Already at the very beginning of the post-production process i got the idea of contributing a certain Finnish style (marked by melancholic melodies and dreamlike synth-arrangements) to the music score. In fact, it feels just perfectly natural to combine this kind of gloomy sound with the rather wistful atmosphere of the movie. Furthermore, the story's setting is in Scandinavia - for a good reason. And the sound metiond above is nordic to the core - authentic, so to speak.
Actually, I didn' have any Finnish artist available in mind, only for the sake of getting some Finnish input - how stupid would that have been? All this name-dropping bullshit certainly lies far beyond our approach.
Matti Reinola and Hendrik Behnisch
Well, it was a certain songwriter I was thinking of. A Finn though, but first of all a man whose music has been accompanying me for years and that also has been influential when I was writing the novel 'Valkama'. A musical input in the movie score of this man, Matti Reinola, band leader of the Atmospheric Rock act SHAMRAIN, would have meant that a circle closes, I thought. In fact, I got to know Matti personally back in 2007 when I did an interview with him for the German-based Rock/Metal webzine Tuskasi
. Sharing passion for the same kind of music and both always being open for alcohol-fueled adventures, we connected quite easily back in the days and remained in some kind of contact ever since.
So, the rest is told quickly. In Summer 2008, when I was in Helsinki for a couple of days, me and Matti spent a great bar night together and I brought him Tim's trailer of Valkaama. Luckily, Matti instantly agreed on giving it a try and writing some music for the trailer. First we only thought of him writing some atmospheric soundscapes to support the pictures in the trailer. But when Matti played his first tune to me a couple of weeks later, I proposed to turn this into a 'proper' song. Actually, the basic song idea sounded too good to me to only keep it as a 2minutes-instrumental. At this point we started wondering about who might be the best choice to vocalize the track. I already had a lyrical vision in mind, so everything came together piece by piece. While Matti was changing the arrangement, I started working on the lyrics and we discussed via email about different candidates who might do the vocal-part. We even took an angelic female voice into consideration, but soon it became obvious that it wouldn't fit the lyrical vision. And then, out of the blue. we got the idea of asking Ilpo Paasela, the frontman of the promising newcomer-act THE CHANT.
Ilpo's band had released its debut album in early 2008 and I knew the guitarists Jussi and Kimmo and the keyboard player Mari personally. When I contacted Jussi to help me establish a contact with Ilpo everything went really smoothly. After watching the trailer in combination with the instrumental version of Matti's song, Ilpo instantly agreed on taking over the vocal duties.
Ilpo Paasela from THE CHANT
We exchanged quite a few emails about the vocal arrangements and the song structure, so building the song turned out as a real teamwork. In the meantime, I re-arranged the lyrics and entitled the track as 'Elusive Bonds' which I think reflects perfectly the feeling about the characters' relationships in Valkaama.
At the end of October, the vocals got recorded in Helsinki, but naturally, the mixing and mastering process took quite a while. Additionally, it wasn't that easy to come up with a good project name either. However, in February 2009 we agreed on the (at least temporary) name ABANDONED IN AUGUST. The guys already declared that they want to continue collaborating. So, an experimental collaboraton that started as a friendly turn for the Valkaama-project might establish a new Atmospheric Rock Act on Finland's musical map. More songs should follow by those guys. If you are in to melancholic and ethereal music, keep an eye on ABANDONED IN AUGUST.
For the moment, we should enjoy 'Elusive Bonds', this exclusive contribution to our project. For me as the writer of the novel, a circle coses and I am proud and happy at the same time, that this great song has become a part of Valkaama by now. This kind of music has been with me when I created Lasse, Magnus, Runa and all the other characters. This kind of music has always been highly influential for my aesthetic visions and now, it officially represents the Valkaama-movie to some extent. We've come a long way since the first page of the novel was written back in 2006, indeed. Tim's term of the 'Valkaama-universe' reflects quite well what we have built up throughout these 3 years and what we - hopefully with you guys out there - will keep on building. I am excited what will be the next step. For now, I turn back to my CD-player and give 'Elusive Bonds' another listen.