My way to become a musician and music lecturer at the University was not the usual one but, on the contrary, pretty far from it. For example, I began my serious instrument studies rather late; I was 21 years old (but still a young man!) when I started my classical guitar studies at the Conservatoire of Jyväskylä. Before that, I had played acoustic guitar for some four years, learning it by myself. But there was something else before the guitar: I had played Finnish folk music by ear on the accordion and harmonium (see the images in Gallery’s Old & funny section) for about a year before I found the guitar 1970. In the Conservatoire of Jyväskylä (where I studied during 1974-80), I had four teachers, e.g. the Czech Stepan Rak guided me for three years. In the 80s and 90s, I took part in dozens of composing and arranging courses in jazz and/or in contemporary music both in Finland and abroad. Especially the four contemporary music courses in Amsterdam in the years 1988-1994 under the guidance of composer Ton de Leeuw were very rich and rewarding.
There were three events before my formal instrument studies in the 70s that were very significant to my later musical career. The first one happened in March 1968 when I was a 14 year-old teenager: I heard the brand new single by the Beatles on the radio, “Lady Madonna/The Inner Light”. And that was IT!
I couldn’t imagine at all how huge an impact this would be to my life; I have lectured about this subject dozens of times in many forums both in Finland and abroad, even in Liverpool! And it was way beyond my imagination that I would also complete my Ph.D. of that subject (this happened 38 years later, in 2006).
Another remarkable event was in August 1971: I heard the British folk rock band, Fairport Convention’s gig at the Ruisrock Festival also on the radio – Dave Swarbrick’s mandolin playing was THE thing for me! As a result, I began to collect mandolin music and since 1974 I have played mandolin as my main instrument.
The third significant event was in 1972 when I started studying at the Department of Musicology in the University of Jyväskylä. Also then, I couldn’t imagine that the Department would become my main working place for decades. First, in 1982, when I graduated my Master's degree in Musicology, I got directly after my graduation a one-year assistant’s temporary post, then a full-time occupation as a part-time teacher in Music Education and, in 1990, I was appointed a steady lecturer’s position. And still, after 30 years, I am on that same road… but I have also been rather often on a leave of absence, during which I have been working as a full-time composer, musician and/or researcher.
A more detailed story of my musical career can be found on the following pdf documents including my CV: there is one complete CV (five pages), and a couple of shorter ones, each of them having different themes.
Open long CV here: Complete CV