1996 – present (22 years)
Tenhi is a Finnish neofolk band formed in 1996.
The music of Tenhi is minimalistic and dark. Usually, the rhythm instrument lines follow the customs of modern rock music. The melodical instruments and vocals are however very heavily folk-influenced. The basic instrumentarium of the band consists of acoustic guitar, bass and drums. Frequent additional instruments include piano, violin, viola and flute and less frequent didgeridoo, mouth harp, harmonium, cello, udu and synthesizer.
Tenhi is a journey. Our music is mainly composed to be a voyage thru different landscapes and feelings. In a way the music is scenery painting. A song is like a canvas for a painting — instruments are like brushes to draw a vision for inner eyes to see. We use instruments freely to achieve the wanted feeling to a song; there is no right way of playing. It is the feel of it that counts.
The songs are not autobiographical in the traditional sense. They are not directly written from a specific point in our lives portraying a moment or a story that could be unraveled to a listener in a way that it would make sense.
The inspiration comes from small pieces and fragments of music and art. Such fragments could be for example a memory, melody, voice, picture, word or a view. Sometimes a misheard fragment of melody springs a new idea, which after a while turns into a song. Some of our compositions have got their initial inspiration from a painting.
Usually one of the members brings the main idea for the band to develop. It is quite seldom that songs are composed through jamming sessions although a lot of our material is improvised during recording sessions. We often write things that even we don't understand immediately. Creating usually happens first on a subconscious level. Thus far there has not been formed a procedure for us for composing music — every song has its own way of appearing into our lives.
We have a big heart for melancholia — sadness is beautiful. The blue side of life is where we are as persons and as artists. The music also reflects our introversion.
Finland, Finnish and Folk
The Finnish language represents the Finnish mentality best. Our music has its roots in the Finnish folk music so using Finnish language to reflect our feelings and mental landscapes is obvious to us. However, the folk elements in Tenhi are indirect. We try to interpret them in our own way. With using folk elements we want to give certain timelessness and feel of our native land's beauty.
The greatest inspiration for us is nature. It is an endless source of amazement and beauty. We try to achieve the same kind of timelessness that is present there. In nature things are in the purest of forms.
We compare our album Maaäet to an autumnal forest. It was its feel that we aimed for when we were creating the music. Life slowly fleeing from everywhere, fatalism, acceptance, gentle fall to sleep, turning towards an end of a cycle, giving energy back to earth — giving it to be a seed of new life.
Music and visual arts together form the concept of Tenhi. For us they are inseparable for achieving the whole experience we are aiming at. During the composing the visual context is a guide for us and it works as a window from where the themes are captured. As we create the album covers ourselves we set the final frames for the musical canvas.
For example the cover of the album Airut:Aamujen represents the core of the album. The portrait is a mental passage away from this place. The black stain curling around the girl's head could be an extension or a reflection of mind — an idea emerging from the subconscious. It could however be read as a death metaphor, the spirit leaving the body.
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