The power trio. 2006-2010. Descendant of sorts of Wolf Larsen. Ambient-folk-prog, if You will…Post humous “Lives” will be released in April 2014.
Matti Kervinen: Keyboards, spoken word, vocals
Sami Sarhamaa: Guitar, keyboards, bass, backing vocals, treatments, programming, drums
Teijo Tikkanen: Keyboards, bass, drums, backing vocals, guitar, programming
+ Live enforcements:
Juha Aronen: Bass
Tomi Laaksonen: Drums
Pauli Päiviö: Keys (in the Voyager band)
Samu Wuori: Guitar, synth
As Wolf Larsen disintegrated, Matti and Teijo still wanted to work together. They slowly assembled a bunch of songs that didn’t quite get finished. At some point Matti asked if I would like to help them. After hearing the songs I was quite willing and jumped right in. I took the songs and added my thoughts and performances to them. The guys seemed to like my ideas, so we went seriously to work with the songs, made some new ones and managed to make it a whole (Canto Obscura). After the CD the live issue was solved by hiring some musician friends. As Teijo quite clearly was not keen to travel from his beloved Nurmes, it was up to me and Matti to organize the live band, the gigs and rehearsals. We played a few gigs in Helsinki and were invited to play at Symforce 2009 in Tilburg Holland. We took some financial chances and performed at Symforce (see the videos at the bottom of this page). In 2009 we started preparing for the second album. The plan was to convene at Teijo’s place in Nurmes once again with some demos from each guy. After previewing the demos and some tentative try outs, I basically refused to play any of the preconceived things. It just didn’t feel right. On Canto Obscura we had had some successful collaborative sessions with Teijo and I very much wanted to pursue that angle more. So I more or less took over the leadership of the CD project. This was a tough thing for Matti as he is maybe not so improvisational (well nor am I but it had seemed to work quite well before so I was keen to try). So Matti was not so instrumental during the sessions for Voyager as me and Teijo were. After Voyager was done we did the record release gig with Pauli helping on keyboards as me and Samu had quite a few guitar bits to perform and couldn’t help Matti on keyboards as we did before. After the release gig Matti announced that he was quitting the live band but was willing to continue with studio work if we found a solution that would enable all three of us to work more or less equally. After some discussions we thought we had that solved but for one reason or another, things didn’t pan out and Kataya sort of fizzled out of existence. As a requiem, I’m planning to mix and release a “Kataya Lives” CD that will include the best of the two recorded shows and who knows, maybe some gems from the studio archives.
A review of our gig at Symforce/Tilburg from Background Magazine:
Kataya from Finland made with Canto Obscura a very impressive album. My expectations maybe ran a bit too high when they entered the stage. It seemed they had no stage fright at all, because they delivered an excellent concert. They started with Opening Marsh, the first track on the album as well. It surprised me, that I didn’t miss the female vocals from the original recording. Keyboard player Matti Kervinen introduced all the tracks, sometimes in an entertaining way. Not only Kataya-songs were on the set list. They also played Oivallettu Matkalyhty (Perceived Journey-Lantern) and Matemaatikon Lentonäytös (The Mathematician’s Air Display), two fine renditions from Pekka Pohjola, one of the most famous musicians from Finland, who died last year November. Pohjola used to be the bass player of Wigwam and a very important songwriter who made several solo albums. Those renditions proved that Kataya have been inspired by this legendary musician. However, I heard also echoes from Camel. Matti Kervinen saw Camel perform once in Finland and became a fan since then. After all, it was no surprise at all that they performed awesome versions of Rhayader and Rhayader Goes To Town from The Snow Goose album. During the concert, we could enjoy the excellent rhythm-section consisting of drummer Tomi Laaksonen and bassist Juha Aronen. They gave the other musicians all the room to show their talents on their instruments. I felt satisfied by making the right choice to witness the entire performance of Kataya. They not only made a strong album, but also managed to play it perfectly in front of a live audience. Thumbs up!