Musical project lingering around experimental, dark and futuristic ambient themes.
There was a man sitting in his cabin, surrounded by woods, puffing his pipe. He was watching as the 2D projection on the screen was slowly rendering into something which looked very much like 3D. Some weird ambient was playing on the background, turning from heavenly to almost horrorish and back. It was quite a contrast. Suddenly a bleep sound was coming from the speakers and a message appeared on the screen. Someone from Germany wanted to make an interview about his music. The man pondered for a while, made a small research about the person, found something interesting and couple minutes later, accepted the request with a smirk on his face.
Your life-story and relationship with your work
Tell us a little about you and your work:
Well.. About me? Well I was born in 1987 and ever since I was little I enjoyed playing (smashing) my grandmothers old piano. I also loved singing and just listening to music for hours. Later my interest in music grew and I started to hoan my skills with all the instruments I could possibly get my hands on. Oh and I also liked dinosaurs, legos, running in the wilderness, building secret huts and occasionally playing the legendary 8-bit Nintendo at my friends house. The soundtracks in “Megaman” (1, 2, 3 and 4) and “Journey to Silius” were probably the ones that really got me because I still listen to them from time to time. The expansion of space and the question of where the heck it’s expanding to, our solar system, black holes and how the world had moved over the years were also interesting things to ponder. In 2000 me and my friends formed a death / trash metal band that had it’s name changed many times over the years. We played in this strangely cozy garage under an abandoned bakery and it was like a second home to us during the years. We played almost every day for so many years.. “Oh, the nostalgy!”. But yea.. Even tho I had taken courses in keyboards, guitar and drums, up until 2007 I was always the drummer who just liked to play other instruments in his freetime. Long story short, in 2008 I got my hands on these two 100-year-old saxophones that once belonged to these brothers who used to play in a jazz band together. They were both long dead and somehow related to me so after all these years the hornsjust ended up at my place. I recorded some long notes through a delay and reverb while suddenly realizing that “Oh! I love making weird shit like this!” and the project “Kausemus” was born. Later I did buy a tenor saxophone for more ejoyable playing experience but that one hasn’t had it’s yearly repair in seven years so it has been a bit unreliable lately. Now six and a half albums later Kausemus has morphed into something ugly and beautiful. Something rude and gentle. Something funny and serious. Something with high contrast so that the listener can really experience how much the surrounding sounds really effect ones mood. Maybe that’s it in a nutshell.
Currently what projects are you working on? And what future plans have you chalked out for yourself?:
Kausemus is my main project but I usually have many things rolling at the same time. Right now I’m rendering a new fractal animation for one of my new tracks that just got released couple weeks ago. Also I’m making my own video game. It’s gonna be a little bit dark and philosophical journey through various weird landscapes. I also do some saxophones, keyboards and percussions for this reggae producer named Poorman Dub Sound System.
What influenced you to get into your field?:
Besides the dead mans saxophones and the pure joy of making music? Well I gotta say Georg Friedrich Händel, Tom Waits, Ulver and Zero Kama have all been influencing me one way or another.
As an artist, what role do you think you play in society?:
While some artists try to effect the world with their message I try to just stay out of it all. My music isn’t about politics, nor am I trying to convert you to “see what I see”. It actually remains a mystery to me how you even found me since I don’t promote myself much. To me, “Kausemus” is just about sitting in silence and experiencing whatever one might experience. It’s about contrast. Maybe a feeling comes up that you didn’t want to feel.. But maybe it was a good thing that you felt it anyway? So a short anwer to your question: My role is to make people sit down from their hurry lives, to shut up, and just to look and listen at all of this for a while. Ain’t it just amazing? All this. Just… mind boggling to even be something we can call “alive”.
You obviously love what you do…but what do you love the most about your work?:
Well I love creating new sounds and then just jamming with those while I record. I love the fact that no one can come and tell me “how it’s done” because it’s my own thing.
Creating on a regular basis can be a bloody tough job, so what motivates you to press yourself into the workstation every single day?:
I don’t do “Kausemus related stuff” every day. I do other things in between and wait for the inspiration to take hold. Usually it’s when I need to sublimate a feeling that I can’t express in any another way.
Everybody has to start somewhere, usually at the bottom of the ladder, either as the bus-boy or the shoe-shiner. What was the very first job you had?:
I was cutting down small trees with a machete around the premise of a paper factory.
