Antti Paalanen: Breathbox

I recently came across this hypnotic piece of music by Finnish musician Antti Paalanen. Paalanen is a composer and a master of the diatonic accordion.

Accordions are made in a range of different configurations and styles. Diatonic button accordions are bisonoric, which means each button produces two notes: one when the bellows is compressed, and another when it’s expanded.

The instrument was invented in the 1800s and has been an important part of many folk traditions, including French Canadian and Cajun music, as well as Tex Mex and American country square dance music.

Paalanen plays with a number of folk music bands, but he’s exploring a new direction in his solo work. I love the unique, mesmerizing sound he is creating in this song “Breathe” from his 2010 album Breathbox. The accordion never sounded so good.

Thanks to Alex Ross for this clip.

Breathbox - Antti Paalanen

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By | 2016-11-11T21:55:04+00:00 10.16.11|Sounds|Comments Off on Antti Paalanen: Breathbox

About the Author:

I’ve spent almost 20 years helping thousands of successful artists of all disciplines and working to make the arts more accessible. (One friend likes to call me “the arts enabler.”) From 1999-2012 I worked at The MacDowell Colony, the nation’s oldest artist colony, but I've also done time at an arts magazine, a library, an art museum, and a raptor rehabilitation center. In May of 2012 I left MacDowell to pursue writing, speaking, curating, and creative projects full-time. In 2015 I was named a “Top 100 Artist, Innovator, Creative” by Origin magazine. I've appeared as an arts and culture commentator on New Hampshire Public Radio, and in 2017 I was the recipient of the Wampler Art Professorship at James Madison University. I am the founder of the Gwarlingo Salon series, which connects artists like DJ Spooky with rural audiences in the Monadnock region. In 2017 my collaborator Corwin Levi and I will publish our first book, Mirror Mirrored, which combines Grimms’ fairy tales with vintage illustration remixes and the work of contemporary artists like Kiki Smith, Carrie Mae Weems, and Amy Cutler. I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia, but have called New Hampshire home since 1999. My studio is located in the historic, mill village of Harrisville. I miss fried okra, the early southern spring, and restaurants that stay open past 9:00 p.m., but rural life agrees with me. In New Hampshire I can see the stars, go kayaking or snowshoeing, watch bald eagles fish in the lake, and focus on my creative work in silence. I no longer have to worry about traffic jams; deer, wild turkeys, and frost heaves are the primary road hazards here. Although I live in the country, I’m fortunate enough to be part of a vibrant arts community that extends beyond this small New England village. The quiet days are punctuated by regular travel and frequent visits to museums, theaters, readings, arts events, lectures, and open studios around the country. (You can read my full CV here.) Thanks for visiting Gwarlingo. I hope you'll be in touch.