Nordik Tree: Contradans

Take three gentlemen, three maestros of Nordic folk music. Let them combine their forces in one group, playing their hearts out in a couple of magnificent tunes, mostly own compositions but some traditional stuff as well. You have a delight called Nordik Tree.

You can feel the spices of what these guys have been playing before – the spices of JPP, Forsmark III, some Finnish slavic melancholy and Swedish archaic fiddling force. The fiddles of Hans Kennemark and Arto Järvelä intertwining in breathtaking melody tum, the harmonium of Timo Alakotila providing both some rocking rhythmic turns and more solemn feelings. We may also hear Arto Järvelä take up the mandolin, bringing some more attack to the whole, as well as Timo Alakotila taking up some heavenly grand piano and Hans Kennemark’s viola bringing some deeper sounds to the fiddling.

At their second album, Nordik Tree still sounds like three musicians enjoying a jam session together – that was how the group started. But they also sound mature, finding their own ways to continue their musical journey together.

Tove Djupsjöbacka
Timo Alakotila: harmonium, piano, vocal
Arto Järvelä: fiddle, octave mandolin, vocal
Hans Kennermark: fiddle, viola, vocal
Maria Kalaniemi: accordion
Engineered and mixed by Marko Myöhänen.
Mastered by Pauli Saastamoinen at Finnvox.

1. Vals till vännen min – Waltz for My Love

Säv. Hans Kennemark.

The waltz was made by request under a very short time and was subsequently forgotten. One bright summer night, years later, it resurfaced and craved the lyrics it never had – ”This song is longing for you, my love”.

2. Close to Eight

Säv. Arto Järvelä.

This tune emerged late 2008 when Arto was having 7/8 rehearsal with his fiddle.

3. Enviser – Headstrong
Säv. Hans Kennemark.

Dedicated to a very beautiful girl, wise but headstrong.

4. Palojoen marssi
Säv. Arto Järvelä.

This marching tune is dedicated to one of our favourite Finnish fiddlers, Elias Tallari (1850-1911) from Kuortane. His little abode was located in Palojoki, just south of the center of Kuortane.

5. Hymn
Säv. Timo Alakotila.

Featuring: Maria Kalaniemi, accordion
Timo composed this song for his mother Salme during the summer of 2007. The tune is also a part of Timo’s composition ”Concerto Grosso” for the chamber orchestra Vox Artis.

6. Contradans – Contradance
Säv. trad.

Arto found this quadrille from Erik Ulrik Spoof’s music book. Spoof (1775-1846) was a soldier and a fiddler. Erik and his sister Maria Helena wrote down music in his little music book during the late 18th and early 19th century. This book includes 128 popular tunes from southern Finland, mainly quadrille and pollonaise.

7. Vals 333

Säv. Timo Alakotila.

This rather fast waltz was composed in 2006. Timo played this piece with his sequencer. The original length of the piece was 3 minutes 33 seconds. Now it is a bit longer…

8. Hamnö
Säv. Arto Järvelä.

In August of 2000 Arto visited the isle of Kökar in Åland. Near the beautiful Kökar church is a small bridge leading to the next Island called Hamnå. While on the top of the rocks this little polska started to ring in his head and was written down in his calendar.

9. Bytt lasses brudmarsch – Bytt Lasse’s Bridal March
Säv. trad.

This bridal march was played by the legendary fiddler Hultkläppen. His actual name was Per Alsén and he lived in north Hälsingland 1834–1898.

10. Karsk
Säv. Arto Järvelä.

Arto is a big fan of Rørosmartnan in Røros, Norway. This annual festival starts the 2nd Tuesday of every February and attracts among other things a lot of folk musicians. This merry tune popped up in 2008 in the middle of jam session in Cabin nr. 17 in Idrottshejm during Rørosmartnan. Oh, for a perfect karsk you need strong coffee and a sip of Balder…

11. Menuett från Kronoby
Säv. trad.

This beautiful tune comes from Ostrobothnia in Finland. Arto found it from Otto Andersson’s collection, ”Finlands Svenska Folkdiktning, Äldre dansmelodier IV A 1, nr. 203”. The artist is unknown but there is a little statement on the top: sung by a woman.

12. Matka – Journey
Säv. Timo Alakotila.

”Matka” is as well a part of Timo’s ”Concerto Grosso”. The first version is dedicated to his father, Toivo. He passed away in 2007.

13. Begrundan – Contemplation
Säv. Hans Kennemark.

This polska is a kyrie and part of the Requiem that Hans wrote together with the songwriter/poet Alf Hambe.

14. Peli-Jussi
Säv. trad.

Original version of this tune is from the repertoire of Elias Tallari. There are a couple of other tunes by Fiddler Jussi but his real name is unknown. He was most likely from Kuortane as well. This march is played at the local weddings while food is being served.