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Intensive Atmospheres and Tastes from the Treasure Chest


This year, some serious improvisation is to land at the European Jazz Meeting showcase at Jazzahead, when Finnish saxophonist Pauli Lyytinen presents his acoustic quartet Magnetia Orkesteri (Magnetia Orchestra) at Bremen.

Founded in 2015, Pauli Lyytinen Magnetia Orkesteri was assembled with the players’ signature sound in mind. Indeed, the group has been widely acclaimed for the warmth and groundedness of their sound. They released their debut album I at last year’s Pori Jazz Festival, and the leader Lyytinen was also awarded with the Ted Curson Prize, given annually to an artist whose input is notable at that year’s festival.

The debut met with wide acclaim among Finnish music critics, and especially its shifting atmospheres and the members’ subtle team play garnered plenty of praise.
– This album was born very effortlessly and without too much premeditation. I brought a pile of my compositions from over the years to our first playing session, and our repertory took shape around a number of them very quickly. Since improvisation is a strength we all share, we have left a lot of space for it. However, to serve the listeners, I wanted there to be a balance between melodies and improvisation. I think it turned out quite the way I wanted, says Lyytinen about the gestation of the album.

After last summer’s extensive gigging Pauli Lyytinen Magnetia Orkesteri has taken a little time off from live shows. This six-month break has allowed Lyytinen to compose new music for the Magnetia Orkesteri sophomore and to keep eyes open for international contacts. At Jazzahead Lyytinen expects to be reunited with old acquaintances but also to forge new ones – and of course to catch some exciting new music. This is how he prepares you for their showcase appearance:
–The audience will be in for some tasters from the deep treasure chest of Magnetia Orkesteri. Each of our concerts is different and not one interpretation of a piece is ever the same. That’s why I don’t want to define the experience too strictly beforehand.

Pauli Lyytinen was born in Kuopio, Central Finland, and he has studied jazz music in São Paulo, Gothenburg and Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy. He leads several groups, each of which have given shows at numerous festivals around Europe, South America, Africa and Asia.

– Many of the shows that we have given have been memorable for different reasons, but perhaps those are the most unforgettable where we have managed to build a wholesome presence that has extended to the audience, or where the intensity has prevailed until the end. Sometimes there has been a strong shared experience that we have been able to offload through playing live. A good example of this was when we were playing in Paris with Elifantree, just three days after the horrifying terrorist attacks at a local nightclub. The atmosphere in the city was incredulous and almost all events and concerts had been cancelled for the following couple of days. We, however, decided to take to the stage despite this, and, indeed, the show became a very intensive and empowering experience both for us and the audience.

Lyytinen is also known for his solo project, Pauli Lyytinen Machinery, which has been lauded for bold rethinking of saxophone-playing and saxophone sound. Pauli Lyytinen Machinery will be heard at the Clubnight as a part of Jazzahead’s off-programme. What can we expect from Machinery and how will the show be different compared to that of Magnetia Orkesteri?
– Machinery is my playground where saxophone, electronic effects and enhanced techniques shake hands. This project is all about testing the boundaries – both my own and those of my instrument. Magnetia Orkesteri, then again, is a group with a capital G: communication and listening to one another is at the core of our playing.

Two other Finnish groups, Mopo and VIRTA, will perform at Clubnight the same evening. Lyytinen knows both groups well.
– I am very happy to have these two very special groups play at Karton with me. Both bands have worked with a steady determination towards their own sound and succeeded in it fantastically. I believe that this is the most important goal for any group. Last year the Clubnight was a very fine event and stood out from the showcase concerts with its uniquely immediate atmosphere. I do hope that it will be so this year, too; and , of course, that a handful of promoters will find their way to the spot.


Pauli Lyytinen Magnetia Orkesteri
Pauli Lyytinen, saxophone
Mika Kallio, drums
Verneri Pohjola, trumpet
Eero Tikkanen, double bass

Pauli Lyytinen Magnetia Orkesteri
European Jazz Meeting
20 Aug 2018, 11:30 PM –12:00 AM
Hall 7.1

Pauli Lyytinen Machinery
jazzahead! clubnight
21 Aug 2018, 6:15–7:00 PM


Written by Sheri Toivomäki, Photo by Maarit Kytöharju