Puu tuulessa is the latest work from Finnish ambient artist Olli Aarni. Originally released as very limited edition cassette on Cotton Goods, this sumptuously textured album consisting of two fifteen minute compositions exudes solitude and stillness as reflected in the title which translates as “tree in the wind”.
On ‘Pohjoistuuli’ (“northerly” in English), vaporous drones softly hiss and crepitate with pops and crackles as delicately brittle as fallen leaves while a steady wind rushes gently in the background. Melancholy is never dispelled, but as it ends sweet refrains of melody begin to surface and a sense of reflection and quietude prevail.
‘Puro’ (“creek” in English), begins with the looping oscillations of light gossamer drones accompanied by a high pitched whistle, creating an immediate sense of isolation and placidity. By contrast with the stillness of ‘Pohjoistuuli’, the overall feeling here is both more ethereal and emotional. Very slowly, deeper melancholic billows rise up and assert themselves. The textures become more dense as layers of stretched chorale voicings build up creating the aura of an otherworldly requiem. The cumulative effect is wholly absorbing and quite gorgeous, but permeated with an elusive sadness.
This was my first opportunity to here Aarni’s music and what an introduction. Simply put, it is a refined and profoundly beautiful recording, a place of repose for the ears and the mind.
Listen to ‘Pohjoistuuli’