Laura Naukkarinen, aka Lau Nau is one of the more interesting names in the Finnish music scene. Her songs are imbued with a cinematic breadth of vision and her idiosyncratic, finely honed soundworld builds on fragile, spectral otherness. In her concerts you can feel the time stop while she shares small stories with the audience, accompanied by a guitar, synths, small toy instruments and a sea of effects.
Now, Laura Naukkarinen returns with her 5th album as Lau Nau. ‘Poseidon’ is a suite of luminous, world-weary songs that exist in a world of their own, treading the line between chamber folk and experimental pop mixed with a distinctly Scandinavian melancholy. Centered around Laura’s beautiful voice and piano, the album also includes a small cast of guest musicians, including cellist Helena Espvall (Espers, Steve Gunn, Damon & Naomi), Swedish composer Matti Bye, and percussionist Samuli Kosminen on harmonium, kalimba and electronics. Each song is a gem of its own, with lustruous melodies spun from the web of seasons, ghostly at times, earthy at others.
1: Climate change is a fact and it’s a bout the time we should declare it as a global urgency.
2: The Baltic Sea is a very vulnerable ecosystem. The Baltic is home to seven of the of the world’s ten largest marine „dead zones“—areas where the sea’s oxygen has been used up by seabed bacteria.
3: “It’s not possible to catch a rainbow, it’s not possible to catch the aurora, but they are there” – Eliane Radigue
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
All the music I get to hear when I’m playing at festivals and going to concerts and being adventurous. The range is from Finnish tangos to noise.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
When I was a punk rocker in my teenage years and finally had the guts to apply the things I learned during childhood piano lessons to other ends than playing etydes.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
Laurie Spiegel: Expanding universe
Alice Coltrane: Journey in Satchidananda
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
Alternative ways of occupying a city, nowadays also the heavy gentrification. When I think of Berlin I also think of the first rail travels I made to the city in late 90’s with little money – sleeping in hostels, eating canned food and cheap mini pizzas and falafel. On my last trip to Berlin my friends took me to a sauna that was built into a fire truck and on a bike tour around the city, telling me all these interesting anecdotes about the history of the city. I’m always amazed of all the different things, history, people that fit into one place. I also feel that people are more open in Berlin than in the North, open to other people and open to alternative ways of doing things.
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
I live in a village of 25 inhabitants, on an island. My favourite place is the village cafe that has a lustrous garden and the nearby beach where I can go and stare at the waves.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
Niko Karlsson: Valosta valoon
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I’ve collaborated with so many amazing people that I can’t really wish for more. But sure, I’d like to do some nerd talk about technology with Björk, for example.
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Usually (or hopefully) the last one I played.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
Both old and new technology is pretty crucial to my work. Quite a lot of the times, I let the instruments lead me when I compose. I listen to their sounds and what possibilities they offer me. That’s usually the starting point for a composition. By instruments I mean both traditional ones as well as effects, synths, other hardware or software. I’m not a slave of technology but a curious friend.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
Haha! Yes I have two sisters, both very supportive to what I do. My other sister is a photographer and the other has quite a different career, but we all share a quite passionate relationship with our work.
Lau Nau will perform on November 4th at A Happening alongside Apartement Fox, Munma & Fadi Tabbal, Derek Hunter Wilson, Kenichi & The Sun, Nicolai/Wilhelm, TÆR, Tatu Rönkkö and more.