If you are a tango dancer, you know that Argentina is the birthplace of the tango. You know that Tango music is the essence of the Argentine soul. But did you know that Tango has a long history in Finland and holds a similar importance to Finns?
Finland joined the international tango craze at the turn of the last century, but tango never faded away in Finland as it did in the rest of the world. Finnish tango developed independently over the course of the 20th century. It mixes a kind of Nordic melancholy with the tango beat. Finns joke that they like the tango so much because you can have physical intimacy with another person without having to make eye contact. Think of snow, pine trees and vodka instead of gauchos, empanadas and malbec!
In 2010, Sara Pajunen and Elina Ruppert asked me to play accordion in a new Finnish tango band. We called it "Tango Pohjan Tahden", which means "North Star Tango". In 2011 we added Jazz bassist Peter Susag. We wanted to take classic Finnish tangos and updated them with Argentine Tango Nuevo and good old American Jazz sounds.
So, you may be asking if you can dance Argentine Tango steps to it? Yes! Yes you can! The tangos are a bit faster and the vals are a bit slower, but the phrasing and dramatic pauses will be familiar to Argentine tango dancers. About half of our gigs are for Milongas (traditional Argentine dance parties)
Now we are ready to record an album of our greatest tangos! We will be recording about 15 tunes; mostly 1950s tangos, but with a mix of Bob and Sara's originals.
We are looking for $4000 to fund our dream. This money will cover about 30 hours of studio time, 10 hours of mixing time, copyright payments for 10-12 vintage tangos, and an initial pressing of 1000 CDs. We will not be paying ourselves with this money. In fact, we will probably be investing a fair amount of our own money to recoup from CD and download sales. If we have any money left over, we will donate it to Habitat for Humanity.
Many of you know that I worked for Minnesota Public Radio for years, so I know a thing or two about pitching for money! So, please, donate today. Any amount helps. Help us meet our goal of $4000 by August 10th. Another way you can look at it is that we are pre-selling the CD at inflated prices. For $20 we will email you a link to download the finished (Finnish) tracks for free. For $50, we will mail you a CD. And for $500 you can buy the naming rights to a vals I wrote!
When you donate on Kickstarter (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2105618514/tango-pohjan-tahden-album), you give your credit card information and only pay if the donation goal is met. If we don't get $4000 in pledges, no one gets charged. Once we get the money, we will start recording our tunes and hope to have the finished product in a year or less.
- (60 days)