Mechanical Music in Finland
by Christian Greinacher   (020715 MMDigest)

In MMD 020708 I asked for some information about mechanical music in Finland.  It was Philippe Rouille and Ingmar Krause who answered and suggested to visit

  Mekaanisen Musiikin Museo,
  Pelimannikatu 8, 78850 Varkaus, Suomi-Finnland,
  Directeur: Liisa et Juergen Kempf

Thank you, Philippe and Ingmar, for this valuable hint!  Helene and I visited that museum two days ago and it was a great success.  The museum is located in an extraordinary house in a wonderful park.  When welcomed by an outstanding friendly staff of the museum at the front door we were asked to enter the "villa".

Then Juergen Kempf and his wife, Liisa, came and welcomed us.  Juergen gave us a guided tour, together with about ten other people from Finland and Germany.  As an introduction he stressed that this would not be a normal museum and a normal guided tour -- no, the following about 60 minutes would be a show.

And then he started the show: Never before I have heard somebody speaking more or less simultaneously two languages, Finnish and German.  Like a performer on the stage he talked, cried, made jokes and sang many of the well-known songs coming from the different mechanical music instruments.  By performing all this, Juergen passed a lot of information to his audience about these instruments, about the history of Finland, the other Scandinavian states, and about Germany and Russia.

We could see interesting instruments and we could listen to many of them.  And, as a specialty of Juergen's museum, we could see quite a number of instruments which you can not see anywhere else: instruments and automata, designed and built by Juergen and his crew, which one should not take too seriously.  Juergen called them "fakes", but I would prefer to call them "fantasia musica mecanica".  It's hard to describe these objects, you have to see them -- go to Varkaus and enjoy a visit of that museum.

One additional remark: The house, all rooms, the furniture and even the garden are decorated in the adequate style of the times past.  This decoration is worth a visit and it is done by an artiste: by Juergen's wife Liisa.

We were invited to have coffee and cakes together with Liisa and Juergen in the shady garden and we talked about mechanical music, about the challenge of restoration, about friends around the world.

Thank you once again, Liisa and Juergen, for this unforgettable afternoon!

Christian and Helene Greinacher,
Germany (in this very moment: Helsinki, Finland)
15 Jul 2002 22:12:33 +0200
 


greinacher2_1.jpg (20 kb)
Liisa and Juergen Kempf

greinacher2_2.jpg (25 kb)
Christian Greinacher (left) and Juergen Kempf


17 July 2002