The Helsinki Effect


March 7, 2011
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Unfortunately I couldn’t find my camera while I was making them, but basically they’re a really messy version of this:

Basically it’s an almondy rummy raspberry-y mess 🙂


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March 6, 2011
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One of the initial things that got me interested in Finland as a country is the music there. I’m actually doing a presentation on this on Tuesday following a five thousand word essay entitled ‘How has the music of Finland helped to break down barriers in Finnish society?’ So, I thought I’d make a post about three Finnish musicians that have really inspired me.

So, first up, someone that will be no stranger to anybody liking classical music. (Note the little c.)

This is Johan ‘Jean’ Sibelius, a late Romantic – early 20th century Finnish classical composer. He composed a lot of orchestral works based on Finnish mythology and the Kalevala, for example The Swan of Tuonela, which I absolutely love. However, his most notable piece of music is probably Finlandia. It was composed at a time when Russia was still ruling over Finland and becoming oppressive, for the end of a patriotic themed gala in Helsinki in 1899. The piece in some ways served as a catalyst for Finnish patriotism, which ultimately lead to their declaration of independence in 1916 (along with lots of other factors, obviously). One of the sections of Finlandia has also been turned into a hymn, which is not only the Finnish national hymn and ‘secondary national anthem’, but it is also the tune for an English hymn and multiple other songs around the world. So incredibly influential.


Next, we’ll jet several years into the future to a man who, unfortunately, isn’t anywhere NEAR as well known.

This is Pekka Ansio Heino (he tends to use his middle name too, possibly because he shares his name with the guy who used to present the Swedish Eurovision. Massively underrated despite being in a total of three bands (Leverage, Rock and Roll Sensation and notably Brother Firetribe because of its famous guitarist), he is genuinely the best singer I have ever heard. He seems to have all bases covered – he can create the same sounds on recording and on stage, he expresses a whole tonne of emotion, and he’s technically brilliant!

Ah, just listen!


And last, but definitely not least, is a man who’s helped me a lot.

It might be worth pointing out at this stage that I am something of a metalhead. Tuomas Holopainen is the composer and brains behind a popular Finnish metal band called Nightwish, who are my favourite band by a long shot. Not only is the music he writes amazing, but it helped me when I was completely disillusioned with everything, by teaching me that there IS beauty in our somewhat corrupt world, you just have to look for it hard enough, and never lose hope that it is there. He’s something of a personal hero for me.


And that concludes the post! Tomorrow I’ll be attempting to make Runeberg tarts in preperation for the aforementioned presentation, so I’ll probably post about that.

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First Post!

March 6, 2011
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What an original title for my post here. I’ve spent the past half an hour trying to get to grips with the whole wordpress layout, but I think I may have finally got it. Success!

If you happen to have stumbled across this and are wondering what the hell this is all about, then I direct you over to the sidebar on your left where all will be revealed.

I don’t know entirely how this is going to turn out just yet. Do I focus on the emotional or practical aspects of what I am trying to acheive? Hopefully both, but we shall have to see…

I’ll be making my first real post hopefully later today, but right now I have a tonne of work to do. I will leave you with a picture of a city, the city that is the main subject of this blog.

(The picture is not mine.)

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Hello world!

March 6, 2011
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Welcome to This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

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    Call me My.

    I was born in England and have lived there for all my life. However, as soon as I became old enough to know anything about the world, I knew that I didn't belong there. So, aged seventeen, I set myself a goal which currently remains relevant - to move to Helsinki, Finland, within five years. Here, I intend to catalogue my explorations into Finnish culture, and my progress towards eventually living there.