What is your second love? What’s the alternative career path you would have travelled if you were not on the one you are right now?:
Computer games. Probably level design.
Share your experiences and your characteristics/personality
No man is an island’- they say, in this light, what quality do you admire the most in others?:
Usually not taking things too seriously. That’s probably the biggest one.
Sometimes life can be quite a – insert word that rhymes with witch. Which phase was the hardest/scariest in your life?:
Hitch! (as in being “hitchslapped” by Christopher Hitchens!) When, as a kid, I moved from a city to a small village for 4th grade, and I suddenly was something to be bullied at. I had been bullied before but I always had friends to back me up. This time was different. After standing up for myself the bullying didn’t last for too long (steadily vanishing in couple years) but it was something that was hard.
Any embarrassing moments? Yes, you’d hate to disclose your secrets but we’d love to hear.:
I’ve always been some sort of a “philosophical clown” so there have been few things that have really felt embarrasing to me. I’ve felt embarrassement for some “minor” things like forgetting important things. Which reminds me of this one story.. For couple years I played bass in this crazy group called “Juju & Hullut”. One time in one city I realized in soundcheck that I had forgotten my bass strap home. We reported the issue in facebook and asked if some fan would have a bass strap for me for the night. Someone replied and we actually went to some guys home just to loan the thing.. Being like “yeah thanks a lot for doing this.. I really appreciate the trouble”. The guy said he would come to take it back after the gig (so I didn’t ask his phone number or anything) but we didn’t see or hear from him so I just left the strap to the gigsite when we were leaving in a hurry. From a “professional musician”-perspective that was embarrassing I guess.. Forgetting your own equipment and just leaving the loaned equipment to the gigsite. During the winter I’ve also forgotten ~4 times to take my wool socks and long underwear off before going to stage. That was some hot stuff I tell you! And then there’s the question of “do I want the audience to smell my feet or do I just keep going without seeing anything for the rest of the gig?” I never knew how much swet can “hurt” when it just goes to your eyes and you can’t do anything about it because your hands have other things to manage. Also there’s this one time where I forgot to put any underpants but I didn’t matter much! Mostly I’m just too embarrassing to get embarrassed.
Everybody’s got favourites…so what’s your favourite work/piece among everything that you’ve designed/produced/dj-ed/created? (Link us up!):
There are too many to name. I like many of my own creations. But if you want a link to something I guess this fractal animation for “6000 Iterations” is one of my favourite creations so far since it has both, my music and my fractals, just the way I like them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QmhTG5hmzPc
Name a few of your all time favourite tracks. (From other artists if you are producer).:
Oh no! There’s too many! Well I’ll try: “Raahotu” from the album “Raahotu” “Katu” from the album “Eris”. “Neurosomatisaatio” from the album “Hermosto” “Luola” from the album “Pinta” “The History of Soil” and “Symphony for Nothing” from the album “No i” “Alone” and “End of Me” from the album “Aer Absurdum”
When have you been most satisfied in your life? Care to share one of your happiest memories?:
I’ve always been satisfied with whatever it has been but my happiest memories tend to be focused on childhood, women or man-made accomplishments so nothing really worthwhile to say I guess.
Habits die hard. Which one word always creeps in your speech?:
Due to so many books being in english and communicating in the internet in english all the time, my finnish tends to be like a mix of finnish and english and sometimes I’m having trouble finding the right finnish word for my sentence when I speak with elderly or when I’m trying to be formal. I guess “maybe” and it’s finnish translation “ehkä” are the ones that I use the most.
Knock, knock, we want to hear a good joke.:
I’m not sure you do.. This one is bad! I usually use jokes like these check how far someones sense humor can go. So.. – Why is it a good thing to have a sheep lay on it’s back when you have sex with it? “Why?” – So you both can kiss each other while you two make sweet love. Hehheheheh…!
