Finland is the focus of this year's London International Festival of Exploratory Music (LIFEM) at Kings Place in London 30.10-2.11 2013. The four-day genre-busting LIFEM – “The Finnish Line” takes in the finest artists in traditional, fusion and contemporary folk, folk-rock, progressive jazz, acid jazz, avant-garde jazz, electronic and much more.
The LIFEM festival challenges musical boundaries by programming ground-breaking exploratory music from all corners of the world. “LIFEM’s fifth edition is once again full of UK premieres, England premieres, London premieres, and UK only shows. If that is not enough, it brings the very best artists from Finland, an arctic paradise that never stops to surprise and excite us”, says festival director Miguel Santos.
LIFEM – “The Finnish Line” opens with the distinctive Finno-Ugric close harmonies of Värttinä. This 30th anniversary gig promises to deliver a complete review of their stylistic musical journey from 1983 to the present day. The iconic and much-loved Jimi Tenor will be exploring his impressive back catalogue, blending electronic, classical, lounge, afro-American and cabaret music, with spontaneous slapstick and shameless glamour.
The festival also presents Finnish piano virtuoso Iiro Rantala, who crosses musical genres with style, ease and excitement, and the energetic visionary fusion folk ensemble Tsuumi Sound System. In the spirit of collaboration, renowned master of free-bass button accordion Maria Kalaniemi is joined by Timo Alakotila, one of Finland's most in-demand performers, on harmonium and piano.
Six-piece Alamaailman Vasarat, which translates as ‘The Hammers of the Underworld’, draw influences from tango, klezmer, jazz, psycho-billy, cabaret, circus music, new age, progressive avant-garde and the heaviest of heavy metal. The band’s weaponry consists of saxes and clarinets, bass brass, cellos with multi-effects, pump organ, grand piano, drums, percussion and, most recently, a rare contrabass saxophone. Alamaailman Vasarat will be supported by visionary Finnish neo-folk music composer, singer and jouhikko player Pekko Käppi.
“LIFEM showcases an unprecedented level of original Finnish talent in the UK and presents the perfect occasion to commemorate our 30th anniversary. We feel truly privileged to be part of “The Finnish Line” celebrating our music in London”, says Mari Kaasinen of Värttinä.
The programme also includes two London film premieres: Kimmo Pohjonen’s Soundbreaker and Jimi Tenor’s Sähkö The Movie. Both give a rare insight into the minds of two of Finland’s most creative and distinguished performers.
Music Finland is the main partner for LIFEM 2013 – “The Finnish Line”. The event is also supported by Kings Place, The Finnish Music Foundation and the Embassy of Finland in London. Media partners are Resonance 104.4fm and Songlines Magazine, who released an exclusive Music Finland CD compilation “Arctic Paradise” with their October issue, featuring exciting contemporary world music acts in addition to the LIFEM artists and Pekko Käppi, who will also be performing at this year’s World Music Expo - WOMEX.