Song for the Girls in Garissa.

Music has amazing power. It can, for example, start a party, give us joy and hope, comfort us and help us handle sadness and pain. Music brings together people and can raise to discussion important issues and help us handle the difficult emotions related to them. Sometimes might even let us see the world trough someone else's eyes for a moment. 

Kungsholms Kyrka here in Stockholm organized a charity concert to work against genital mutilation and to support girls in Garissa, Kenya. When one of the absolutely best gospel artists in Sweden, the wonderful Erik Toro, asked me to co-write a piece for the concert I felt honored. The topic is really heavy and so was writing a song about such theme. But I am really grateful if I can support people with my work. I want to believe music and art have power to make people think and act for a better world. That's why I wanted to take this challenge.  

It is very difficult for me to understand why people hurt young girls in such a cruel way. Even if I could never claim to understand how painful it must be for these children and young people who really experience it, we all know how wrong it is and we cannot close our eyes from such phenomenon. With our song we want to indicate our sympathy for the girls and remind everyone that there is always room for hope. It is the least we can do. Erik and I want to dedicate our song "Humanity" for the girls in Garissa and elsewhere who have had to face such cruel violence. Here's a short clip of our performance from last Sunday.

Love, 

Penny. 

Thanks to Pilvi Kekkonen for filming and thanks to the great musicians I got to work with: Erik Toro, Kristian Remnelius and Johan Öberg.

Senselessness

I Felt like sharing a few notes. So I decided to be a little spontaneous and share some material of my practicing. Naturally it's not perfect (at least not yet ;D ), but so isn't life itself.  Don't expect anything ready but take it as it is, a raw version that might fit in to this dark August evening. So here it comes. Hope you like it.

Not all the stories have a happy ending. But still - or that's why - they are worth been told anyway. For each feeling we have and each moment we experience is a gift themselves. For the senselessness of life and love. 

Penny. 

@ Nespresso Boutique Helsinki

I LOVE coffee. Who wouldn't? So you can just think about how excited I was when some really skilled musicians and I were being asked to perform at Nespresso Boutique Helsinki's brunch for friends. We got to entertain some true coffee lovers and the lovely coffee specialists at the brand new Boutique. Not to mention how great Olivia (violin), Jolle (bass), Tuukka (drums) and Vikke (guitar) played! Thank you all for a lovely Sunday morning! <3

Love,

Penny.

From left to right: me, Vikke, Tuukka and Jolle at the soundcheck. 

From left to right: me, Vikke, Tuukka and Jolle at the soundcheck. 


Diamonds.

Diamonds might exist in the least likely places. Especially on sunny days. 

Passion and Pain

Passion and pain

walk hand in hand.

The day they separate

artists thank and lovers celebrate. 

- but on the other hand -

What would joy be without sorrow? 

What would be love without hate? 

 

I used to fear that there'll be no day

that I'd reach the aims my heart burned for to get.

I felt like everyone else was finding their way.

And what was possible for them never happened to me. 

 

Now that I've seen a little more.

Now that I've fallen a couple of times more. 

Now that I feel what it is to be free.

I'll tell you a secret:

Life is filled with miracles,

every day is a gift. 

 

Oh yes, I still fear, I still feel sad.

But what matters is how you take that.

Open your eyes for the little things.

They'll give you joy and show you how. 

Since treasures and Love

were made for everyone. 

Searching for an empty paper.

We all have different ways of coping with unpleasant things. You may wanna run a long endless road while a friend of yours sees a movie and cries their eyes off.  I am a writer. I write about things to be able to let them out and see them from a distance. Of course there are other reasons as well such as storytelling, forwarding emotions and giving people something to think about. But I also write to clear my head.

Writing a piece is like catching the spook and tying it into a nice, beautiful package that you can observe as an outsider. This method normally works pretty well. Recently I have found myself in a troublesome situation. There is a theme that I would want to – and need to – write about. But I can’t. It seems to be not just another spook anymore.

