Music The music of old Finnish films fascinatesly reveals the state of the nation: “In the song of the war invalids,” patients were ready to attack the Russians “even with their heads under their arms”

Finnish film access to early history has not been made easy for the citizen of the 2020s.

In the 1930s and 1950s, the contemporary viewer is usually stunned by over-theatricality, unnatural replication, and frivolous plots.

However, for those interested in the Golden Age, there is a shortcut to the mood: the music heard in the movies.

At its best, the melodies and evergreens embedded in the films function as experiences independent of time and place.

As music becomes more familiar, the threshold for watching movies also lowers.

Kitchen door admission to Finnish film history is offered by Finnish film music -cd series, a tenth of which has recently been released.

Researcher Juha Seitajärvi has been working on a music project in his spare time for more than ten years.

Behind the series is a researcher at the National Audiovisual Institute (Kavi) Juha Seitajärvi. He has been working on a research project on music heard in domestic films for more than a decade.

The records feature percussion melodies from Finnish films from 1931 to 1961: foxtrots, waltzes, tangos, yankees and rumbs.

Seija Lampila as the soloist of the evenings singing the piece Girl’s Heart in the film Once again we meet Suominen’s family (Särkkä, 1959).

The majority of the 280 copies of the series have not been published since the 1930s and 1960s. Only snippets of the part have been heard.

“What makes the music performances in the series unique is that the songs are completely heard on the records. In the film, they are left out or under remarks or mixed with the unheard, ”says Seitajärvi.

The Finnish film music CD series has progressed to the tenth part.

Movies restoration of key treasures requires solid technical knowledge. One of the basics is adjusting the actual pitch of the soundtracks.

For example, when shown on television in old Finnish films, female actors always seem to be weird.

Behind the phenomenon are different presentation formats: on DVDs and television, the frame rate of movies is 25 frames per second, while the theater’s performance standard is 24 frames. The difference in formats is heard in half.

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The difference sounds small, but playback faster than the original sound source produces a tiny effect.

Sylva Rossi sings the voice of foxtrot with the voice of Eila Pellinen in the film Hard Game in the North (Särkkä, 1959). The film chases atomic secrets hidden in fountain pens.

The different pace also applies to the music heard in the movies.

“The music tracks taken from the soundtracks in the CD series are performed at the cinema height, ie at a lower original height,” says Seitajärvi.

For the final work Seitajärvi edits Elonet’s online database, the Finnish national film in Kavi, but he works on the record series in his spare time.

The day job supports the oto project. Part of Seitajärvi’s work is to collect identities of music, singers and musicians from old Finnish films.

Over the years, unknown musicians have been identified by music consultants Ossi RunneProfessor Emeritus of Violin Tuomas Haapanensinger Kai Lind as well as relatives and acquaintances of the callers.

Tauno Palo performs the Tram Song in the film Happy Minister (Särkkä, 1941). Behind Harmony Sisters’ Vera Valtonen, Lasse Pöysti and Toini Vartiainen.

The series began when Seitajärvi became acquainted with the Turtie record company in Turku.

The small boutique had been releasing recordings from old clay discs and radio tapes in CD format since the turn of the millennium.

Seitajärvi got the idea of ​​digitizing and making film music recordings available to everyone. Collaboration with Artie Music producers Ari Hakulisen and Timo Wuoren started in 2010.

The songs tracing has been at its best detective work.

“The lyrics of the songs often heard in movies were changed to a record version or a sung version of the instrumental song was made. There could have been several years, sometimes even a decade, between the film and the album, ”says Seitajärvi.

The songs in the series have been picked up from instant or lacquer records, vinyl records, YLE’s base tapes, soundtracks for films and, of course, clay discs.

Staged Parisian side street in the film Only Singing Boys (Elstelä, 1951). In the middle are female lead singer Pirkko Niemelä and singer Henry Theel.

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Finding old, good-sounding gramophone records is kimurant. The producer of the series, Timo Wuori, who has good contacts with record collectors, has helped with this.

“He has always been able to hunt for the best-sounding records of each song, although during the Corona period it has been difficult for collectors to meet.”

Wuori is also doing a restoration job where the snaps and hustle and bustle are removed from the soundtracks.

Part movie music is never heard again.

During the 115-year history of Finnish cinema, dozens of films have disappeared into cadres. Some burned in a fire at Adams Film’s headquarters in July 1959.

Seitajärvi regrets that there is the first sound film among the missing Say it in Finnish from 1931.

The first Finnish sound film Say it in Finnish (Nyberg, 1931) has not survived. The photo collage of its scenes features the Niki and His Ah-ha Orchestra.

In addition to plays and dance performances, it included several musical numbers, one of which was Georg Malmsténin Tui tui Tuulikki. The first part of the album series features a recorded version.

However, Seitajärvi’s tracking work has accommodated happy archival surprises.

“For example Leif Wagerin unpublished original wartime recording About romance found on a quick disc. ”

Representatives of the heirs have also been contacted with their record finds.

Mate Pertti Jarkamo (Leif Wager) sings a serenade to his girlfriend Niina (Gunvor Sandkvist) in the film Through the Mist (af Hällström, 1948). Shooting on the Vantaanjoki beach.

Oops movie downloads can tell a lot about their time.

They have heard new international winds in the form of swing, jitterbug, flat music and rock.

“Movie music is a great cross-section of popular and classical music from the time of filming,” says Seitajärvi.

Above all, the state of the nation and the world is reflected in the world of music.

“During the war, escapism was rampant and propaganda songs could be wild. For example In the song of the war invalids the patients were still ready to rush against Ivana even with their head under their armpits. ”

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Record series key artists include Olavi VirtaHarmony Sisters, Skipper Quartet, Metro Girls and now few known Rita Elmgren.

So who made the music?

Seitajärvi is considered one of the most significant film composers Harry Bergströmwho made a long career from the 1930s to the 1970s.

Maaria Eira (right) played the lead role in the film Male Model (Elstelä, 1944). The swing scene will also feature Laila Rihte, Laila Jokimo and Toini Vartiainen, who were cast by Harmony Sisters.

Bergström ‘s curriculum vitae also includes composing the first recorded score music of Finnish cinematic music in 1953.

Paragraph Heavy steps will be heard After the Fall in the episode of the film, where a young man returning home from a youth prison returns home and hears his mother dead.

Before that, the recordings were either lyrics to music or based on the dance music episodes in the movies.

Another key musician was Georg Malmstén, who acted as a link between the film and music industries. The record and sheet music business went hand in hand.

Although ten is a pretty round number, Finnish film music -cd series doesn’t end there.

Currently, the author team is working on an actor-musician Kalevi Hartin production.

Hartti, who died young, had become familiar to the general public Suominen’s Olli in which he played Olli (Lasse Pöysti) friend Ekaa. However, he managed to compose music for more than a dozen films.

The themes of the following albums are planned to be Fennada-Film recordings, and Hope Kärjen the demonstration of production will continue Duncewith the music of movies. There is also a lot to publish from 1952–62, Seitajärvi promises.

Henry Theel and Esa Pakarinen as immigrants returning from America in the film Brother of the Western Locomotive (Nortimo, 1952).

Read more: Tracing lost film scripts and filming locations is often reminiscent of undercover policing, says Juha Seitajärvi

Read more: The filming locations of many legendary Finnish films are a complete mystery to researchers as well – Do you recognize these locations?

Read more: Finnish films are full of unsolved mysteries – Juha Seitajärvi traces memory information about filming locations

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