Soundbreaker: The World of Kimmo Pohjonen
SCR/CAM Kimmo Koskela
EDS Kimmo Koskela, Jani Ahlstedt, Arne Eklund
MUS Kimmo Pohjonen
PROD CO Koskela Art & Media House
Kimmo Pohjonen is an extraordinarily gifted and innovative accordionist whose wonderful compositions and playing style have opened up a huge range of territory for the instrument and won him a recent partnership with the Kronos Quartet. Kimmo Koskela’s alluring documentary profiles the boundless creativity of this Finnish iconoclast who proves to be equal parts punk and sprite. It is unlikely that you will have seen, or rather heard, the boundaries of music tested and extended as they are in this bracing film.
Pohjonen revolutionizes the accordion and shatters traditional musical standards. Extraordinary sounds of bellows, animals and machines come out of his instrument. Adding his own voice and string instruments, he bridges the gap between experimental, rock, folk and classical genres. His performances are reminiscent of the violence of Roman gladiators and the castigation of medieval monks. The film could not have been as dramatic as it is were the subject matter not matched by Koskela’s presentation of it. The electrifying opening sequence leaves the viewer in no doubt as to what lies in store and the pace and originality never slacken. We follow Pohjonen on foreign tours and accompany him to concerts, as well as see him at work, rehearsing. His own comment sums up his music, some of it wistfully lyrical, but much of it loud, atonal rock, “I do my own thing, it doesn’t have to please everyone.” So just take your seat, fasten your belt and prepare yourself for the ride of your life.