There simply are some things that stick their edge too deep into you. So deep, that it may seem impossible to pull that edge out and start heeling the cut. They may be events, people, moments, details or points in your life that really touched you. The ones that really mattered. They are the ones that once were so important to you that you are not even sure if you want to let go. Even if the only thing left would be the hurt inside you.  The last bit, which reminds you of where you once stood and with who.

At the same time you know that without pulling out that edge there will be no real new. There will be no real morning offering you a whole new choice to write on that plain empty paper lying on the table next to your coffee.

You are not anymore where the past got stuck in you. And you never will. Instead, you are in this shady, frustrating place, lost there somewhere in the middle.

Not with that something you had to let go.

Yet not free. 

 

So, how can we loose that edge? I don’t know. But I trust everyone going through such a feeling will find out eventually. And when there'll be that morning with an empty blank paper next to my coffee – I’ll be happier than ever. 


Love, Penny. 

Why Not?

We are really good at coming up with excuses.

"I don't have time / enough skills / money /. I am too tired / I don't know anyone there."

But the real reason almost never is that those limitations could prevent us from doing new things or achieving our goals. So many times I have heard someone say "I have dreamed for so long to do that or go there." But when I ask them why they simply do not go for it, too often the answer is a list of excuses. "It's too difficult, I don't have time, I cannot because..." If those are just excuses, what is it then that stands in our way? 

Fear. 

Fear of failure, fear that the reality does not meet our expectations. I can assure you  - so many times things will not happen like we thought, but even better. And in case we fail, at least we will learn a lesson. My mom is the best at comforting people when something goes really wrong in life. She says:

"You know, this may feel like the world ends today and now. But later you will be grateful that this happened to you. There will be even better things waiting for you that would not have had a possibility to happen if this thing you just lost would have worked."

 Sometimes we have to let go of something we would like to keep. It is inevitable to make room for better new. 

See, if we want something really bad there will always be a way to get there. But it might not be easy. It comes down to the law of risk and return. The possibility to win something worthy always includes a lot of work and some risk. And this risk has many faces: failure, disappointment, embarrassment. Naturally none of us likes to feel embarrassed or make mistakes. But they might be inevitable in achieving the goal. Which one is worse - taking the risk (and the possibility) or not even trying?  

Sometimes we are just too keen on our cozy everyday life that it is hard to let go of the routines and simply be spontaneous sometimes. Being a little more spontaneous in everyday life might help you to resist the bigger risks that we need to take later. So, next time someone has a "crazy" idea, asks you to go to a party where you know nobody within an hours warning, or jump on a plane and go for an adventure booked last minute, when you really want to achieve something that at first seems impossible - instead of just worrying and asking why, ask yourself: why not. What keeps you from going? What do you have to loose? Is there really something wrong or are you just feeling a little scared since the idea breaks your cozy steady routines? 

Why Not? Powerful two words that may stop you to think for new if the possibility is worth taking the risk or even - Exciting? 

Why Not? Powerful two words that may stop you to think for new if the possibility is worth taking the risk or even - Exciting? 

Beautiful, amazing things may happen if you just give them a chance.

 

Love,

Penny. 

Spring Excitement

SUNSHINE. Makes people feel alive again. It's like this whole new feeling has filled us all with love, hope and beautiful thoughts. But what I love the most is the light and the energy. Today, it feels so much easier to actually start doing things. I actually feel INVINCIBLE. ;)

So, encouraged by this rush of spring excitement and fluffyness I felt really productive today and managed to drive quite a few things forward. I promise you the upcoming summer will be filled with surprises and most likely we'll be seen on stage at some events and record some new material as well.

While waiting for the new material, you are welcome to enjoy my latest release, Don't Cry Little Sweetie. Sometimes you write a song for a broken hearted friend and realize later that you need it yourself too. Even if we all have had our tough moments and sorrows, one thing is for sure. After the darkness there will always be light. Always. And as much as this song is meant to comfort the broken hearts out there, it is to embrace hope. 

Open your heart to the warmth and light of the spring -  let yourself be surprised. 

