Antti Paalanen

Antti Paalanen
Heidi Maria Paalanen/
Nominated for the work “Meluta”

Antti Paalanen (born 1977) creates his wild music on the simple accordions so familiar to Finnish folk music. Although inspired by tradition, Paalanen has nevertheless created a sound world all his own, where tradition gives way to trance-like minimalism and a controlled and insightful use of modern sound technology.

Meluta is the third solo album to be released by Paalanen, who also plays with a number of prominent ensembles. This album showcases a musician who is not only a brilliant accordion player but also a composer who takes his instrument to the limit: he screams at the accordion, stomps on the floor, pounds the bellows, and snorts like a raging bull. In Paalanen’s hands, the accordion is a living, breathing trance dance machine.

The music on the Meluta album was created as part of Paalanen’s artistically oriented doctorate focusing on the development of new techniques for playing a traditional instrument. The wild visual dimension is part of the concept: the album’s music videos capture a wonderfully ecstatic slice of Finnish musical madness.