Sounds & Voices
Free the Kalevala from Finnishness!

Free the Kalevala from Finnishness!

"The Kalevala myth was a genuine source of inspiration for the fledgling Finnish nation in search of an identity. But has it been such a thing any more, really, since the Second World War?," asks Kimmo Hakola in his Kalevala day column.
Representing ethnicity in music

Representing ethnicity in music

Is it OK for a Finn of the majority population to put on a fake Sámi costume bought in a joke shop and perform a Sámi yoik? Or to put on a feather headdress and dance a Native American dance? Where do we draw the line between cultural interaction and cultural appropriation?
Composing out loud

Composing out loud

"Foreigners like me once had the idea that Finland was a difficult country in which to be a composer; so strong was Sibelius’s legacy and so dominant those famous names who succeeded him. But that idea now seems outdated," writes Andrew Mellor in his column on the Day of Finnish Music.
Taking Note Autumn 2016: Naturally good music

Taking Note Autumn 2016: Naturally good music

“Music’s close relationship to nature can be seen precisely in the ways it alters and affects our relationship to the diversity of our surrounding world – and not only to itself or myself.”
FMQ Autumn 2016 Notes & Letters: From second class citizenship to the conductor's podium

FMQ Autumn 2016 Notes & Letters: From second class citizenship to the conductor’s podium

Baroque violinist and conductor Kreeta-Maria Kentala writes about how attitudes towards baroque music and female conductors have changed during her career.
FMQ Autumn 2016 Guest Column: About art and money  and the “special relationship Finns have with nature”

FMQ Autumn 2016 Guest Column: About art and money and the “special relationship Finns have with nature”

My feeling is that socially active art may be both in-your-face and more subtly influencing; it may mix up meanings in brutal ways, mashing them up, exploring impossible worlds and shaking us up from unheard-of angles.
Picture this!

Picture this!

Concert promoter, journalist and music export researcher Dr Greg Goldenzwaig takes a look at the import-export of rock and pop music between Finland and Russia. Some things have changed for sure in the past ten years.
Taking Note Spring 2016: Borderland riches and explorers' instincts

Taking Note Spring 2016: Borderland riches and explorers’ instincts

"Cultural exchange is a win-win proposition, and there are plenty of paths to explore for newcomers and old hands alike."
FMQ Spring 2016 Notes & Letters: Borderline sounds

FMQ Spring 2016 Notes & Letters: Borderline sounds

Interesting things happen in the borderlands between music and sound art. Sub-genres of electronic music, field recordings, studies in improvisation and graphic notation and sound installations continue to open up new pathways for musicians in all genres.
FMQ Spring 2016 Guest Column: Similar but different

FMQ Spring 2016 Guest Column: Similar but different

"The Estonian and Finnish contemporary music scenes share many similarities but also have considerable differences. I can say this from my own first-hand experience as an Estonian composer who has lived and studied in Finland for a long time. The differences may come as quite a surprise, considering how close our two nations are culturally."...
Curiosity cannot be outsourced

Curiosity cannot be outsourced

Progress is all about trying out new things, as every forward-thinking artist intrinsically knows. Nevertheless, a case could be made that it is not enough if only the vanguard embraces the unknown. Perhaps all could take a page out of Pepa Päivinen, Janne Tuomi and other open-minded musicians’ book.
Guest column: Losing idealism in translation?

Guest column: Losing idealism in translation?

Johan Tallgren’s FMQ guest column on Sibelius’s birthday, the Day of Finnish Music 2015.