Love,

Penny  

Beautiful Spring Helsinki. <3

Beautiful Spring Helsinki. <3

Magic on Stage @ AYY Annual Ball

It was a Facebook message four days before the showtime. Four days to the gig, 350 people in audience and already a tight schedule. But I had a feeling this would be something we would not wanna miss. So, when the decision was made one thing was for sure - girl's got to do what a girl's got to do. And like in so many cases the attitude matters a lot. I had two wonderful friends onboard with me, Jolle in bass and Olivia with her Violin. We opened our calendars and made the magic happen.

On Saturday I felt thrilled. I felt it was going to be awesome. The songs turned out to sound better at our last rehearsal than I had ever dared to expect. And a jazzy-bluesy violin riff.. I definitely recommend you to try that one even if it may sound a little nasty at first. ;) 

BUT. The excitement was not over yet. Our violinist missed a bus and it was another cliffhanger to hope and pray that she would manage to get on stage in time. Luckily the party was a little behind schedule and everything turned out fine. We climbed on stage and gave our best. And really enjoyed it all. Also the audience kept quiet and listened to each note we played. It was almost magical.

After the show we got perhaps the best kind of feedback any artist or band can have. Two girls wanted give a hug and said that our music had been "the best they had heard for a long time!". Combined with all the other positive comments we received I felt I walked a couple centimeters above floor for a while. It was time for some fancy drinks. What a gig!! Really love you people. The best thing I receive from performing is the joy I see it can give to other people! I am so HAPPY to be able to do this. <3

Love,

Penny  

AYY Annual Ball. Image credit: Olivia Helle

AYY Annual Ball. Image credit: Olivia Helle

Happy musicians after gig! Awesome Olivia the violinist, me and Superb Jolle the bassist! 

Happy musicians after gig! Awesome Olivia the violinist, me and Superb Jolle the bassist! 

IT IS HERE.

The reason why we froze ourselves at the chilly autumn winds is FINALLY ONLINE! :)) And ladies and gentlemen, we present to you: Luomustudio video of "Bird"!

Special thanks to awesome Vikke (guitar) and Joonas (cajon). Thanks also for Esteve for being so kind to borrow us the drum for the shooting. 

You may see that it was a little cold in there, but do not let it disturb you, hope the music will cover for that;)

..Penny

Beautiful Morning at Lovely Café Rouge

What could be better on a chilly winter morning than a cup of great coffee, place filled with good people, tasty Lebanese food and some music. This morning we definitely had it all. Thank you Maggie and all of you who came by. Hope you enjoyed the breakfast and music as much as we did! <3

Love,

Penny

 

Samettiklubi - Singers, Songwriters and Other Talents

When you go to Bar Loose the first Tuesday of the month, you never know what you get. All you know is that it is good. Combination of passion and surprise what it comes to music. You may hear the rising singer-songwriter talents of Helsinki share their songs. I had a privilege to perform at the year 2013's last Samettiklubi. And once again, what a wonderful evening. If you find yourself in Helsinki the first week of a month, go to Annankatu 21 and I promise you - it won't be a disappointment.

Love,

Penny 

Image credit: Luca Gargano / Samettiklubi

Image credit: Luca Gargano / Samettiklubi

Paloni Transformation Launch

Design and beautiful clothes can be irresistible. So are they at least at Paloni, the lovely little boutique at Eerikinkatu selling independent designers work and promoting them. Minna Särelä, the owner of the place has done tremendous and important work to give these future big names a chance and visibility. I was honored to play at Paloni Transformation Launch and winter 2013 - 2014 collection launch 1st October. The place was filled with people and the beautiful models were presenting designers' fantastic creations one after another.

Thank you Minna and everyone at the party for a wonderful evening.

Pics at the event are available at Paloni's Facebook page

..Penny

Black Baby Tiger

And so came the day after the gig at Rauma Jazz. I must admit I had been looking forward to that day at least as eagerly as the gig night before it (or even a little bit more). Finally I would get to carry the little baby home! Mom and I woke up early in the morning (and as you may imagine,  it was not too easy after having a gig last night.. ) and drove for two hours to pick him up. 

