Intense and intimate, please

Has anyone told you about the wonderful time of year in Helsinki? Late August, early September, and it is again approaching fast. It’s the annual Helsinki festival, making art accessible to all: classical music, dance, literature, concerts, the Night of the arts and whatnot. Venues are all around town.

As I am a concert lover, I will write about concerts. Some of my most memorable concert experiences in Finland are from Helsinki festival.

My favourite location for concerts during the festival is the Huvila festival tent – I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before (click the link for photos). The Huvila festival tent has provided us with a fantastic set of music in the last years. What makes me really happy this year is the Poetry Moon (I guess it’s a sub-festival of the Helsinki festival) expanding to cover other forms of literature in addition to poetry. Live readings coming your way! Another interesting sub-festival is Viapori Jazz, providing intimate concerts in historic surroundings.

I’m hoping to find uplifting happiness in Huvila in a few weeks again. I love to hear rain drops on the tent roof, with someone incredibly intense and mind-blowing on the stage. I wonder who it will be this year. Maybe Ron Sexsmith. Last year I could not participate, but some earlier experiences that I still cherish are Pauli Hanhiniemi & Hehkumo with fantastic traditional Finnish lyrics and tunes and Emma Salokoski Ensemble – also Finnish, but a little less traditional.

I still regret not having the chance to go and listen to Adiemus in 1997. I’m sure I would have sat right in front of the stage, not seeing or hearing anyone else, just swimming in the music.

This morning I listened to an episode of the Strand as a podcast. And there she was, Zora Neale Hurston telling a joke. I think I might like the Strand. And now even more as Harriet Gilbert just tweeted having interviewed Björk to the Strand. Yes, please!

♥ In the meantime: The rumour has it that politics have returned to politics in Finland.

♠ Song of the day: Esperanza Spalding, Wild is the Wind (and I must mention that somehow listening to E.Spalding’s voice brings Raya Yarbrough to my mind)

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