Home » Paavoharju: Transforming the Humble Wasp in a Matchbox into Musical Magic

Paavoharju: Transforming the Humble Wasp in a Matchbox into Musical Magic

Experimental music often faces its fair share of criticism. Many people equate experimental music with post-modern art, dismissing it as odd or something anyone could create, thereby questioning its credibility. However, experimental music stands as a crucial and necessary element within the realm of sound.

Even if the endeavors of an individual or a band in the pursuit of experimental music don’t immediately resonate, the mere act of attempting such creativity inevitably influences future music in some way. Various aspects of experimental music serve as inspiration for more accessible forms, gradually making their way into mainstream genres.

Take noise music, for example. Initially employed to express socio-political unrest, its seemingly inaccessible sounds mirrored the tumultuous world surrounding the composer. While it once had an underground following, noise music has now permeated rock, rap, and even pop genres. Self Esteem, for instance, incorporates noise music to craft a feedback-heavy chorus in the hit single ‘Prioritise Pleasure.’

Given the pivotal role of experimentation in music, bands brave enough to explore these realms deserve greater recognition. Among them is Paavoharju, a band that boldly draws inspiration from various facets of life and their native country to forge innovative and dynamic music.

One of Paavoharju’s distinctive methods involves utilizing the buzzing of a wasp trapped in a matchbox. Transforming the buzzing sound into a natural fuzzy bass, they paired it with rhythmic elements using tracker programs, resulting in a sound truly unlike anything heard before.

While this method may seem whimsical, it holds potential impact when wielded skillfully. Notable artists like Billie Eilish and her brother have employed unconventional methods, such as a dentist drill and a crosswalk sound effect, to create unique noises for their music, showcasing the transformative power of experimentation.

Lauri Ainala, the founder of Paavoharju, found inspiration in his hometown of Savonlinna, living amidst dilapidated houses and constructing sauna huts from waste material. Influenced by the profound impact of his hometown and the emotions tied to his upbringing, Ainala embarked on experimental sound creation to capture these sentiments. This spirit of experimentation defines the band’s work.

Experimentation in music can yield not only pleasing sounds but also unfamiliar noise that evokes a spectrum of emotions—love, anger, anxiety, and everything in between—depending on the artist’s intent. The sound crafted by Paavoharju holds immense significance, and their innovative approach continues to inspire many in the realm of music today.

Encouraging more artists to embrace the possibilities of experimental music could facilitate the conveyance of a broader range of emotions through sound.

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