Presenting our musicians: Petri Ainali
Musician interview 16.10.2017
One of FiBOs standard double bassists, Petri Ainali, enjoys the endless possibilities of developing while making music.
I play the double bass, and I play wherever, whenever and however, always when asked. Sometimes also although I’m not asked.
Tell us about yourself
I was born in the hospital of Iisalmi in 1971, but I immediately decided to move to Kannus. As I didn’t like it there either, I moved to Pyhäjoki as a small child, and it became a good home for me until adulthood.
My father and almost all his siblings were cantors, and so I received a good portion of church music in my childhood. There was some choir singing and such, but especially the organ music of J. S. Bach, which can be paralleled to the dear shores of Pyhäjoki, my soul landscape.
How did you end up with your instrument? Who or what made you choose it?
A childhood through the church’s kids’ choir, to being a piano student of the cantor in the neighbouring village, to being a teenager cellist; was a little troublesome on the whole. When my cello teacher decided to focus more on drinking, and there weren’t other teacher options around, the principal of the Ylivieska Region Music Institute said: “Son, you will be my student now”. He was a double bassist.
What inspires you as a musician and in life?
Music, unlike many other sports, gives you the possibility to develop almost until you die. I like that.
But I feel like I’m still at the beginning of my learning age in life overall. I like that too!
What other art form is close to your heart?
My interests towards the arts have been manifold and ever-changing. But my favourite through the times has probably been, and is, Finnish poetry.
Which is your greatest musical dream?
My greatest musical dream is to learn to play so that the grasping of the big picture would not be disturbed by my own playing. The following concert period is always a chance to reach closer to that dream.
Which is your favourite travel destination, and why?
Rome has so far touched med the deepest, but I still would always choose Finnish Lapland, even if there were other choices.
In what kind of a place does your soul find rest?
In the silence and timeless peace of Lapland’s nature.
How do you feel your art is affecting society at large?
When I make music, I believe I am part of making something big (what the Gods would listen to), that has all the possibilities of unforgettably affecting people’s deepest emotions.
Why do you enjoy playing music that is over 300 years old?
My professor in Trondheim taught me that the musician is a bureau, in which each style has its own little drawer. When you open it, you change physically, mentally, aesthetically, cognitively, i.e. holistically, into the form that the music of that style demands. Maybe I opened that Baroque drawer as the last one…?
Choose your favourite among FiBO’s fall 2017 concerts, and motivate your choice.
My favourite was already this spring, when I got to play Schubert’s wonderful octet. I also really liked the recent program we did with Ilya Gringolts and C. P. E. Bach. I have always admired brilliant top violinists.
Which is your guilty pleasure?
I love cooking, almost compulsively. Often I make more dishes than there is time to eat. This gives me a guilty conscience.
If you had to run the Cooper test or bake for a party of 30 people, which would you choose?
Of course I would bake. If you could ski that distance, I wouldn’t mind doing that.