At this point, Ville Ojanen already has a solid career behind him as a composer using influences from many directions. He combines the direct expression of folk music and his main instrument - the violin - with broader formats, making me think of for example progressive rock. As a composer, he does not focus only on music to play by himself, instead he has composed for many different ensembles, like the Ostrobothnian Folk Orchestra or the musical Janne and Aino.
For me his latest record V is something of a back-to-the-roots-experience, an intimate get-together with only a few musicians involved. The tunes are close to traditional danceable folk music (from different regions) but always with personal twists and turns. I hope other players would take up this repertoire as well, it should work in many kinds of context.
Ojanen himself plays violin, viola, mandolin and Esseharpa, among which especially the last one is an interesting spice, adding some very special colours. For me his violin playing is especially strong in fast and energetic tunes like Old Folk School. When bringing out his softer, lyrical side I find myself wishing for even stronger phrasing, even more emotion. Sometimes the playing feels a bit distant. A great decision is to bring in his old band mate from the band Troka: accordionist Johanna Juhola is true luxury to have in this intimate lineup.
VILLE OJANEN: V