My CD Zen Guitar Songs
The music on this album expresses a lot of feelings and strong feelings. The concept is vivid, cinematic, painting music and it is easy to daydream, feel and see pictures to the music. There is always an idea and a story behind each tune, but I do not want to give that away, I want to let everyone see and think what he/ she wants.
I like making instrumental music the most because the absence of lyrics leaves more to the listener's imagination – everyone can see his/ her own pictures. I also think that you have to dare and not hold back when you create art – if you don’t bleed and spill your guts, you might just as well not make anything at all is my philosophy...
I don't try to sound like anyone else. I don't imitate when I write music. Why should I - the world does not need imitators, it needs originals. When I write music I am much more inspired by other things than other people's music - I am inspired by visual arts, books, feelings, films, humor, my cats, nature, people, thinking, traveling, philosophy and silence...
So, listen to the music and let it take you places - daydream, fall asleep, feel, dance, sing, meditate, make love, paint pictures, make a movie, think, write - whatever... If you really have to know what I have thought or what the songs are about, you can find the "spoilers" if you read the rest of this page. But, really, I think that the most important thing is what you make out of the songs and what they mean to you... :-)
And last but not least, if you like my music, please let me know. If you paint a picture or write a poem or a short story or a novel while listening to my music, I would like to know. You can find my e-mail address here.
The Songs ( The "Spoilers") :-)
Blue Tango comes from a rather advanced reharmonization I made of a jazz standard. I had the harmonies for a few years and I added the melody when I wanted a tango for this album. I wanted the tango to gradually come creeping up on you - not too obvious from the start. I dedicated Blue Tango to Tomi Lepistö, who made the outstanding cover art.
Summer Pursuits is a very old tune of mine. I think that it is nearly 25 years since I wrote it. I have tried to play it with many different bands, but it has never turned out the way I have wanted it to. I wanted it to have this very happy African calypso/ samba sort of feel. And now I am happy with it - it really expresses the feeling of a warm summer day spent at the beach, maybe...
Our Man in Sweden is written by Kenneth Nordman. Our Man in Sweden refers to the fact that Kenneth is my best friend and lived in Sweden for almost 20 years.
Lighthouse is a ballad where Tom Forsman improvises the melody. Lighthouse expresses untouched nature - for me it is the open sea with a lighthouse standing there in all kinds of weather, something you can always count on to be there and trust and which helps you find the way home.
Sensei & Unsui is from Zen and means teacher & student. It has an African bluesy kind of groove and expresses very well what the Zen Guitar tuning DADAAD sounds like.
One Man One Song Part II is a tune that sounds a lot like some parts of Philip Toshio Sudo's One Sound One Song. It is dedicated to him and the title One Man One Song means that maybe, no matter how many songs you write, you only have one, like most birds?
Gung Ho is written by Kenneth Nordman. Gung Ho is Chinese and means "to work together", which we really have been doing when we made this album. Gung Ho is a very expressive tune, it is about something that hurts a lot - breaking up with someone, a loved one dies, that kind of pain...
Tilda is written by Kenneth Nordman. It is about his niece Tilda. It is a rather straight-ahead country & western tune but Tom Forsman gets kind of crazy in the solo.
Wood Anemone is a tune I wrote 7 years ago when one of my cats died, only 9 years old. It totally broke my heart and I buried her at our summer cottage in a place where there now every year grows a lot of wood anemones. Her sister, who became 15 years old, is also buried there now, along with yet another cat of ours. I have dedicated this song to these beloved cats of mine, Dragomir and Ross.
Gimme a Break is written by Tom Forsman. It has a jazz funk type of groove and is rather advanced harmonically. The title really refers to the breaks between the chords, but it could also mean that he wanted a break from this Zen Guitar stuff, who knows?
The Missing Link was the first song we recorded for this album. The Missing Link features guitar solos by Tobias Hurwitz, who is the missing link between me and Philip Toshio Sudo. The title also refers to the fact that I have never cared much about this kind of music, punk/ metal/ whatever you like to call it, I just can't stand listening to it. The tune was very fun to play though and I always smile when I play or hear it.
Without Words is a ballad I wrote to my ex-wife, Minna-Maria Mäenpää. The title, Without Words, refers to the fact that it hasn't got any words and that I couldn't find the words to express what I felt for her. The idea is that the melody, the theme, doesn't come back in the end, but that the song just continues, into eternity...