A couple of weeks ago we met up with Tatu Rönkkö and Casper Clausen of Liima, the new formation by the Finnish percussionist together with the members of Efterklang. We talked about the experience of a Tesla ride in conjunction with the wonders of soundscapes, and the importance of stepping out of your comfort zone. After its’ beginning in Finland during the summer of 2014, Liima is about to release their debut ii on 4AD (18 March). Over the last year and a half the four members have maintained a passionate long distance relationship; ultimately, it is the intense periods in various locations around the world that account for the magic of the love island that is Liima.
How are you guys?
C: Good, it’s a wonderful day.
When did you get here?
We’re sound hunters, all of us.
C: I got here yesterday and Tatu got here this morning. I got on a taxi from the airport and I ended up in a Tesla for the first time in my life. The sound of a Tesla is crazy. It’s really silent but it’s got these micro sounds you don’t hear when you drive a normal car. The engine is so loud but here it’s like, fuck.
T: I think this is a good bridge to Liima and how we make music. Sometimes when you go to a new place that has different soundscapes, you realize different sounds. I think Madeira was a very special place because in our normal environment we don’t have crickets, for instance; or when you’re so high up on the hill that you don’t hear the traffic or sounds of the centre. We’re sound hunters, all of us. On the way back to the airport we should find a Tesla and I should sample it.
C: I was thinking of the sound of the future, it was a little bit like that. When cars don’t have sound, you have to invent sounds that make them audible. Otherwise you get killed in the street and people freak out if there’s no sound. It’s funny because it makes you wonder how much you’re using your ears without necessarily being in danger, but to guide yourself from danger. And as soon as the sound is gone, your visual becomes very limited in a way. It’s strange.
Liima is a relationship we try to keep alive, and with this album we explored that in very intense periods of time
So where are the other two band members?
T: Rasmus (Stolberg) is about to celebrate his daughter’s first birthday, he’s preparing for that in Copenhagen. And Mads (Brauer) is in Berlin.
You all live in separate places?
T: Yeah, we do. We get together in different cities to make music. Liima got started in Finland, actually ‘kesämökillä Jyväskylän lähellä’ (at a cottage near Jyväskylä), where we spent time rowing a boat, going to the sauna, grilling and stuff. And worked, obviously. We made a bunch of songs in 10 days and performed it immediately after at Meidän Festival in Järvenpää by lake Tuusula by invite of Pekka Kuusisto.
C: I love that lake with Sibelius’ old house. It was a mind-blowing experience. One of my favourite shows ever was there. The house has been kept so well… I don’t know, have you been there?
Yeah, I have.
C: It looks like he just left it. It’s old, but they’ve kept it in its original state and they put a kind of quartet playing Sibelius’ music. There’s this mirror and you could imagine how he and his wife would look in the mirror and someone was telling a story in between. There’s a fireplace in the same room where he apparently lit up and burnt his eighth symphony because he’d come to a point where it wasn’t as good as his seventh. It felt like such a real experience. Seldom do you have that with music because music is performed in various spaces and has nothing to do with the space where it’s actually made, so to be in the space where it’s actually made and hearing it is quite special.
We love making love in front of people
T: I guess, talking about spatiality, it makes me think about how Liima is getting all these subconscious and spatial influences from all different places we go.
C: Liima is a relationship we try to keep alive, and with this album we explored that in very intense periods of time. When we’d be back from the residencies, we’d be back in our own lives doing something else. We’re like a love island that meets and we do our thing. We try to remind ourselves that that’s what it should be like. Sometimes we want to get more serious so we tend to overthink things and you see the amount of emails discussing silly small things. When things get too thought out like that, you can forget about it.
T: For Liima it’s about the live thing when we get together and play and get feedback from people. Creating music and being on tour is the best thing for Liima. It’s a very organic.
C: We love making love in front of people.
Liima’s debut ‘ii’ will be released on 18 March on 4AD. The band begin their extensive European tour on 3 March in Oslo, Norway