I would call the last few months “the whirlwind of change” both on the personal and on the global level. Oftentimes when a change happens, the fear of uncertainty tends to grab hold of our minds more than the potential for new development. I guess it’s almost innate in us to move towards stability and avoid any possible destabilization. But, on the other hand, human history shows repeatedly that a new order, or a trigger for development begins in uncertainty and destabilization of some sort. So, change can be “good” and/or “bad,” depending on one’s viewpoint.
But I’m not writing this blog to philosophize change (although that’s one of the things that interest me greatly). I just want to fill you in on what’s happening with Elena’s Idea. You have been supporting us from the beginning, and I would like to reciprocate your generosity.
To put it succinctly, Elena’s Idea has gotten simplified and intimate. Pekka has decided to take a break from the band to focus on his own art. Veli-Matti and I have decided to continue making music together to really focus on “the essentials,” finding gems in simple stuff.
So, it is a change for us. It certainly wasn’t what I had expected for the band. But, I don’t judge it to be either good or bad. It’s just a different road ahead of us to walk on.. a new path that has suddenly emerged on the map.
Elena’s Idea is not and has not been a typical music band for me. Many people have told me that our music is not “mainstream” in the best possible sense. We’d often joked about selling millions of records and getting filthy rich and drenched in booze and drugs. Popularity and the number of sold records are good measures of success as a commercial band. The music market tends to demand finished, polished, processed products of catchy tunes, and that’s all fine. In fact, I probably should learn all kinds of tricks and strategies to market the band better and sell more records to make our lives easier financially.
But when I see music as an art form, it becomes a journey.. a far more unpredictable, exciting prospect for me. With Elena’s Idea, my primary focus has been to make good music I can be proud of and call our own. And I still believe that true success can only be measured by the inner strength of an artist.
Of course, I’m only human; I admit that there are moments where I daydream about us being a “mainstream” band. But. I always almost religiously come back to the piece of advice given to me a long time ago: “Stick to your artistic core.” It was said by one of my great mentors in the US when I was feeling overwhelmingly shitty and resentful about my fate at the time, the year 2008; I was leaving the US against my will, having to leave all that I’d come to love and built there behind: friends, teachers, and professional networks. I felt as if my world was stripped off naked and turned upside down. I did not like that change at all.
Since then, I’ve been learning to embrace change and to nurture a strong artistic core to weather rough times in life. As one of my former roommates had once told me, I am a “raging optimist,” passionate about seeing the light in the dark with some guts and feet on the ground.
So, back to Elena’s Idea. At the moment, we are two of us: Veli-Matti and Yuko. We’ve been working on both the old and the new songs acoustically. Our immediate goal is to get an acoustic set of 10 songs ready by the end of summer. We would love to do some gigs, playing live in the autumn. If you happen to know a place or a person that would be interested in listening to our music live (or if you are one), contact us!
Oh Change… I welcome you.