Monday, December 5, 2011

The Intersection: Otso Lahdeoja

The Intersection is an ongoing feature on JazzWrap that looks at artist that blended jazz, world and electronica in new and highly creative ways.

Otso Lahdeoja (guitar, electronics)

Yonder (Audio Tong; 2011)

It's always wonderful to make new discoveries. And with music it provides even greater emotion gratification. Music is designed to connect with you on a psychology and emotional level.

When the music is surprising and startling its even better. That's how I felt when I finished listening to Finnish guitarist, Otso Lahdeoja's solo debut, Yonder (Audio Tong).

Otso comes at the music from many different angles. Working in both art installation, dance, science/research provides him an interesting prospective into how to construct his pieces.

With what Lahdeoja calls an "augmented guitar" of his own design he sculpts atmospherics that are reminiscent of the some of the best ambient work by Michael Brooks, Terje Rypdal, David Gilmour or David Sylvian. It warm, creative and highly exploratory.

"Haunted" opens with such a feeling. A feeling of loss but also an open road on a journey to something new. I felt like this piece would make the perfect opening to psychology sci-fi thriller. Errie with loops, effects and melodies that are also lush and beautiful. It's a listen that carries the listener on a journey where there might not be an ending.

Lahdeoja's use of real-time manipulation electronics forms infinite possibilities on the sounds he constructs. One would start to assume this would mean that the music is just one person playing around on-the-fly for giggles and kicks. That would be far from the truth. The soundscapes created here are improvised but within a certain set of constructs that have to be specifically performed as well as programmed.

"Aivovuoto" and "Banjo," the two lengthiest pieces both explore sound, empathy with hovering harmonics that leave a visual and sonic fingerprint on the listener. "Banjo" has a blissful undulating quality that would almost sound like an outtake from David Sylvian's Gone To Earth.

Otso Lahdeoja appears to have brilliantly utilized his skills in various multi-media to create a real document of sound and vision, in Yonder, that exciting as it is intriguing. 

1 comment:

  1. The opening to your video post is some of the most amazing, sickest, pieces of music I've heard in a long time. I came here following a google connect from keywords "David Sylvian" & "Jazz" and found Otso Lahdeoja. This is groundbreaking and I hate to rock some boats here but it's almost an insult to Otso to compare him to Michael Brooks and David Gilmour. I've liked them both but this is more cutting-edge and isn't tired sounding like many dinosaurs of old sound to me now because of their meandering, pointless solos and over-layered compositions. You mentioned Sylvian. He's a more appropriate comparison because he has always understood the natural power and openness of space, never sounding like a showoff or a college hippie. Thank you for turning me onto Otso. I will be buying "Yonder" soon - Michael Fierce