Photo: Minna Alantie / Design: Artur Närvänen
Under The Ground is a duo recording by experienced and versatile artists Tapani Rinne and Teho Majamäki. As to both its theme and atmosphere the album is closely related to a new railway route, Kehärata, opened in the capital area in July 2015.
Under the Ground, issued on label Aani, is a sequel to album Inside the Temple, which was recorded in India a couple of years ago. The duo has used the same method on the follow-up, letting the unusual recording milieu provide the atmosphere, which they then use to weave a hypnotically beautiful work of art. This time, the quest for unique acoustics did not take them further than Vantaa, Southern Finland: the portable studio was set up in the depth of 35 metres in the tunnels of Kehärata railroad, which were still under construction at the time. Aptly, when the line was opened to commuters in July Rinne and Majamäki's music started playing at the stations.
“It is wonderful that the sounds that we have quarried in the tunnels can be heard in the place of their origin”, says Rinne. “I would assume that the morning commuter will find these tunes surprising. When the setting has its own characteristic sound already, aiming at a sterile hi-fi sound would be impossible. For example, the various noises of tunnel-construction found their way onto the tape. The creative process was guided by the working titles and, of course, the distinctive acoustics and atmosphere of the place. Departure and return are some of the themes of the album.”
As to instrumentation, Rinne and Majamäki -- both known as multi-talents -- have chosen only one instrument from their repertory: Rinne plays the bass clarinet and Majamäki the marimba. Keeping it simple leaves more room to the tunnels’ hums and echoes – indeed enough room to turn the duo into a trio.