There’s a book on the shelf. It’s your autobiography. What does the title say?:
Everyone’s a hypocrite
Flash-forward in time. You are now really old. What would you tell your children/loved ones?:
I’d advice them to get acquainted with the local flora and fauna. I’d tell them to try to enjoy and see the positive in feelings usually labeled as “negative” (such as pain, sadness and loneliness) because they are usually the feelings that teach us the most. I’d tell them that apparently positive things can bring apparently negative outcomes with them and that apparently negative things can bring apparently positive things with them. So “good” and “bad” are just man-made abstarct symbols not to be taken too literally. I’d tell them that physically harming others usually just ends up with more harm. Words can harm as well but sometimes “apparent truth hurts”. So even when words harm, they can help. When it comes to words and harm, to me, it’s the intention that counts. I’d also advice them not to take a path of believing since knowledge always replaces belief. I’d also might hint that “not knowing” might hold better end-results than blind belief. At least it’s honest. I’d also love to point out all the paradoxes and anomalies that these views would hold but the real question is: Who would have the time to listen me, “some old guy”, talking for that long? If I was a kid I know I wouldn’t! Well anyway.. I’d also wish them to not take life too seriously. It seems to be more fun that way. Or maybe I wouldn’t tell them anything? I don’t know.
Into the time machine again. What do you miss about being a kid?:
It was nice when every day I would encounter something new. Something I had not seen or heard or known before. Now I usually have to flood my brain with scientific data or to hold a posture for an hour or two to get some more insight about all this. Also.. I preferred the “smaller perspective”. I never see bugs or lizards any more when I walk but I’m sure they are down there somewhere..
Your hobbies and other fun questions
Excessive chopping dulls the axe. Time-outs are a must. What do you do when you take time off from creating? Got any hobbies?:
I might cook something good, watch a movie or two, smoke some pipe, take a walk in the woods, listen to audiobooks..
What’s the last movie/T.V show you saw or book/magazine you read?:
Last movie was “Cheap Thrills”. Last book was “The Wisdom of Psychopaths” by Kevin Dutton.
Name your all time favourite movie/show/book.:
Well.. To keep the list shorter I could name some people who have written good books instead of naming the books: Sam Harris, Alan Watts, Vlatko Vedral, Brian Greene, Christopher Hitchens, Robert Anton Wilson, Lawrence M. Krauss, Michael Shermer, James Barrat, Bill Bryson, Michio Kaku, Neil Degrasse Tyson, Richard Feynman, Dan Aeriely, Kevin Dutton.. And as for the movies? Well I like horrors, thrillers and dramas but just to name a few: Enter the Void, Blueberry, Full Metal Jacket, Good Will Hunting, Monty Python & The Holy Grail, Imitation Game, Event Horizon, The Martian, Interstellar, Sound Of My Voice, Ex Machina, Whiplash, Man From Earth, Pulp Fiction, Seven, Natural Born Killers, Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas and Planet Terror.
With all the X-men and heroes running around. Us mortals would like some powers too. What one superpower would you choose?:
Immortality so I would have time to learn and understand everything! But it would need an off-switch in case I’d get bored in thirty trillion years! If being immortal sounds too overpowered for this game.. how about I just pick mind control? Huahhahh!
The genie comes out of the lamp and grants you one wish that will change the world. What would you wish for?:
“More empathy for everybody” would probably go a long way..
Your opinions and viewpoints
Got any theories on how the universe blossomed into existence or on the rationale of life? Are we in the matrix? Did god knit a hologram?:
I think it’s a mystery but I like to believe there’s definately an answer to it. We just don’t know it yet. Some day the forming of this existance might be as mundane knowledge as the forming of all the other existances that we don’t even know of yet. If we just don’t “accidentally fuck it up” we humans have a lot to evolve and learn. This whole universe could be our home if we could even come to terms here on earth first. When I was around 11 it felt only natural that this universe came from a black hole and if you would go through a black hole there would be other universes waiting. It felt right. And the expansion of the space was clearly because that hole where this universe came from is still open somewhere and new stuff just keeps pouring in! Hahhah! I still like to think like that every now and then. But be it as it may, to me it feels like the universe is some sort of huge fractal. Like outside this bubble that we call “everything” is just a seemingly infinite number of more of “these everythings” and “these everythings” are just a part of something bigger “everything” which doesn’t know it’s a part of something bigger which is also part of everything small which has ever been because everything small that we know is what “it” is composed of. Someone could call it a “god unaware of itself” but to me it feels more like a “Gray pile of grayness” that holds inside the placement of every particle and all their possible positions at the same time. But like I said.. It’s a mystery!
