Olli Aarni – Ylitse C-35 (Avant Archive)
Olli Aarni has been releasing recordings only for a few years; initially as Ous Mal in 2009, eventually as Olli Aarni, in the future as Nuojuva. Olli Aarni’s music rightly has a very good reputation, as his music displays a lot of intuition and ample ability to execute it. The moods brought about by the tonalities and textures of this music make me think of times when nostalgia has gripped me and I am in the stillness of trying to recapture emotions and sensations of times in the distant past; standing or sitting still, staring at an object that brings back a memory or many memories. There’s a whimsical and/or mystical feeling about this music that is very evocative and thought-provoking without being a downer. There is a euphoric feeling throughout the 6 pieces here that speaks of a great appreciation for beauty and a humble perspective on life. The sound palette overall is pretty limited to a certain textural niche focusing on a lightly warbling, staticky mass of repeating tone cycles that roll over each other as ocean waves or breezes. Some of the static sounds (from sampled vinyl playing at decreased speed?) end up sounding like trickling or lightly gurgling water. The instrumentation may include some type of looping device(s), processed guitar, synthesizers (used at times perhaps to emulate ethnic instruments), samples from records or films, field recordings, wind chimes. Implied melodies are placed impressionistically over the looped tones, causing a slight buildup of the mass, thickening the emotional complexity of the pieces. There are no abrupt sounds to jolt the listener. The buildup of layers always stays within certain limits, keeping it gentle and very breathable. This is a complex and detailed work that took much skill and attention to detail to accomplish, and I’ll add that it’s quite enjoyable.