The Studio Yrttimaa debut album
Studio Yrttimaa

(Linkki suomenkieliselle Studio Yrttimaa -sivulle)

Studio Yrttimaa is a one man studio band of me, J. Pekka Mäkelä. I write the songs and sing them, program the secquences, play guitars and basses, record and mix the music. That doesn’t mean there couldn’t be any other members in the band. It just hasn’t happened yet.

Some of the songs in this album were originally written in mid-eighties, some were born in Spring 2013. Some of them have been recorded as demos several times during the years. When I started planning this album I recorded about fifteen songs for it between 2010 and 2012. Come spring 2013 I decided the recordings were not up to the par and re-recorded twelve songs during the April and May. One of them was dropped just before I send the material to the mastering engineer Jaakko Viitalähde.

There’s a couple of hundred copies of the album printed for the Finncon 2013 convention. Later on the music can be bought and listened from the likes of iTunes and Spotify.

Hän kysyy
(”She’s Asking”)

”She’s asking why me, you’re trying to explain
all around you the customers are carrying their coffee mugs...”

The song started as a little conversation in a student cafeteria in Helsinki in late nineties I wrote down as a poem that turned into the verses. The chorus came later on and was meant originally for a different song.

The composition started as an experiment: How long can you go with a simple chord secquence, where you move just one finger on the ’board to get the next chord.

Kaipuulaulu
(”To Be Missed”)

A rare song of mine: It was written originally in English. The slow reggae beat was originally inspired by David Lindley’s classic ”Quarter of a Man”, but later on this song took quite another direction.

The original English lyrics:

I’m not making a big big scene
I’m not into a fuss
Won’t go with all doors slammin’
Prefer slipping away

But did anyone notice I’m gone
and did anyone care?
Is someone sending an email
will someone inquire?

I just miss to be missed when I’m gone
That’s all
Send no flowers
Post no cards
I just miss to be missed.

I’d like to do some eavesdroppin’
like a fly on a wall
Will somebody mention my name
will you remember my name?

I just miss to be missed when I’m gone
That’s all
Send no flowers
Post no cards
I just miss to be missed

– You know I’m not really missing you
I’m just missing you all
to be missing me

I just miss to be missed when I’m gone
That’s all
Send no flowers
Post no cards
I just miss to be missed

Hiljainen tyttö
(”A Quiet Girl”)

When the Tall Ships Race fleet left the Helsinki harbour in late eighties, there stood a lone young girl who seemed to long after the Russian full-rigger Mir. She was cold. I didn’t know her, probably didn’t even saw her face, so I had the opportunity to imagine my own story about what had happened.

Niille jotka dallaa sateessa
(”For those walking in the rain”)

The oldest song in the album, originally written in 1984 for my then-band Kumpula-projekti. Composed by a bassist, as you can easily tell.

Vanhat & viisaat
(”The old & wise”)

Planning my fourth novel Karsta I had an idea to build the story in a song structure so that every chapter opens with a line of a song called ”Vanhat & viisaat”. Later on I had to write the actual song. One of the songs I perform in my ”read, sing and play” gigs with a baritone guitar and effects. This version is pretty close to the live rendering. One take, with a bit of lap steel guitar and backing vocals added later on.

Alas asfalttiin
(”Hit the asphalt”)

This song came in mid-eighties after one of the great peace marches in Helsinki: interestingly enough, I usually was pretty uplifted after the events and did not feel that my intentions and dreams might have hit the asphalt.

This version is pretty much inspired by Chris Whitley’s classic ”Poison Girl”.

Pimeän sisään
(”Into the darkness”)

In my third novel Nedut the protagonist Jolle wrote a song called ”Pimeän sisään” for his former band Dystokio, so I had to write one myself. Probably a different song, though. At least no rock band in their right mind would try to introduce a song like this to their fans in a summer festival gig, like they did in the story.

Ettet pelkäisi
(”To not fear”)

My tribute to an early eighties trio Bluesounds, one of my big influences.

Helsinki

A kind of climate change time Helsinki tribute to late great John Lee Hooker’s ”Tupelo (Blues)”. One take, no overdubs. In a true Hooker tradition, this song is always played differently: ”It’s my song, son, and I change the chord whenever I damn well want.”

Sininen
(”Blue”)

The newest song in the album, inspired by Carl Sagan’s foreword to his book The Pale Blue Dot – and the famous Voyager photograph of the Earth taken from behind the Saturn orbit, with our planet visible as an one pixel blue dot.

Kuuntele, ole hiljaa
(”Listen, be quiet”)

”I will listen to you when there is no sound.” Couldn’t put this song anywhere else in the album.

Studio Yrttimaa

All music, lyrics and arrangements: J. Pekka Mäkelä. Copyright © 2013 J. Pekka Mäkelä. All rights reserved.