Friday, 14 October 2011

The Devil's Wind

As an artist in residence in Aberystwyth, you can't help but be knocked out by the weather, which blows in from the Irish sea, and speeds up the hill to the art centre most days. Its hard not to fall into that uniquely British trap of talking about the weather with my fellow resident artists, as the weather does have such an effect on your existence here, although we have begun to joke that the status quo is huge gusts of wind, short squalling showers of rain and fast moving clouds blowing in from the sea. When the sun shines through in brief patches, its so welcome that you end up feeling guilty remaining inside your studio.

I first arrived in my studio full of the excitement at the potential new work I was going to make, and itching to get started. I only tripped myself up though in the beginning deciding what exactly it was going to be that I would start on. I made a lot of use of the library in the first couple of weeks that I was in Aberystwyth (in the days before the population doubled with the arrival of this years batch of freshers, and all the returning other students for the start of term) and started down a path that was leading straight to the devil. I have been reading from Edmund Jones' accounts of appearances and sightings of the devil accross Wales during the 1700s, and his admission that he never really bothered to come to Cardigonshire. He is firm though in his belief that had he made it to these parts then he would have "received many accounts" of devilish activity and appearance.

So its into this void that I have stepped, constructing, in my head only at the moment, a devilish dance routine, ritual procession, and set of straw costumes for both the day and the night. I am hoping to assemble a chair to accompany these characters but at the moment that's all ahead of me.


Sketchin´and writing and drawing

I´ve also continued my beloved trait of sketching and drawing to my notebooks and pads, and
writing song lyrics and poems. I like to just start from scratch and keep on drawing until it´s done,
and then wonder what it is and where it came from. Sometimes I might do some premliminary sketches,
but I prefer the spontaneous, relaxed results that might appear, if I´m lucky. They are always kind of hit-and-miss stuff.

Well, the sun is shining; I better take a short break, before it vanishes back inside the clouds...





Can it be already 6 weeks behind me? The days I´ve spent here have been running over the hills as fast as the 28 m/s wind, that stormed through Aberystwyth few days ago.

But all´s well so far, my bad knee is getting better, my motivation to do `real´ and `honest´(read whatever) art has slowly elevated itself towards the sky´s limits.

I have several things that have occupied my mind.

I brought couple of cameras here, to take some `mythical´ photos around here. I´ve become interested so far more to the heroic side of it, what is a hero, what does he/she do on a day off, what are the working days like, or the days off, how does he/she chill, win, lose etc. It´s not easy to be a hero and succeed.

I´ve also taken some pictures from here, just simple snaps, to show my friends in Finland, what my
life looks like here, and the scenery houses, etc. Believe me, to the Finns everything looks different and exotic here! And also some pics from Borth, where Matt and I took a field trip on one strange heatwave day. We went there on a super low tide, so we could see the `immersed forest´of Borth.
It looked great and strange, and a lovely village, too! You´re welcome to glance through them:

and some of my photos and music is possible to see and listen at my old website:
I have a new website coming up, almost ready, but it can´t be finished until I´m back in Helsinki,
so maybe in the beginning of 2012.

I also bought before coming here, some recording equipment, so that I could start learning the digital
ways of home recording. A Lexicon Omeca soundcard box, plus Cubase LE4 software. I didn´t want to drag my acoustic from Finland, but got lucky and found a nice Washburn electro/acoustic from a used stuff store. I´m not a big fan of computers, but so far I´ve been succesful in recording one rough demo, called `Lost like Loneliness´, plus I made couple of vocal performances to my great guitarist friends´, Pekka `Puka´Oinonen´s demo´s that I brought here with me. It is amazing, these pretty cheap and simple things nowadays, that you get high-quality recorded sound, just like that, no cassettes, huge consoles etc. I´m working on 3 more songs, and try to make rough demos of them, in about 2 weeks time. You can hear some of the music of a band I´m in, Aquasaurus from a link in Soundcloud. I do the singing: