Label: Ektro Records
フィンランド前衛を語る上では絶対に外せないアーチストErkki Kurenniemi。1968年2月にヘルシンキで開催された実験短編映画や実験音楽を披露するショーイベントValo ja liikeにてお披露目された、Erkki Kurenniemi制作による統合シンセサイザー"Sähkö-shokki-ilta"による大変貴重な音記録。詩の朗読をリアルタイムで加工する"マシンポエム"という作品で使用された機器であり、本作の録音はそのショー前日のリハーサル時のもの。プリミティブシステム/手法ならではの無骨な感触が凄まじすぎる、全編ゴリゴリの音声詩/ストレンジ電子音。マスト。
Sähkö-shokki-ilta (”Electro-Shock-Evening”) is a poetry album, another piece of archival discoveries by Ektro Records. It is a unique document of an early encounter of spoken word and live electronics in Finland 1968.
The Finnish artist Eino Ruutsalo had a show called Valo ja liike (”Light and Movement”) at Amos Anderson Museum in Helsinki 7–14 February 1968. As part of his show, Ruutsalo arranged an evening of performances at the Museum, including electronic music, ”machine poems”, light shows and screenings of Ruutsalo’s own experimental short films. The main attraction of this evening on February 9, 1968, called Sähkö-shokki-ilta was the integrated synthesizer designed and built by Erkki Kurenniemi for the Department of Musicology at the University of Helsinki. It was called ”Sähkö-ääni-kone” (”Electric Sound Machine”) and used for ”modulating” poetry reading in real-time. Composer/musician Otto Donner ”conducted” the evening.
Unfortunately no sound recordings seem to exist of Sähkö-shokki-ilta, only some photographs. This recording at hand is not a finished piece as such, a concert or even a document recording. It's the sounds recorded accidentally on the reel-to-reel tape recorder which was used as a delay unit at the rehearsal on February 8, 1968, the day before the actual event. Poets Kalevi Seilonen and Claes Andersson practice their onomatopoetic and metaphysical rhymes, while Kurenniemi does the electronic processing simultaneously according to instructions given by Donner. On the tape we also hear Ruutsalo and Meri Vennamo, Kurenniemi’s girlfriend at the time.
Several years later, Ruutsalo described the ”machine poems” like this: ”The sentences of spoken poems are torn apart, the rhythm of the words is altered, the spoken word vanishes into the silence. The machine offers the reader different kind of delays, the pitch varies. By using these modulations, the source material of the machine poems can be mumblings, babblings, screams, sounds – as well as words.”
The title Sähkö-shokki-ilta, coined by Ruutsalo was catchy and actually rather appropriate, since the poet Claes Andersson had a day-job as a psychiatrist at The Hesperia Mental hospital, where electroshock treatment was still used at the time. “In our daily practice, we tried to oppose the use of electroshocks to our patients. The shocks were part of the dominant and fashionable school of manipulative psychiatry, like lobotomy and excessive doses of antipsychotic drugs”, Andersson remembers.