Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Would You Like Me To Write It Down For You?

(The Book of Amber, "Meripihka". See some photocopies of this book below, from notes that were written in 2004-2005.)

Since August 2000, when I bought a handmade empty book from Old Riga, I have been using quite fancy note books when writing down various thoughts and feelings, but above all else, my "poetic inspirares". The writings are in English or Finnish - I have used foreign language in my lyrics since 1994. But I have never kept a diary. These texts vary in topics so much that I am unable to describe their range. For example, Omnium Gatherum's Wastrel, from November 2000, has many lines taken from my first Book of Leaves, "Lehdet". I finished it in June 2001.

The next two books, from Riga and Tallinn, were stolen. I had gone into extremities with them. These books had some parts filled with unimaginable hate and despise, although there were also beautiful and lovelike lines all over, with images of churches, altars, doves, medieval romance and other things like that. But they have kept on living in the words of, say, The Sleeping Gold and OG's debut, Spirits And August Light, as well as in poem fragments called Letters in May.

The Book of Spirits, "Henget", was likewise bought from Old Riga in August 2002, and I thank Marianna Keisalo for giving it to me as a present (I was ready to pay for it, but she didn't accept my money). The book has the song order of SAAL in it, and the first sketches for the album "II". And it has countless lines and themes yet "unused" in public. The Book of Spirits is the one most altered of all my texts, as if the name itself somehow referred to it......spirits that came and went, all kinds of spirits, good and bad. I admit that too much of it was quite frustrated and annoying, even though I fought hard and ceaselessly against "such diseases of mind and language". Well, it's easier said than done, I know. In late 2002 - early 2003 I wrote many quotes taken from Rumi, Pushkin, Apollinaire, Yeats, Tennyson, Keats etc. When naming the book last autumn (2007) I also included a few quotes from another book of spirits, whose author is called White Eagle (the words just happened to be there for me when I needed them). "Henget" was full of notes already in August 2003, but I'm still "re-writing" it, trying to make all the layers & spirits visible, on those pages.

The next time I visited Riga was in July 2004. I bought my jewel, The Book of Amber, "Meripihka" (not to be confused with Amber Books...). Most of the pages are still empty, I have been slow with this one. But what else would you expect, if the motto on the first page is "Kärsivällisyys", Patience. It has the song order for The Sleeping Gold and also for Years In Waste, but with the latter the order is different from what it came to be on the album. Then, there are some utterly stupid lines like "God, give me a few coins, I'm broke but I'm standing tall" from 2004 era. Some quite serious and some not that serious text? "What will be my shelter this autumn" asks a voice in the beginning, and it's about the Spirit's houses on this earth; Groves, Temples, Churches, Words, Myths and Images. There are three Lessons in Love, and a long quote from Wolfram von Eschenbach's Parzival, the already famous part where Trevrizent speaks to the young, foolish man (chapter 9, hermit's cave). It's in Middle-High German as well as in modern English and Finnish. It seems I also wrote about witches young and mean, in 2005. Not to rest until the air is cleaned.

In June 2005 I bought the necessary Moleskine note book, the smallest one. I got it finished 23rd of October, 2007. It is called The Book of Tongues, "Kielet". Here we have a variety of subjects from Finnish Mythology (especially the research tradition) and the line of German romanticism (Rilke and Celan) to Anthropology and Anthroposophy, not to forget a few crusading memoirs, trying to solve "the spiritual crisis of the West". That's just me, I can't help it. Hans-Georg Gadamer makes an appearance, together with Walter Benjamin and some other friends of mine, like Vladimir Vysotsky. Lots of notes for & from my poems to come (and poems that went away). The Book of Tongues was at hand when we entered the Russian Room studios last July (2007) with Mika Pekkkola and Matti Rautaniemi, to work on and build the ambient sound of shrines. The first "record" is called Akritas. But most of this note book is about mythological tensions and traditions ending / beginning a-new. And a lot of fooling around with the nature of language(s) and tongues, of course.

The Book of Lines, "Luonnoksia", was given by my parents who went to Vilnius, Lithuania, in August 2005. It started as a sketch book for OG's third album, but eventually became something else. This is the only lined book I have, others are all blank, white paper. Still very much unfinished, it has Vysotsky translations (Katkennut lento, Susijahti, Ystävän Laulu, Maan Laulu) and notes for an esoteric rock band, with cowboy outlooks. Juri Shevtshuk (DDT) inspired me like no one else when I was drawing the first lines. I have always loved these Russian poets and bards. There's Odinn, too, with his one eye. And there's an entrance made by Rudolf Steiner, together with some Finnish mythical / magical lines of poetry. It happened in September-October 2005 when Matti Rautaniemi gave me a book called How To Attain Knowledge Of The Higher Worlds (I still warmly recommend this book to everyone, just read it with an "updated" mind; it's hundred years old, after all - the innermost content or essentia is new as ever, but the forms no longer speak to us if we don't stretch the limits of our interpretation and imagination). I was finishing my essay about Finnish Mythology and writing down notes for the new lyrics. Luonnnoksia has a lot of this: "Baby, I wanna walk in the woods / with a six-string on my back". Can't get any worse than that!

I have had The Book of Notes, "Nuotit" in use since 2003 or even earlier, but it was in 2006 when I really started composing. Until then it had a few poems and sketches, like Last Nights of September At Hand, I'm Not Your Man, and one (20 chapters long) poem in Finnish, from early 2003, but nothing much more. During the last year or two this book has become an important collection of notes. I translated some of my poetry into Finnish there. I had gotten things straight for myself. And I'll have to say the commentaries published in our alternative zine Virta 3 ( are just scratches, lacking a lot of precision that would have been necessary (not to mention the fact that TSG was not yet ready). So what about the Good Friday Spell's quest, with its Grail-influenced ideals emerging despite / because of all the sorrow and confusion. What about the introduction concerning the first steps on "the path of spiritual development", with Tarkovsky and Jung showing another way out of the miserable hell near "the post-modern horror", one of the main themes of A Good Friday Spell. It all happened in 2000 already (see the other sites for more info). During the years I have been repeating my history a few times, as if going round in circles. I have had to learn about & how to respect different kinds of views (for obviously I did not have enough knowledge or respect before). While slowly making things clear to myself, I have worked to attain spiritual tolerance and open-mindedness. Do I expect others to do the same? Of course I still fail to keep up with my ideals. These things are quite complicated if you try to weigh them one by one, without giving in to the Force of the flow(s), when you get close enough. The Book of Notes is the key to my thinking, it has tuned some of the harmony of Spheres for me. A very special warm thank you goes to all of my teachers, living and dead, material and immaterial, literal and metaphorical!

 Taide on aina heikkojen puolella.... / Tarkovskista Pessoaan / Heikkous, voimattomuus, säälittävyys; niiden merkit tekevät taiteesta hyvää? / "Siksi kovuus ei voita koskaan" (kysymysmerkki on lisätty kirjaan myöhemmin, kuva on vuosilta 2004-2005)