TAG: Finland

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September 2 2011

”Kipling” is the title of a hauntingly melancholic yet somehow beautifully hopeful music video created for the Finnish indie rock band, Magenta Skycode, by Miikka Niemi and his Lapland-based team at Flatlight Films.

We love the way the open space, sparse nature and mythical plot leave room for the viewers’ own interpretations. The airiness and subdued light are perfect reflections of the chilly beauty of Lapland where this was filmed in Kemijärvi and Salla.

The voice and the music are those of Jori Sjöroos, Magenta Skycode’s founder and main man. The other band members are Niko Kivikangas, Kalle Taivainen, Valtteri Lipasti, Mitja Kiviluoma, Niina Sinkkonen and Jessika Rapo.

We especially love the rhythm that seems to recall a yoik (joiku), the Lapps’ ancient form of storytelling by singing. Combined, the video and music bring out thoughts of shape-shifters and shamans, tragic fates and dramatic lives, fear and hope. The man and dog (a white Swiss shepherd) never appear together. Are they the same?

Kipling gained its name from a Rudyard Kipling quote: “Of all the liars in the world sometimes the worst are your own fears.” The song ends with a beautiful verse: As your sadness leads you home, will you turn the scene around, moving closer to the stage where your fear ends up afraid?

Kipling is part of Magenta Skycode’s second album, Relief, that won the 2010  Finland Emma Award (Finnish equivalent of Grammy) for the Best Indie Album. In 2006, the Turku-based Magenta Skycode’s debut album, IIIII, became Finland’s Record of the Year. - Tuija Seipell


January 15 2015

Mention caviar and champagne, and most of us will think of opulent, lavish environments, luxury bling and furs, high heels, tuxedoes.

But not so in Helsinki. Finland-born, Los Angeles-educated and now Helsinki-based designer Jonna Laajisto took the Finnish approach: She focused on creating an understated setting and fitted it to respond to the historical harbour environment. And left out everything else.

Laajisto was commissioned by the Finnish fish and seafood purveyor Savu-Kari to create a caviar (and roe and oyster) shop and restaurant in one of the most enviable locations in Helsinki, Eteläranta 20, overlooking the main harbour where the commuter ferries and sight-seeing boats dock and depart for the archipelago, and right across from the city’s famed open-air public market (Kauppatori) and the recently renovated and re-opened Old Market Hall (Kauppahalli).

She adorned the tiny 45 square-metre (485 sq.ft) space with only the essentials: a few tables, chairs, counter, shelves - all Finnish origin. We love the tiled floors, aged clip boards for menus, minimalist lighting and unpretentious chairs, as it all harkens back to the Old Market Hall feel yet with a lovely modern urban seaside café essence.

The only real touch of colour comes from the blue Rocket stools designed by Eero Aarnio and available at Artek.

Finlandia Caviar has only 11 seats plus four more outside (when the snow thaws) and it is also available for private events, such roe-tastings and parties.

Various types of caviar and roe are served straight from the tin, nestled in ice, accompanied by crackers and truffle cream. And of course champagne or vodka.

Jonna Laajisto is also responsible for the design of Minna Parikka Universum, the Helsinki (and only) retail boutique of our favourite Finnish ladies’ shoe brand. It is also an understated, minimalist white shell that offers up Minna’s fun, limited-edition shoes like pearls inside an oyster. - Tuija Seipell.


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