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Selma Savolainen

Horror Vacui


Cover: Severi Uusitalo / Samuli Saarinen

Album information

PerformerSelma Savolainen
LabelWhirlwind Recordings

Äänitys ja miksaus: Joonas Saikkonen
Tuottajat: Selma Savolainen ja Joonas Saikkonen
Vastaava tuottaja: Michael Janisch
Masterointi: Jarno Alho / Alho Audio Mastering
Levynkannen valokuva: Severi Uusitalo
Graafinen suunnittelu: Samuli Saarinen

Kaikki sävellykset ja sanoitukset Selma Savolainen, paitsi A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing sävellys ja sanoitus Billy Strayhorn, Speak Low sävellys Kurt Weill ja sanoitus Ogden Nash, ja Days Of Suffering sävellys Tuomas Keski-Säntti ja Selma Savolainen, sanoitus Selma Savolainen.



Selma Savolainen, known for her unprejudiced music-making and impressive vocals, presents her assembled sextet on the Horror Vacui album.

Selma Savolainen is one of Finland's most exciting vocalists who effortlessly combines Finnish folk sounds with jazz and alt singer songwriter styles, while writing highly emotive compositions for her band alongside striking arrangements.

Her sextet Horror Vacui features some of the most sought-after musicians on the Finnish jazz scene: Max Zenger on clarinets, Tomi Nikku on trumpet, Toomas Keski-Säntti on piano, Eero Tikkanen on double bass and Okko Saastamoinen on drums.

Selma Savolainen Horror Vacui presents a set of songs composed and arranged specifically for this sextet, exploring the fear of emptiness, renunciation and sudden discoveries. Savolainen says, "by creating space for every musician's voice we hope to create a place where solitude does not exist.”

Album opener Intense Ways To Recover has shifting sections and energy changes which represent a wandering mind and features a standout performance from clarinettist Zenger. The next track, Fourteen is "probably the most abstract text that I've written," says Savolainen. "It's about counting different things. I wanted to have a dream like space where it doesn't really make any sense but it's sort of a personal way of soothing yourself. There is a repetitive thing going on. It's very simplistic."

So Loud is about the noise inside your head and features an amazing solo from trumpeter Nikku. Subjects I provides another change of pace and is a four-phrase composition which is very open and free.

Billy Strayhorn's A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing is an important inclusion for Savolainen who feels a deep connection with the late composer. ”He was born on the same day as I was, and it feels very special to me. I think this is one of the greatest standards there is," she says.

The ethereal Haunted is about plotting an escape from an anxious situation but realizing that is impossible. The second cover on the album is Speak Low from Kurt Weill's repertoire. "I really wanted to explore an older jazz expression," explains Savolainen. "I felt it was important to have an atmosphere of playfulness at some point."

Days Of Suffering, co-composed with Keski-Säntti, is a tune about being really tired and feeling worn out and the album comes to a close with Fear Of The Empty, which holds juxtaposing elements such as a trumpet line inspired by Bix Beiderbecke.

Savolainen explains, "I wanted to have echoes coming from somewhere completely different. I think that's a way to express playfulness. You have these moments of surprise and I feel like that's very important when it comes to music. To have that surprise element there."

Horror Vacui is a strong debut entry from an exciting musician whose compositional approach is captivating and underpinned by impressive technique. An accomplished vocalist and cerebral composer, Savolainen's star is most definitely on the rise.


  1. Intense Ways To Recover
  2. Fourteen
  3. So Loud
  4. Subjects I
  5. A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing
  6. (intro)
  7. Haunted
  8. Speak Low
  9. Days Of Suffering
  10. Fear Of The Empty