Soundbreaker: The World of Kimmo Pohjonen, at the Vancouver International Film Festival
Finnish accordion wizard Kimmo Pohjonen is the star of a new documentary Soundbreaker: the World of Kimmo Pohjonen. It is undoubtedly the accordion film experience of the year, and is showing at the Vancouver International Film Festival twice in the next weeks, so go see it!
Soundbreaker is awesome. Suggestive alternate pre-release titles were “The Devil’s Lungs,” and “Ice Bellows.” (How cool is that?) See Kimmo’s residencies in rural English farming communities where he conducts tractors! See Kimmo tour internationally with a show consisting of himself and olympic wrestlers! Accordionists used to play at Finnish wrestling matches in the 1920s, so why not do that in..Madison Square Garden?
(Big-screen-ise this trailer.)
Kimmo has been playing accordion since he was a child (even though it was not cool then in Finland either). He went through the amazingly progressive folk-music program of the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki. And he’s put out nine albums and collaborations where he has expanded the use of the acoustic accordion with electronic effects and loops, layered MIDI on acoustic sounds, light shows and custom improvised sampling. His sound and shows are unique in the world, and he’s built a growing international reputation in collaboration with rockers like King Crimson’s Trey Gunn and Pat Mastelotto, and classical boundary crossers The Kronos Quartet.
(The Hendrix song they’re wrapping themselves around is “Driving South.” )
Is Kimmo Pohjonen the most spectacular accordion performer in the world? This movie may be your best chance to decide until you get to see him live. Leave a comment if you want to meet up and see the film as a group!