An impressive end-result follows, when Sibelius Academy Emeritus Professor Heikki Laitinen and accordionist wonder Kimmo Pohjonen join forces to play music about taking another person’s life. They recorded this wide array of Finnish murder ballads in February 2012 at Musiikkitalo. The album is not only about the history of the genre as it also includes a ballad improvised live about an apparently imaginary ‘cheater woman’. It is a disjointed and fun performance, which succeeds in showing the contemporary possibilities of the genre.
Itkuvirsi sodissa kaatuneille is a fine tale of the pioneer of Finnish folk music research, A.O. Väisänen. The vocal samples used so well in the performance are from Väisänen’s lament recordings made in Mordova, Russia in 1914. Pohjonen plays the accordion impressively throughout. The gothic organ wizardry on Keisari Aleksanteri and the psychedelic fury of Katriina are highlights.
Laitinen flexes his vocals to varied roles, portraying the whole spectrum of emotions: humour, jealousy, love, sadness, smugness, weakness, cruelty and the feeling of abandonment. As the ballads open a window into humanity, you forget the theme of murder.
Translation: Jonathan Mander
Murhaballadeja – Murder Ballads
Siba Records SACD-1010