Contemporary Dead Finnish Music Ensemble on the Progstravaganza compilation

Progstravaganza Questionnaire: Contemporary Dead Finnish Music Ensemble

CDFME is a musical community with sole purpose to bring good music to the world. The Ensemble was born in a year 2000 out of the need to bring back some of the more ambitious and progressive music that had to go literally underground in the 1980’s and -90’s.

The band recently appeared on Progstravaganza XX: Landmarks, and Antti Pesonen answered the Progstravaganza Questionnaire.

How did you come to do what you do?

I come from a musical family. Both my parents and their fathers were professional classical musicians. I was playing violin at age 5, and then changed to cello five years later. I was 12 when I heard Abba’s Waterloo in Eurovision Song Contest and that hit me hard! Pop and rock music started to really interest me. One of my friends had a guitar and he showed me the basics. I became very keen to learn more how to play guitar and got my first electric as a birthday present for my 13th birthday. Then I experienced the art of Jimi Hendrix! Two years later I rolled in to a Pop/Jazz Conservatory. At the same time I started to compose songs. After the high school I studied musicology in the university. I could never envision my life without playing, making and listening to music so I’m happy that even as a hobby I can continue to do what I’ve always wanted: compose ambitious rock music, explore and experiment with different sounds and play the guitar.

What is your first musical memory?

Watching the performance of the Sleeping Beauty ballet with my mother. I cried all the way to home because it was so beautiful. I was three years old.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Sounds, stories, movies, nature, space exploration and studies.

What message does the song on our Progstravaganza compilation carry?

Scene I, The Zealot: Black Mist 
is a sad story about slavery. A child is growing up in a deeply religious and rigid society. The religious Mist is blurring everyone’s vision and thinking. There’s trickery and seductive games. Once, something truly evil and irreversible happens. Lives lived in prison sells, never to be able to lead a normal life. It was inspired by the criminal but forgiven behavior in certain religious areas in northern Finland. The message would be that a terrible amount of suffering and evil things has been made using “god” or “good intentions” as an excuse.

Do you tend to follow any pre-defined patterns when composing a piece?

I always try to achieve something new. There’s enough music in the world already, why make more if it’s only repeating itself? That said, I can be very systematic and often like to use certain pre-defined methods and structures.

What is your method of songwriting?

I hear melodies, bass lines or rhythmic patterns in my head almost all the time. Mostly melodies. Sometimes I stop and think; hey this could be something, maybe a part of a song. Then I try to elaborate it, add some elements to it, perhaps a bass line or chords to see if it inspires a feel or a musical meaning. I play with it so that I can see if I can give it what it needs to be alive or not. Maybe some other idea sparks from it and it’s even better. Other method is to try to get inspired; I play around with different synth sounds or drum patterns and wait if it evokes something worthwhile. Then there’s the method of just working. Making a decision to compose something that has certain aspects or a certain tempo or time signature. The sandbox has to have edges! Then just work-work-work until it starts to give you back ideas – or not! Sometimes I have a vision or a “feeling” that I want to dress in a musical outfit. Then I maybe close my eyes and try to hear the melody that wants to come out from the vision. Or I try different things that could bring the musical idea closer to the “feeling”. I believe that the best songs have a strong presence or atmosphere in them.

How do you see your music evolving?

“Dark Matters” includes pretty much all the elements I’ve wanted to achieve in the rock band album format. I gave it all I had, three years and hundreds of hours of work. What next? A double CD concept album? Rock-Opera? Oh no! At the moment I’m very much interested in electronic music and sounds. I’ve started to compose an instrumental electronic, ambient-minimalistic-progressive album about space travelling. I hope this will give me some distance and new ideas for composing for the band.

What advice would you give to other musicians, trying to make inspired music and get it out in the world?

Be true to yourself, to your vision and work very hard for it. Don’t give up!

What are you looking forward to?

I’m very keen to explore new sounds and new styles in my ambient project. Making cross-genre, combining different styles has always been the forte and even the birth of the progressive rock and I’m exited to see what comes out from the mixture of ambient, electro, prog, soundscapes and space rock!

Do you think that Progstravaganza compilation series is good way to showcase the potential of many unheard bands on the already overcrowded scene?

YES!

Links:

http://www.cdfme.com

Prog Sphere is compiling the first physical (CD) Progstravaganza progressive rock & metal compilation. Interested acts can get in touch at info@prog-sphere.com