Monday, April 02, 2007

[video clips] Sähkökvartetti & Those Lovely Hulahands

Sähkökvartetti in action

Those Lovely Hulahands

YLE, Finnish Broadcasting Company, runs these days on their Website a huge archive of old video and soundclips, spanning the last hundred years of news events, politics, culture, entertainment, education and popular culture in Finland and around the world from a Finnish point of view. Called Elävä Arkisto ("The Living Archive"), at the time of writing this, 2618 audiofiles and 2343 videofiles can be found there. (Unfortunately for you non-Finns, most of it is in Finnish language only.)

Some excerpts from Elävä Arkisto (thanks for the tip to Jukka Lindfors):

Sähkökvartetti ("The Electric Quartet") was a late-60s electronic instrument for multiple players, built by Erkki Kurenniemi, an undisputed pioneer of electronic music in Finland. During live performances Sähkökvartetti was operated by the underground luminaries Tommi Parko, Peter Widén and Arto Koskinen, and as the vocalist was the legendary M. A. Numminen. Sähkökvartetti appeared at an international youth festival in Sofia, Bulgaria in 1968, created quite a havoc with their sonic anarchy ill-fitting to the official agenda of Socialist youth culture, and were subsequently banned from the festival. There is in existence only one remaining Sähkökvartetti song, 'Kaukana väijyy ystäviä' ("Far away lurk friends"), which has been featured on various compilations and M.A. Numminen's retrospective albums. Elävä Arkisto has here Sähkökvartetti's only performance on TV and also M.A. Numminen reminiscing this project in an audio interview.

Also representing Finnish underground culture of the day, Those Lovely Hulahands were quite a different entity from Sähkökvartetti, an arty and deliberately naivistic quintet with aspiring hippie spirit; playing recorders, violins, acoustic guitars, bass, kazoo and so on. Consisting of Timo Aarniala (best known as the court artist of Finnish underground with several comic books, record sleeve illustrations etc.), Meri Vennamo, Anne-Maj Aarniala, Raisa Vennamo and Tuomas Korvenoja (the last three only 13 to 14 years old at the time), the Hulahands songs were often thematic pieces, deriving their inspiration from Francois Truffaut's Jules et Jim, Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan books and comics to Korean and Chinese flute tunes. Here is a video excerpt of Those Lovely Hulahands performing their "chamber music" in Munkkiniemi, Helsinki. (Those Lovely Hulahands were also featured on the 2006 compilation Psychedelic Phinland - Finnish Hippie & Underground Music 1967-1974.)

More 60s underground @ Elävä Arkisto

The Early Years of FinnScene @ pHinnWeb