• Finlandia
  • Jean Sibelius

O, Finland, behold, your day is dawning,
The threat of night has been banished away,
And the lark of morning in the brightness sings,
As though the very firmament would sing.
The powers of the night are vanquished by the morning light,
Your day is dawning, O land of birth.

O, rise, Finland, raise up high
Your head, wreathed with great memories.
O, rise, Finland, you showed to the world
That you drove away the slavery,
And that you did not bend under oppression,

Your day is dawning, O land of birth.

I’m going to cry.

Sibelius’s ‘Dearest Wish’

“My tragedy,” Sibelius wrote, “was that I wanted to be a celebrated violinist at any price. From the age of fifteen, I played my violin for ten years, practicing from morning to night.” 

When he was 25 Sibelius auditioned for the Vienna Philharmonic, but it didn’t go well. He got back to his room and cried, then started practicing scales on the piano. “It was a very painful awakening when I had to admit that I had begun my training for the exacting career of an eminent performer too late.” 

At the height of his career as a composer, he penned his Violin Concerto — capturing his love of the violin and the pain of never being able to realize, in his words, his “dearest wish.” About a decade later, he recorded in his diary: “Dreamt I was twelve years old and a virtuoso.”

Hear it played by Frank Peter Zimmermann Sat., Feb. 28 at Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets:

Hey, Homestucks!

You like Tyler Dever? (Candles and Clockwork? Sburb the piano album?) He uses a music software called Sibelius. (So do some fanmusics.)

Sibelius’ parent company Avid has just fired all the Sibelius developers. The software that one of our Homestuck music team members uses regularly is going to stop being released, stop having fixes, and eventually stop working as time goes on.

“So what do you suppose I do?”

Look around the website, sign the petition, please reblog to pass this on. Homestuck fandom is definitely big enough to get some of these people to reconsider!


The Swan of Tuonela, by Ben Garrison

“The black swan on the Black River sings a sad song. Lemminkainen was sent to kill the swan, but the swan’s song was so beautiful he was unable to do so. A Finnish god later punishes Lemminkainen for this transgression and his body was cut up and thrown into the river. His mother later rescues him and sews his body back together. Life is infused into Lemminkainen again with the help of another god and a magic drop of honey.”

Tuonela, reached by crossing a ‘dark stream’, is the realm of the dead, or the Underworld of Finnish and Estonian mythology.

Lemminkainen is one of the Heroes of the Kalevala, and is considered to be a composite of various heroes from oral poetry. He is usually depicted as a young, beautiful warrior with flowing blond hair. Parallels have been drawn between Lemminkainen and the tragic figure of Baldr from Norse Mythology.