New Music From Tractors


Kimmo Pohjonen is Finland's most famous accordion player and composer of experimental music. Very experimental--this year he is performing in barns and cowsheds. Not only is he playing there ("muck out the cowshed, throw a few bales of hay around for seating and, hey, you've got a concert hall!"), but he is incorporating the sounds into his music. For his current tour, Earth Machine Music, he is visiting four English farms, recording the specific sounds of each one, and composing music from these samples. He is searching the English landscape for the rhythmical beat of the farm machines: a hand-turned flourmill, the churning machinery at the milking shed, the tractor's motor, sheep shearing and potato machines. Each farm has its own story.

And so does he: born in a small village in northern Finland and raised near farms he likes "the idea of making music with everyday farm machinery". He calls the work "an environmental art piece" and here's a snippet of a review of the show at Hall Farm (famous for their vintage tractor collection): "So, in one section a red tractor is driven beside his podium, his team following it with microphones, and his music interacts with it. Then he collaborates with band-saw tractor attachment as logs are cut." It is all tied up with the composer's desire to reconnect with the land and things that are age-old. "Everyone lives in the cities. People are losing their contact with the earth, they eat industrially-produced meat, and lots of preservatives. Also, I want to show respect for these people who live in the country. You know, they are great people, really open-minded." :: Kimmo Pohjonen Via :: The Guardian

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