In an era where most people bear a close resemblance to sandpaper, it’s easy to snap. What are your dislikes/pet peeves/frustrations?:
I get frustrated in a company which doesn’t give me the “intellectual feedback” that I need. This given, I don’t go to bars often. Drunk people somehow get on my nerves.
How do you connect to the spiritual side of yourself?:
With singing, making music, painting and occasionally smoking my pipe..
Your relationship with psychedelics
Creativity and psychedelics work together. Do you agree? Why/Why not?:
They do. Because Led Zeppelin, Beatles, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Jefferson Airplane and even Marilyn Manson! As for a deeper answer.. I think psychedelics take you away from your normal mindset (programmed by ones history and surroundings) and take you to a place where all that gets destroyed. And after all the words are gone, all the worlds are gone and after ones very self and the imaginary self-serving scared little soulcreation is gone, it’s the feeling that one is left with… The feeling that one doesn’t understand in a way that one could speak about it. That nothingness. That’s the feeling that I want/have to sublimate into music. And sometimes it feels like inside that feeling are all the other feelings combined. I’m not a very spiritual person but to me, psychedelics remind me of the vastness of space and mind and how our ancestors probably used to eat mushrooms, watch the moon and think about these things too.. What is all this? The awe and wonder of it all. And after the wonder comes the ponder. Then comes the record button.
Any work/pieces that were inspired by entheogens?:
All of them one way or another because surely entheogens have changed the way I think about certain things and how I play my music. Mushrooms, LSD and Cannabis to name the ones that I’ve “worked with” the most. To me they are very special “tools” for therapy and exploration and I’m happy that I’ve come across these entheogens over the years.
Are you pro-weed culture? Why do you think the majority of the population goes against the green?:
I would say weed ain’t good for everybody and especially for youngsters. I’ve read that dopamine acts like a “belief hormone” so that the more dopamine you have in your brain, the easier it is to suggest stupid stuff and make one form beliefs based on that stuff. So.. Keeping this in mind I see that smoking weed and feeling good might have some weird long-tem-effects on some people. Like after a year of smoking one might find oneself believing in all this new-age propaganda and worrying about things they can not control. So high dopamine levels tend to make people question even less about things that seem to fit their new agenda. I pointed this out because I feel like the whole “new-age culture” (in a bad way) is a side-effect of too much dopamine in the systems of weedsmokers. But I don’t claim to be a scientist so don’t take my word for it. And I think there’s a hard but simple solution to psychotic behaviour; “don’t believe your thoughts to be true”. If everyone would just keep their minds a bit more sceptical they wouldn’t fall for obvious marketing tricks or live in fear for the rest of their lives. Also people would come from their trips a more sane and benefit more if they would doubt themselves. To me it feels like it’s the hardcore dogmatic belief in anything not proven that causes one to eventually “lose it”. When subjective reality and the “reality” outside that selfbubble don’t meet, dissonance will happen. So I’d say I’m pro-weed for those who know they can handle it. Those who have tried and feel like it’s not their thing should not be pushed to “try it out once more”. The majority of people who are “against the green” are the ones who have had a bad experience themselves (usually with alcohol involved in the mix) or who have seen the “worst case scenarios”. But with the “worst case scenarios” there’s usually a lot more than just weed involved. And the people with bad first times (mixed with alcohol) there’s the personal memory that “it was horrible”. Not the understanding why it was horrible. So there are people who demonize weed and people who put it on some kind of pedestal. I think people should just look at the data and do their own choices without feeling good or bad about it. “Hey I like weed.” “Hey I don’t like weed.” These two sentences should have the same weight. A substance that causes both harm and healing is deemed to be a hard subject. I would just place it in the category of “it’s your own business if you don’t hurt anybody else (but maybe yourself)”.
Any ideas to rectify this mindset?:
We were born here naked. Each and every one. No one was given the power to tell others what they should or should not do. We have a lot of information about the subject, both “good” and “bad”, so now it should be up to each individual to ponder those pros and cons for themselves, study the thing more and take the leash off regarding the laws about it. Wouldn’t recommend it to underaged tho. It’s good to let your brains develop normally.
Advice for the readers and fans
At the end of the ride, everyone’s looking for some form of success (tangible or not), what does success mean to you?:
I feel like my life was successful if on my deathbed I have no regrets. I don’t regret anything yet so I’m on my way to success I guess! Hahhahhah!