Tuuletar: Tules maas vedes taivaal

September 10, 2017

Forces of Nature

Listening Post 115. Nature plays music for those who listen. In addition to the unique performance style that has earned them well deserved laurels, the women of the a cappella quartet Tuuletar listen carefully—to the earth, to the modern urban soundscape and to their own inner voices, all of which contribute their “vocal folk hop,” based on Finnish mythology but skipping across musical borders. The group’s name comes from the goddess of wind and the eight tracks of their debut album, Tules maas vedes taivall (On Fire and Earth, in Water and Air),  represent not only the natural world but also the feminine synergy of the four singer-songwriters. No traditional love ballads from Venla Ilona Blom, Sini Koskelainen, Johanna Kyykoski and Piia Säilynoja—just Mother Earth and the chaos that swirls and tumbles into harmony. In Kohma (Frost), creeping ice crystals are announced by cold puffs of mist and by Blom’s beatboxing: “It fills me up with haunting despair,” they sing, “I dive into a winding uncertainty/Which path should I take?” (video 1). The counterpoint is Loimu (Flame), choreographed with voices, stomping feet and clapping hands, about fire kindled on a summer beach, cavorting as it rises: “The flames keep dancing/Never minding the fear/Together we reach the sky, we sparkle/Racing the stars” (video 2). Human experience feels closer (or is it a fallen angel?) in Tuu Kerää (Kick), an anguished song that carries its own recuperative energy: “Your feet are heavy/Your voice is gone/You’ve lost your vision/You dived into the swamp” (video 3). Less acrobatic, but carrying lovely harmonies, are Odotan (Await), with its floating-river imagery (video 4); and the slowly unfolding Valkia (Dawn). Tuuletar’s artists narrow the gap between mythical and modern idioms and invite everyone to tune in to their stunning, natural sound. (Bafe’s Factory)







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