here is a mix of Nielu in it’s entire preliminary phase. All other preview tracks and studies have been deleted. I will leave only the mix online as I retire into virtual silence to finalize the album. Nielu will be released through Pale Noir December this year, both in digipack and digital form. More news to come later on.
Manifesting Nielu has been such an important journey for me that I would like to reflect upon it and how everything came to be. It’s quite a long story but I hope it’s worth your while.
It has been almost two years since I held the first recording session for this album. I spent a weekend alone in my friend’s demented grandmother’s apartment recording her old decrepit and very detuned piano through various pedals and hardware. I was asked by Pale Noir to create a release for them, and it was then I had the first flashes of the vision that would become Nielu.
At first i thought the process of composing the album would be quite straightforward. I would just record the piano, mix the sounds a bit and that would be it. A minimalistic session vibe to pause with. Short pieces of dusty longing and some strange ideas about living to die.
Little did I know what life had in store for me and how that would affect my musical path.
Following incidents and hardship in my personal life my tangled mind started showing the same kind of distortion and symptoms that forced me to create my debut EP, Korpinkorva (https://soundcloud.com/utu-lautturi/utu-lautturi-korpinkorva). As was the case back then, also now I found refuge and solace in music. It was best therapy to sit amongst wonders of nature and record them, sing with and to them, finally morphing them as pieces of audio art releasing my inner turmoil. Never before had I felt so strongly about the words “transforming flesh into sound”. The title Nielu means throat or pharynx, and I felt it was a great representation of the feeling I had of once again falling into an abyss, not of spirit but of flesh. Of not being able to stop feeding my dreams and everything good and pure in my life to a monstrous maw, devouring all that is worth living for.
So the process of Nielu expanded, folded on itself and took new forms daily. Simple visions became twisted layers of conflicting elements, pictures pure broke into ravaged nightmares. Throughout the winter and spring of 2013 I recorded hours worth of sounds, instruments, vocals and did extensive research into software sound manipulation, but all the time felt I couldn’t reach a coherent vision of what Nielu could truly be. I hadn’t the vaguest idea how I would compose all the different shards and facets, all screaming to manifest, into one whole.
Then, in the summer of 2013 I spent a week on a retreat in the foothills of the French Alps. In a stone walled ascetic lamb shed turned into human accommodation, opening into a view of a rugged mountain face and my surroundings completely resonating in tune with my inner space, I achieved a strong sense of what I needed to do. It would take a lot more time and work than my previous vision but I believe so it often is with uncompromising manifestations. I had taken a laptop and recording gear with me so I spent most of the retreat wandering the mountains, recording more sounds and with headphones on arranging all of my recordings into compositional frameworks.
From there on I have worked with Nielu. Sometimes just for a minute or two, sometimes for hours upon hours, days after days. Experimenting, creating, destroying, mostly feeling inadequate and unfitting for such an endeavor, with only few glints of success here and there. I feel like a complete beginner in this form of art, but I’m determined to evolve. In any case, for the past year Nielu has been a focal point in one way or the other. I’ve used it as a tool of self-reflection and realization, as a bottomless pit to pour both my mind’s tar and glitter in, and as a companion in some of the most difficult times in my life. It has been a grand experience indeed. I’m eternally grateful to Nix of Pale Noir for her patience and support in allowing my artistic vision to bloom in it’s own time and not rushing the release. Thank you.
Now the process in nearing it’s end. The framework is strong, the compositions in order. All doubt about what I should do, what would be proper or enjoyable by others has gone. Only a passion for the purest self-expression is left. I will never achieve the kind of perfection I’m aiming for but that’s the beauty of it. I am not perfect, far far from it. I am a wretched withering sack of water, meat and bone, prone to mental disturbances. So that is what also my music must sound like.
Saatto (escort), the last track of Nielu is an epitome of exactly that. It was the last thing I played when recording the aforementioned piano. It was a crispy day, rejoicing a season’s passing, just like today. The old keys were lovingly loose under my fingers, the detuned sound so reflective of my life. There was a strong sense of stepping into a new era, a profound feeling of blasting away the shreds of shackles binding me to a limited view and expression on the vast stage of the theater of life. I was one with the piano and the distortion and echo and noise pedals with their magical knobs. They were there to escort me into and through a sort of rebirth. Maybe Nielu will escort you into a new place or space as well.
So. That is the story of Nielu in a nutshell, and of it’s ending track, Saatto. All the pieces of Nielu have stories, and some of them have been told here in Nielu’s blog. Feel welcome to scroll down and check them out.
But for now, with a heart full of wonder and gratitude I bid you fare well.