Studio Yrttimaa: Songs

at Turconen 2012In the early eighties, in the aftermath of punk and influenced by the blues as well, I started to play bass and formed my first band. For some reason, I ended up as the songwriter of the band. To ease thing up I bought a four track cassette recorder. I’ve been recording my own songs since.

I’ve written a few songs with English lyrics, but most of them have always been written in Finnish.

Lately I’ve been publishing a few songs at the Soundcloud as Studio Yrttimaa.

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”Vanhat & viisaat” is a song built from the song lines used as chapter titles in Karsta, about the times when the foolish ”this is nothing new” advice from the old and the wise doesn’t ring true anymore.

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The title song of the virtual EP, ”Valkeaa”, is about a moment when you find yourself lying in the floor unable to move a muscle, without any help you didn’t think you’ll need before you had your stroke, when everything you’ve planned falls apart, when your calendar becomes blank.

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”Ettet pelkäisi” (”To not be afraid”) is an eight minute tribute to Bluesounds, great early eighties’ Finnish trio.

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”Punainen kuu” (”The Red Moon”) used to be a riff used in a 1998 theatrical production of Yukio Mishima’s play Madame de Sade. The story of two people spending weeks in Venice when they should have been with their spouses (who knew exactly where they were and with whom) was too good not to be written into a song.

 

Ambient and experimental music

Sanaleikki (Wordplay, 1998)

A short piece of conceptual music based in Finnish words for ”I” (minä) and ”you” (sinä).

Kellot (1994)

Lyhyttavara (2001)

Two improvisatory pieces for a stringed instrument (a dobro and a fretless bass guitar, respectively) and digital delay lines.

 

Music for Alshain   

This is a soundtrack album for my second novel Alshain. The seven tracks reflect the moods of the story.

1. Maastamuuttaja I (Immigrant I)

 

2. Maastamuuttaja II (Immigrant II)

 

3. Häkkilintu (Songbird in a Cage)

 

4. Tuhkaa (Ashes)

 

5. Totuus (The Truth)

 

6. Meren ääni (The Ocean Voice)

 

7. Ad astra

All tracks written and arranged, programmed and played, recorded and produced by J. Pekka Mäkelä. Copyright © 1994–2011 J. Pekka Mäkelä. All rights reserved.

A recordist and a mixer

Having a pretty well equipped home studio, I've been involved in a few musical projects by others.

I've mixed eight songs for the Australian group McivercorK’s debut album Emotional Songs.

I have participated in a couple of remix contests by English magazine Future Music and won one. (”Everpresent” by Justin Robertson.)

I’ve been a bassist, a percussionist, an engineer and a producer in Oskari Jakonen’s project A Glance beyond Nature.

... and an amateur luthier

Having some time for a bit more physical work, the house having a little workshop, it was natural to try my hand in luthiery. Having played guitars and basses for a long time, I’ve gathered a few ideas for construction.

The first instrument I built was a five string bass guitar. An year later, I made me a five string fretless bass. Then came a baritone guitar, a ”headless” fretless bass dubbed ”Steinhöfner”, a lap steel guitar and a twelve string electric. Most of them are constructed, at least in part, from recycled wood from old pieces of furniture. And while none of them are perfect in visual detail (I have still lot to learn in finishing), all are perfectly good and good sounding instruments.