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Oiro Pena

Oiro Pena (10")

Label: Ultraääni

Format: 10"

Genre: Jazz

Preorder: Releases June 2


** Silk-screen printed (blue color) recycled sleeve. 200 copies ** Much-needed repress of this spiritual flute jazz artifact by the mastermind Antti Vauhkonen. Originally released as a limited edition lathe-cut 10'' in a handful of copies. Cover art silkscreened on recycled cardboard-sleeves. Artwork by Arsi Keva. Mastered by Samuli Tanner.

The first person to create something one may classify as instrumental music was probably alone. The mind tingles when imagining the prehistoric moment when, for the very first time, a member of what then was the human race grabbed something and used it to make a purposeless series of sounds. Even if some of his fellow beings had been present at the time, would they have understood anything of it? Would they have taken interest in it and stopped to listen, or would they have demanded something easier to dance to?

The leap from vocalizing or clapping to a form of expression produced with instruments may have taken a long time, perhaps even a thousand years. The same goes for the fabrication of such instruments. Human communities were small, and influences spread slowly. We do know, however, that the first discovered instruments date back to 43,000 years ago and took the form of flutes made from the bones of mammoths and birds. Researchers believe they played a role in religion and in entertainment – in this sense, very little has changed. The wildest theories claim that music was one of the factors that gave us, the Homo sapiens, a competitive edge over the Neanderthal: music helped foster deeper cooperation between individuals.
In any case, however, the ones who decided to hollow out that bone and find out what kind of sound you could get out of it were individuals, and this brings us back to our theme of working alone. The modern solo musician enjoys a much greater sense of liberty than our distant forefathers. Multi-track and recording technology freed us from our physical constraints and allowed us to imagine ourselves as a multiplicity. Everyone could, in the comfort of his home, be his own one-man band without having to strap an array of instruments onto his body like carnival musicians or Rahsaan Roland Kirk used to.

This is the frame from which A. E. Vauhkonen and Oiro Pena spring from. Vauhkonen’s hands simultaneously summon up brass, flutes, keyboards, drums, stringed instruments and all sorts of percussion. The sound is firm and slightly cosmic, like early Sun Ra Arkestra at its heartiest. But that’s enough about the music, listen for yourself.”

– Markus Karlqvist

Cat. number: ultra-023
Year: 2024