Kimmo Pohjonen is One Crazy Dude

Kimmo Pohjonen: Earth Machine MusicAs someone who comes from a long line of farmers, I’m no stranger to tractors and farm equipment. But I never thought of using their sounds in music, which is why I’m not a famous avant-garde musician like Finnish accordionist Kimmo Pohjonen. He toured four UK farms and recorded the sounds of tractors, milking machines, threshers, and more, so he could tweak, loop, and sample them with his MIDI accordion for his project, “Earth Machine Music.”

“When you amplify and equalise those sounds, and you have a great PA, you can suddenly hear music and rhythms. I’m sure people who come to the concerts will be surprised at what great sounds they have. These are kind of forgotten sounds. Everybody knows them, and everybody knows accordion sounds, too – but not like this.”

Next month, Pohjonen will revisit those farms for a series of concerts in which he’ll perform new music he has composed specifically for each venue. Local farmers will even “play along” with Pohjonen, firing up their tractors and machinery during the performance. There’s even a documentary film in the works. I wonder if it will spawn a whole new genre of agricultural accordionists…

Update: I found a YouTube clip of Pohjonen discussing the project, as well as a piece in the Telegraph.

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