Monthly Archives: May 2016

Life after Tattoo?

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photo by Heli Palomaa

The last day here in Oslo and the last blogging of this week. How can we go back to normal anymore? You have to wake up in the room with no view over the city. No more meals ready just waiting for you. No one magically cleans up your room during the time you go to work just to the next building. And suddenly you realise that you’ve got used to all the people around you all the time. And now it ends and we will go home.

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photo by Heli Palomaa

It has been a great week here but it also feels good to go home. This was a nice beginning of summer. The Finnish Navy Band’s next Tattoo Show will be in Hamina Tattoo in August, so that will end the summer season.

I’m happy to get new readers during this week. I will continue blogging about once a month as before. I hope you enjoyed it and bye for now!

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“Everything is in order, like in Norway”

photo by Heli Palomaa

photo by Heli Palomaa

When I studied in Estonia I learned this saying “Kõik on korras, nagu Norras” meaning freely translated that everything is in order, like in Norway.

Throughout the whole Norwegian Military Tattoo I have had a feeling that this saying is true. The organisation has made a great job and I haven’t faced any problems. Anyway, we are many hundreds of people participating and there is no chaos anywhere. Just a little bit of rush after the shows when everyone is moving at the same time in the same place.

photo by Heli Palomaa

photo by Heli Palomaa

Today I also got a bit closer touch to Norway when I finally met again my Norwegian friend who I got to know in Finland few years ago. I learnt that the Tiger of the City Oslo has also sound engineering skills. And you should know, that if you do something very silly you can say “Porsgrunn!”

I can just say thank you for Norwegian Military Tattoo for having us here.

Vi kosær vårs!

Preparing for the Premiere

photo by Heli Palomaa

photo by Heli Palomaa

It all begins with a healthy breakfast after a well slept night in the hotel. Before the lunch there is good time to relax by taking a walk in the city and let your body wake up for the new day. Eating proper meals is important to keep your energy levels up.

photo by Heli Palomaa

photo by Heli Palomaa

In the dress rehearsal we got already audience. It’s time to think everything through once more before the first real performance. The uniform, check, notes, check, ear plugs, check, water and a snack, check.

Then the last thing is to get your mind in the mode for the performance. And when the moment comes, there is nothing else but me and the stage. I am made to perform. And I can make it for living.

White on!

photo by Heli Palomaa

photo by Heli Palomaa

As a musician my closet at home is full of all kinds of black clothes for concerts. It’s the easiest choice. Now that I joined a military band I am learning to wear military uniforms for the concerts. I was happy that my rightsized jacket arrived just in time before the trip. Otherwise I would have had to wear a jacket few sizes too big.

Today in the street parade I got to wear our uniform for summer and the Tattoo for the first time. It is completely white. I like the way it looks but it’s not the easiest colour to wear. You must be very careful if you plan to eat something and you can’t really sit down or touch anything. This uniform is called “helleasu” meaning heat uniform but the material is not very breathable and the lovely sunny weather in Oslo really kept us warm. We also learned that it is not possible to get those white shoes smaller than size 39 and my feet is about 37.

Luckily I didn’t stumble and fall. Yet.

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photo by Heli Palomaa

Arena Full of Music

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photo by Puolustusvoimat/Samuel Ahonen

All the time new faces coming by. Exchanging few smiles and hellos. Backstage full of people warming up their instruments. Just few moments before our rehearsal for tomorrow’s parade and the finale where all bands will play together.

The rehearsal went without problems and it was interesting to get the feeling of every countries music. There are things that combine all the military music, lots of marches and the traditions how the music is played but still it is possible to sense the difference between the musical culture. The Finnish Navy Band had chosen to play Festival March for the Fatherland that had completely different flavour after the Polish piece.

I believe that is one of the best things of this Tattoo: brining together different countries and cultures of the military bands. Be curious and explore, like one of our clarinet players is showing his example.

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photo by Timo Kivistö

The Long Way to Norway

This week will be special in the way that I will be blogging everyday about the Finnish Navy Band’s trip to Norwegian Military Tattoo. The blog will be published as well in the organisation web page and in a new application for this event.

NMT LOGO KULE TRANSPARENT

Our bus departed early this morning from Turku to Helsinki Vantaa Airport. However, this trip to Oslo began on my part already at the end of March when I joined the Finnish Navy Band. I’m the newest member of the band and got right away a chance to learn and experience what Tattoo shows are about.

In the first rehearsals I wasn’t sure if I would be able to learn it. My place is in the first row and I felt that everyone else had so much more experience of the figure marching. The first thing is to learn the music by heart. I have created some techniques for myself to make it more efficient. The basic rule is not just to trust your fingers but to really know what is the name of the next note. And the new part was to combine body movements with the playing. I was amazed to realise that my fingers would do wrong movements just when I added a turning with my legs. So I had to carefully repeat the body and finger movements.

After two months of practicing alone and together with the band in big halls I finally can say that I learned it. Now it is just about concentrating. If I lose my focus I might automatically repeat the right movements or then I will forget for example to stop on the right spot.

Now we are finally here and got today the first impression of the Oslo Spektrum Arena in the rehearsals. The feeling is very different with the floor and acoustics. We also heard few other bands practicing and I am really excited about the coming performances.

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Photo by Marjo Riihimäki

As you can see from the picture taken on backstage!

HeliPauliina on SoundCloud

Finally I made it happen. My Dream about the Sound came true. It took quite a long time to put everything together, but here it comes:

I’m quite happy about it. There is not that many pieces at the moment. I would like to add so many more, but the first thing is that all the works I am using are from so called public domain composers which means that they have died over 70 years ago and then I don’t violate any copyrights.

SoundCloud tries to protect the copyrights of their users and I find good. They removed three clips of my Mozart Clarinet Quintet since the system automatically found that those were similar to few others. I had to explain that it is the same piece but everyone has the right to record it and I just published my own version of it. And they reinstated my clips quite fast.

The second thing is that I want to get a permission from all of the players that are on my recordings and not all of those musicians answered me yet. So hopefully I will add few more pieces later. Thank you for all those who already gave me answers!

The idea is not to give full recordings of everything but mainly short clips that will give you the impression of how I sound. Or actually how I have sounded since all of these are recordings are made over one year ago. It’s like my demo. I used Audacity to create these clips. I really like this software. It has many features but I ended up using only trimming and fade in/fade out and to add some volume. All of the recordings are made in concerts, exams or rehearsals. None of them are professional quality. I’ve also added links on my repertoire page on every piece that there is a recording available.

I hope you will enjoy it!