Exposé Online banner

Juha Kujanpää Ensemble — Niin Kauas Kuin Siivet Kantaa
(Eclipse Music , 2017, CD)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2018-03-11

Niin Kauas Kuin Siivet Kantaa Cover art

Finnish composer and keyboardist Juha Kujanpää’s music straddles folk, jazz, rock, and theater music. His new album Niin kauas kuin siivet kantaa, or in English To Where My Wings Will Take Me, is the third chapter of his instrumental trilogy. The first two albums, 2013’s Kivenpyörittäjä (Tales and Travels) and 2015’s Kultasiipi (Goldwing) received Finnish and international critical acclaim. The band has remained fairly intact across all three albums with Juha (piano and keyboards), Timo Kämäräinen (guitar), Tero Tuovinen: (bass), Jussi Miettola (drums), Tommi Asplund (violin), Alina Järvelä (violin), and Esko Järvelä (violin). On the new album, Juha drew upon influences from orchestral waltzes, Greek bouzouki, Finnish folk music, and Klezmer scales, tying them together with strong melodies and interesting arrangements. The album opens with “Vuorikiipeilijä (Mountaineer)” containing a melodic guitar solo that is taken up by the violins, overall sounding like a piece that would have been right at home on Michael Rother’s Sterntaler. Track two, “Kumina (Caraway)” is an ethnic folk composition with an mid-Eastern vibe. Things turn a bit jazzy on “Aurora” recalling Passport and perhaps Jean-Luc Ponty. The band hits their stride on “Matkalaulu (Travel Song),” a catchy folk dance tune that encourages you get up and move to the beat. Next is the cinematic “Hirvitalon Valssi (Waltz from the Moose House)” that makes me think of The Last of the Mohicans theme. “Jää Sulaa (Ice Melting)” is an introspective piece with the promise of spring and birds chirping, followed by the flittering and fluttering “Perhostanssi (Butterfly Dance)” that for some reason makes me think of the old musical scores to the Little Rascals movies. The album closes with the title track, a dreamy floating tableau with the lead melody trading back and forth between the various musicians. I must say that I was impressed and pleased with this release, especially never having heard any of their previous work.

Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Juha Kujanpää

More info

Latest news

Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more

Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

Previously in Exposé...

Hawkwind - It Is the Business of the Future to Be Dangerous – The latest incarnation of Hawkwind comprises Dave Brock, Alan Davey, and Richard Chadwick. It Is the Business... takes all but the most open-minded Hawkfan by surprise for one reason: It's so...  (1994) » Read more

Listen & discover

Print issues