poets Association (with Matti)
  • Kari Soino – Visual artist from Helsinki and resident artist
  • Tyyra Juka – mushroom expert and textile artist, Ruovesi
  • Tixa Juka – vocal improvisor and feeling dealer, Ruovesi
Studio View

By and by all had gathered in the studio which was set up on the first floor of the Serlachius Residency artist premises, the door to the balcony was opened to ensure a fresh drift of air through the room; there was a sofa, several chairs, and an atmosphere of general excitement and anticipation. Tixa set up the gear for his up-coming performance, involving a table record player and a reindeer horn fixed in a clamp to the table. His wife Tyyra – having brought in a medium sized and promising looking suitcase – settled into the office chair with her knitting work and the two poets comfortably lounged on the sofa.

Anita uploading some social news

The broadcast began with a Karelian lament song, performed by the Helsinki artist Kirsi Poutanen. (The talk with her will form part of the program on the 20th of February.) Anita Hannunen started out to give a description of the studio from memory with her eyes closed, congenially translated by Kari. Anita had facilitated many of Kaamos Radio’s recordings in the town and vicinity of Mänttä, and together with her horse Lissu we had taken a sleigh ride.

Kari Sonio
Kari Soinio talking about his daily snow walk

Kari Soinio is a photographer but currently he is working on a video about memory and personal resilience. Every day he walks the 3 km that separate the resident’s home at the Gösta Serlachius Museum to the studio close to the Gustav Serlachius Museum. It’s a long winding path along the shores of the lake, and one keeps walking in the footsteps of so and so many predecessors in a kind 40 cm deep furrow in the snow. The sound sounds and resounds differently with changes in temperature and humidity. And in a way, so do the musings of the walker.

Poets must wear black…

Matti Kivilahti had written to me some weeks earlier and had sent three poems about ‘kaamos’… and that’s how our acquaintanceship started. Next to being a poet, Matti is also the priest (one out of four) of the Mänttä-Vilppula community and he is teaching a writing class. He came and brought his friend and colleague Tomi Vuorinen. Both performed their own poems, the translations were spoken by Tixa. Tomi also sang a poem by the poet Eino Leino, his deep voice ringing out beautifully through the room.

This ‘Poet’s Hour’ was spiced up with the playing of several compositions by some of the Open Call artists. Kaamos Radio has received more than 35 pieces, including also a set of poems by the local poetess Jaana Korhonen. Not all of these could be played, they will be features more extensively in the afternoon of the 20th.
Tomi is also the founder of the Mänttä Poet’s Association and he has been writing poems for more than 35 years. “You can say very deep things with very few words. I am a lazy man!” he says with a wink. Both also explained the concept behind ‘Poem Karaoke’: “It is NOT a contest!”, they jointly exclaimed. There is also a beer name “Kuu” which means “moon” and has a poem on its label, which was consequently read.

Steinpilzkekse! Ich hab das Rezept!

Tyyra Juka is an expert on multileveled planes of knowledge: She is a member of the Finnish Mycological Society and mushroom number 7263 (sienineuvoja). She is a resource producer by profession and also a member of the board of local corvesation of nature-society (Suomen luonnonsuojeluyhdistys, Virtain-Ruovesden luonnonsuojeluhdistys ry.)

The suitcase she has brought with her is really a “Pieni Sienet Kauppa”, a little mushroom shop. For us in the studio and for our listeners she takes out one piece after the other. For example different kinds of dried mushrooms of which she explains their uses: Mushrooms for making ink, mushroom dyes (three colours alone from one specimen), “tähti” (Boletus) biscuits, mushroom dyed organic wool – her knitwork turned out to be a sock in the making with a mushroom pattern –… On my questioning Tyyra also explained that there are indeed “talvi sienet”, mushrooms growing during winter, even eatable ones that pop up as soon as a patch of snow has melted into the soil. In the course of our talk we tasted from her salads and muffins, and I must say, the taste of a sweet and salty, vegan (!) boletus biscuit is indescribably marvelous!

After so much tasty food it was time for an evening coffee which all enjoyed very much, some of us rather staying with their winter beers, why not!

The Feeling Dealer’s set up

Feeling dealer (“but only for the happy feelings”) Tixa went to work with a small saw, sawing the reindeer bone attached to his performance table. Before that, he held a little introductions as to why for reindeers there is no such thing as darkness as we perceive it: Their eyes have a special retina, which makes them “hundred eyed”, and this ability helps them to stay orientated and fed during the arctic winters. He played a piece titled “pohlejoka punka”, derived from a performance earlier in 2020, and he used his voice and several instruments to accompany it live. A poem-tale written by Tyyra’s mother about three sisters going into the forest still added an additional layer to the concert, read by Tixa and Tyyra (then in English) in turns.

There is also a fish bone used as instrument

The sad moment came when all the guests had to say Goodbye, which happened around 11 pm Helsinki time. Still, you will meet some of them again on your radio this Saturday. Kaamos Radio continued its program with the presentation of further contributions from the open call, an arctic opera among them as well as recordings in the field of sonic anthropology.

Around 1 am the moment came when the Kaamos stream was handed over to Bratislava: “Aelita” being the title of a brand new, durational night performance of the artist Marold Langer-Philippsen. In a little phone conversation, he told us about his planned journey to Mars, herby following the narrative outline of Aelita, or The Decline of Mars, a 1923 science fiction novel by Russian author Aleksey Tolstoy. I sent him on his way with a lullaby sung by Chrisse Candolin, about a blue car taking the children to dreamland.

Morning found me at 7 am with sleepy eyes at the microphone. An orchestra of refrigerators was still broadcasting as part of the night program, leaving Mr Langer-Philippsen in the midst of his Marsian journey. Despite some technical problems, the morning was celebrated by another – and final – durational radio art piece. Night Call by Kate Donovan listened from a Berlin garden to “the one who listens”, in that case, eavesdropping on the female nightingale.

Kaamos Radio will continue its excursions into the local arts and artist scene of Mänttä on Saturday, 20th of February, from 10 am (9 am CET) to 1am (midnight CET) on the 21st  – including many stunning and intricate compositions dedicated to the many-layered fabrics of winter. The second part of “Aelita” will start at 7 pm.

Please stay tuned and look out for the up-dated (!) program schedule on Friday evening.

Next to diverse field recordings from Mänttä and other places in Finland, there were played:

  • Karelian Lament Song – an improvisation by Kirsi Poutanen
  • The Happy Squirrel, sung by by Merja Kääriäinen
  • Stories in Colours: D15/Winter 1998
  • Vernon and Burns – A wrong turn towards eternity
  • Tom Miller – A Meditation on Darkness
  • Tom Miller – In Deep Taiga by L.M. Likhachev
  • Katuvalot I – Jaana Korhonen (poem)
  • Michael Begg – Last Dance under the Moon
  • Jane Foley/warlock Fulltime – Voice from the edge of a frozen Lake
  • Elmo Panainen – Heptagonal Winter
  • Elmo Panainen – Snow
  • Joost van Duppen – Sisa Ulko
  • Constantine Katsiris – Dorothy
  • Niina Nokkonen: Ilta Kahvi
  • Elmo Panainen – Heptagonal WInter
  • La Claud – Valo Nukatah, an Arctic Opera
  • Sebastian Pafundo – Borealiinen
  • Konrad Behr – Bauhaus.fm Orchestra/Radio Helsinki: Refrigerator Concert
  • Kate Donovan – Nightcall Radio

Jingles spoken by

Kari Soinio
Leevi Tuominen
Sophea Lerner

This post is also available in: Englisch