continental drift 9/21/22: finland

Come join me on drift’s first trip to the global north (under this captain, anyway). Today we explore the music of Finland: from classical to heavy metal and the traditional music along the way. Find the playlist here, listen to the episode recording here.

Finland is located in the Scandinavian peninsula and has a population of 5.5 million. Despite being the 66th largest country by area, it is just the 116th most populated. For the past 4 years, it has ranked #1 on the World Happiness Report. This report takes into account income, healthy life expectancy, “having someone to count on in times of trouble,” generosity, freedom, and trust (defined by absence of corruption in business and government. Finland’s official languages are Finnish and Swedish. 

Finland is known for its classical composers. Frederik Pacius is the most established Finnish composer, writing the first opera and the national anthem. After writing “Finlandia,” a song which helped the Finnish independence effort, he became a national icon.  

Classical segment:
Divertimento For Oboe and String Quartet, Op. 9 // Bernhard Henrik Crusell, Hannelle Segerstam, Jouko Teikari, Olavi Palli
Suomalainen sarja (Finnish Suite) in D Minor, Op. 10: II. Allegretto // Ernst Mielck, Ylioppilaskunnan Soittajat, Mikk Murdvee
Here Beneath a Northern Star: Wedding Waltz of Akseli and Elina // Heikki Aaltoila, Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, Jorma Panula
Höstivsa // Erna Tauro (composer), Magnus Ericsson, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Joik is a form of traditional music performed by the Sami people of northern Finland, Sweden, and Norway. Joik is highly spiritual, and sometimes mimics sounds of nature. Joik became more intertwined in modern culture when it was featured in the 1980 Norwegian entry for Eurovision. 

Joik segment:
Vildaluodda // VILDÁ
Áddjá (Bonus Track 1) // Resirkulert, Emil Kárlsen

“Iskelma” is a Finnish term meaning “light pop hit,” from the German “schlager” (meaning “hit”.) This next song is a cover of a Lalo Rodríguez song “Ven, devórame otra vez”, in Finnish.

Iskelma sample:
Pure mua // Meiju Suvas

Litku Klemetti is a Finnish indie artist. She has stated that she composes very fast, even so far as one album in a week. Her aesthetic is not “retro,” but instead she “uses the past as a material to construct new unfashionable things. Her use of the past and abandoned things is done as a counterstatement to the prevailing economic order.”

Litku Klemetti Photos (3 of 114) | Last.fmIndie segment:
Jääkunigatar // Litku Klemetti
Ah-Ah-Ah // Pintandwefall
Kaisa meni discoon // Plutonium 74
Joensuu // Amuri
Sinä tiedät sen // Litku Klemetti
Kuollut monta kertaa // Rosita Luu
Mikään ei riitä // Joni Ekman

The episode wouldn’t be complete without some metal. Finland has been named the  “promised land for metal,” as it has as much as 53 metal bands per 100k inhabitants, more than any other country. It even hosts the “heavy metal knitting championships.”

Metal segment:
Deathstar // Before the Dawn
Get Stoned // Stone

Thanks for listening!