On our way back the baby first cried a bit. But of course - Who would not have been a little worried when two random people take you to a machine (= a car) you have never seen in your life before? Luckily after only half an hour drive our little prince started to realize there's nothing to be afraid of. He even dared to sleep a bit. 

Now he has been a part of the family for three days and he knows indeed how to rule the house. Seems like we are all on our knees in front of the cute little monster. But honestly - who wouldn't ? After all he represents the aristocratic team of cats.  You see how his smooth, flexible movement and bright independent character makes him just irresistible.

 


And oh yes. That's exactly why I love him. 


.. Penny

PäläPrince.png

Thank You Rauma Jazz !

Warm and gentle summer evening started to turn to night at the lovely seaside town. Bar Hovi, the live music club of Rauma opened it's doors around 11pm and half an hour after that it was time to climb on stage. The place wasn't too crowded but like they say - it's not the quantity that matters but the quality. People enjoyed the music and the company of their friends. After my show the evening continued with two really interesting bands, Wreck and Markku Jalmarin Viihdeorkesteri. Thanks for everyone who visited the concert and special thanks for Markku Pekonen, the fater of Rauma Jazz for an interesting event at a beautiful setting. 

Love, Penny.

Some feelings & thoughts after a wonderful evening at Bar Kuka

Bar Kuka was cozy and nice as always. People started to linger to the bar after nine.  

My place was next to the giant tiger's head. Sometimes I wish I could be like a tiger myself. Agile, beautiful and strong. Confident. Don't we all?

I climbed to the stage and found the crowd in front of me. Some of them had come to see the gig, some just happened to visit the place at the time of my show. No matter the reason, I wanted so bad to make their evening worth remembering. To share feelings.

So I sang and I played. And you people smiled, cheered, at times even cried a bit (at least someone admitted to me after the show they did).  

Many thanks to Pietu and Benny from Bar Kuka for arranging such a great evening. Thanks also for everyone who were sitting in the audience and for all my friends who showed up. Special thanks to Toni for all the support, Lauri and Ville for helping to carry the piano - and of course Ville Tapani for enthusiastic cheering!  

You seemed to have great time and so did I. I was so happy to share that evening with you. And I hope there will be plenty more. <3

. Penny

 

kuva.JPG

We Are Moving.

In a tram.
We are moving.
A pen and a paper against the view from the window.
Trying to remember,
what was I supposed to sing.
Which stories
which words to use
to describe those feelings.

inatram.jpg

Sounds of Rain.

When have you last cried so that your eyes swell and it feels like your heart would be ripped into two pieces?

Sometimes life hurts like hell. Some things are not nice to do but you have to listen to your heart to know what is right. Begin every day with no fear, your soul filled with inspiration and act honest. It will pay back.

It was an early spring evening. Almost midnight. It was already dark but not yet too cold to sit on the balcony, 11th floor. I was listening to the rain falling down and watching the trains come and go. I wondered how long was I going to stay here. There will come time for me to leave again. Continue the adventure.

The sound of rain is beautiful.

You know, I believe. And I promise you. There is always hope. Always.

Within every moment of failure and a drop of misfortune I see, there is a spark of a new chance.

.Penny

Legendary Torvi at Lahti

Long story short. There was a girl and a boy and a piano and a train. And the girl and the boy carried the piano to a train and went to Lahti.

I've heard that the place, Torvi, is quite legendary and many big names have been playing there. I had a possibility to play there at Akustinen Klubi and I must say you could really feel that the place plays an important role in the music life of the city. Thanks to the audience and thank you Ville for organizing such a cool event!

The evening also had a funny turn when a childhood friend of mine and nowadays a musician himself too, Elias, sat in the audience! I haven't seen him for ages and then he happens to come to my gig at Lahti (where neither one of us lives). Turns out that he is in town for their own gig for the same day. Funny world. :) 

..Penny

Right before getting on stage! The legendary "in front of the toilet mirror" -pose. 

Right before getting on stage! The legendary "in front of the toilet mirror" -pose.