Presenting our musicians: Laura Kajander
Musician interview 13.9.2019
Laura Kajander has participated in the organisation that runs the Finnish Baroque Orchestra for a long time, and nowadays she is FiBO’s Executive Manager. Originally, she is a trained musician and violist, who is still often seen on stage.
When I don’t play, I produce opportunities to play for my colleagues, and auditive experiences for the audience, which I can do because of my double role as musician and administrator. In my spare time, I am amazed by the beautiful nature, which I enjoy when I e.g. take the bike from one place to another.
Tell us about yourself.
I was born i Haaga in Helsinki, where I now live again, after some turns. There are many musicians in my family, and a broad appreciation for the arts describes my whole family’s values.
How did you end up with your instrument? Who or what made you choose it?
In the context of my musician family, my parents had an excellent solution, and did not impose any instrument hobby. I wanted to try the violin when I was 9 years old, and I was caught immediately. The viola stepped into the picture a year before the entrance exam to the Sibelius Academy. I figured that if my passionate dream was to become a musician, it would increase my chances to be accepted if I applied with two instruments.
What inspires you as a musician and in life?
The relations between music and emotion, music and language, music and structure, and music and mathematics. The colourful people and various experiences that this profession offer come as a bonus.
In addition to music, I am inspired my close to anything. I am generally curious. Constructing, trying out new combinations, word play, fiddling around, playing with natural elements etc...
What other art form is close to your heart?
From music to speech, from speech to writing – I really enjoy working and playing with words. Watching paintings and photographic art are my great passions. During my holidays, I often spend several whole days in museums.
Which is your greatest musical dream?
I have achieved more than I could dream of. My current dreams are laid-back, and some of them may come true if it is meant to be. I wish that my current tests as a neighbourhood violist in the pubs, parks, gyms, soup distribution points, flea markets, shops etc. in Kaarela will bring me even more to say and new ways of approaching as a musician, with which I can touch the listeners.
Which is your favourite travel destination, and why?
Peru. The country is exceedingly colourful and filled with the most wonderful stories and human destinies. You can feel life in every cell, with all its pains and joys. Illogicalities have some mysterious own logic, that one can ponder upon – from a suitable distance. The lunch table discussions of a big family are sometimes as magical as the stories in the books by Gabriel García Márquez.
In what kind of a place does your soul find rest?
My soul rests when watching waves sweep, admiring the shifting ambience and lights in a forest landscape, experiencing the respectable wildness of a mountain range, and marveling at the subtle swaying of a blade of grass, caused by a gust of wind. My soul also rest when sloshing in a lake: it is a great joy to throw stones from the lake onto the shore, dreaming that one day, a grandgrandgrandchild will play on the sandy beach without knowing what grandmother built it.
How do you feel your art is affecting society at large?
A butterfly in China fluttered its wings. Maybe the vibration flicked some air molecule in the exact direction, so that the multiplicative effects had the wind blow from east to west in Italy.
Maybe some art experience touches a person’s soul, maybe humanity can increase, maybe the indirect road to knotted emotions goes through art. And on a practical level, it feels great to move money, people and ideas.
Why do you enjoy playing music that is over 300 years old?
No matter what kind of music, it will be touching. Music that is 300 years old is especially fascinating because of the narrative experience.
Choose your favourite among FiBO’s fall 2019 concerts, and motivate your choice.
Whenever I am going to perform music by Bach, I start the process of choosing repertoire by playing the first solo cello suite. Wow, this one is brilliant. To be sure, I play another one. Oh, now this one is brilliant! And when I have played through the whole book, I have to start from the beginning – and the result is the same!
When I browse through FiBO's season brochure, it is the same phenomenon. The Elements program of the orchestra’s 30th anniversary tour will be spectacular. On the other hand, the season opening concert, which is carried out in cooperation with Avanti and UMO Helsinki on 14.9, offers new experiences. And in between them, there are only wonderful things!
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Workaholism is a real risk for an easily excited person.
If you had to run the Cooper test or bake for a party of 30 people, which would you choose?
Although I like to exercise, I don’t want to test anything. I am known for not being a very willing chef. But out of these two, I choose baking, no doubt, as the objective is a party for 30 people. My odd attempts at baking would be great conversation starters, and at least they would encourage laughter, which is good.