– Is it a bass or a guitar? asks a young woman to me, as i am getting on the tram in Sörnäinen and she is coming out of it.
– A guitar!
The doors of the tram close on her enthusiastic “ok!” and me and my guitar go sit by a window. Today, I have an interview at radio Spirit FM’s and I’ll be playing 3 songs live.
It has not been a long time since my journey to the guitar shop. Roni and I have met 3 times since then to rehearse, which is not much really.. Yet this is enough for me to know that we are ready to deliver at least some beauty today. Last Monday, as Roni was leaving my building after our rehearsal, the cleaning-lady on the ground floor told him: “this was beautiful music, thank you!” – Anecdote which, besides having amused and pleased us, also gave us a clear hint that the entire building had had no other choice but to hear us play :)… I don’t really like to know that, it makes me feel a little shy and when i am shy, i can no longer sing. On the other hand, I am glad to know that we gave the cleaning-lady some beautiful vibrations.
A text message puts a stop to my daydreaming/glancing through the window. It’s Silke: “I’m waiting in front of the building”. Okey doc; she is there already. Today, my dear friend has agreed to film us during our performance. I’m glad she’ll be with us.
As tram number 6 continues its route from Mannerheimintie onto Bulevardi, I get up and I go stand by the door. There is a grey sky above Vanha Kirkkopuisto. I get out, cross the road and meet Silke and Roni, who has just arrived, down the building at number 10. It’s time; let’s go.
“Hello and welcome to our radio! James will soon be with you. In the meantime you may wait in this room. Would you like something to drink?” Nice lady, welcoming place and fun photographs on the wall of the waiting room.
Soon after, James comes to introduce himself and we follow him into the room where the action is going to take place.
I am aware of the fun fact that the music-performance world always has surprises in store for you. In my case, it happened shortly before the interview began – 2 minutes before it began, to be precise, when i needed to fetch a glass of water. I jumped down my bar chair, put down my guitar on the floor and walked to the table nearby.
“2 minutes”, says James.
I grab my glass, I walk back towards my chair and… accidentally step over the neck of my guitar, completely ruining the tuning of 2 of my strings.
I get back on my chair, i start retuning my guitar, i can’t help but feel Roni’s slightly worried look on me.
One string ready, next one.
– Eilera is with us today, at Spirit FM’s! Hello Eilera, and welcome (…)
– Hello (…) ”
Here we are. And i passed the first test of self-control.
Smoothly, the interview goes, being the interesting challenge that it is, to alternate speaking and playing / singing 3 times. What a good exercise! As always i feel i could improve my performance – this is part of my DNA.
First song, “Angel Made Temptress”, from the latest album; done. Second song, “Fusion”; done.
And to finish with, “Into The Sea”, performed on top of the strings arrangements which were recorded during the very first studio session for “Face Your Demons”, in Finnvox Studio, with a quartet of Helsinki. Singing with a string quartet feels like a taste of a heaven which i would have built for my self.
It lasted all in all 1 short hour. It is funny how long or short one hour can feel, depending on what you fill it with.
Roni should go home now, he is ill. Silke is ill too – the whole of Helsinki seems to be ill at the moment, with flus and stomach flus. When is my turn coming?, I wonder.
We decide nonetheless with Silke to make a stop in one coffee house. We walk to Café Briossi in Kalevankatu and I thank my friend with a round of coffee and muffin.
I like this place. They have famous black and white photographs hanging on the walls, such as the classic photograph of men taking their lunch-break on a skyscraper. And next to it is a photograph of Café de Flore. The New York workers and the Paris artists from the 30s are being reunited on a wall of Helsinki in 2017.
There used to be a photograph of Marilyn on the neighbouring wall, I remember. A photograph from her black and white series in NYC; do you know it? Often, when I see one of those photographs of Marilyn, I ponder about beauty, about how much it frightens some people when it is at its strongest and how absurd it is that these people shall fear it. Because, if these people understood anything about genuine beauty, then they would know that beauty does not seek power, but love.
Anyway; it is time for me to go home now. I’ve had a rich day, full of excitement, stimulating for my mind and for my senses. So I know already it is going to be difficult for me to find my sleep tonight. This is what happens when my brain and my senses get over-stimulated… “Highly Sensitive People”. This is what science calls people like me nowadays. – Eilera