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Thread: Finnish mandolinist HEIKKI LAHTI, RIP

  1. #1
    String-Bending Heretic mandocrucian's Avatar
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    Default Finnish mandolinist HEIKKI LAHTI, RIP

    Old-style Finnish mandolin player Heikki Lahti, passed away a day or two ago. Exuberant player and all-round good guy. Check out some of his live and studio recordings (Mandollinimestari ) on YouTube.





    Photo, Kaustinen Finland, July 1989: (L) Reino Kivimäki, (R) Heikki Lahti (age 55)
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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finnish mandolinist HEIKKI LAHTI, RIP

    That's very sad to hear. Definitely a huge influence on my mandolin playing.
    2018 Collings MT, 1910 Gibson A, 1929 Gibson A Jr., 1941 Strad-O-Lin, 2018 Eastman MDO-305, 1950's Californian, 2015 Ashbury Style E OM
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    Seppo 

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    Default Re: Finnish mandolinist HEIKKI LAHTI, RIP

    The you tube site needs a slight correction to find the Finnish mandolin stuff: Google 'Mandolin Mestari site:youtube.com'

    UPDATE This gets to the videos better: 'Mandoliini mestari heikki lahti'
    Last edited by Anglocelt; Feb-08-2019 at 11:07am. Reason: Found a better link
    Anglocelt
    mainly Irish & Scottish but open to all dance-oriented melodic music.
    Mandos: Gibson A2, Mike Black A4, Taran Springwell, Shippey Rosewood; TM and OM by J E Dallas (London) & Davidson.

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    Default Re: Finnish mandolinist HEIKKI LAHTI, RIP

    Finnish folk style musicians really miss Heikki Lahti these days. I knew of his illness for several months and saw this coming but can't really believe he is gone now. He was definitely the biggest mandolin playing character that we have ever had in Finland, an excellent musician, a great workshop teacher and very social. Knowing Heikki from the mid eighties I had the honor of producing his Mandoliinimestari -CD for Olarin Musiikki, a small but important folk music record company whose owner Timo Närväinen unfortunately also passed away last March.
    I first met Heikki during my own mandolin workshop and it not take long to realize that I should have been his student at least when we played Finnish folk music on mandolin. He did not play a lot of American mandolin tunes but had a huge collection of polkas, schottishes, waltzes and other instrumental tunes coded in his head. He was a also a great storyteller who made fun of himself not of others. Once I met two retired musicians who both said they were not very good players but followed Heikki around Finland just to hear his stories during the workshops and the concerts.
    Heikki was also great interpreter of fiddler Otto Hotakainen's music on mandolin. He could play polkas quite fast but always clean with the same accents as Otto had played on fiddle.
    We recorded Heikki's album in the auditorium of the vocational school where he was teaching metal works before retiring.
    I asked for three takes on every tune that he played to make sure we don't need to edit anything and I soon noticed that all takes were flawless and almost equal - even their lengths! He had a habit of waking up early and playing for an hour of tunes to keep them in good shape. He mentioned having a Konsta Jylhä morning tomorrow meaning that he devoted the morning for one specific composer or style.
    He did not mind people coming in and out between recordings and asking questions but when it was time to record his classic solo tune 'Kyynelvalssi' (Teardrop waltz) he asked everyone to go out except me and the engineer. "Now I want to cry alone" he said and played a beautiful version of this tune.

    Heikki had just reached 85 years of age earlier this year and loved music all the way to the end. When he was already too tired to play mandolin he asked his friends to play around the bed.

    I'll end with a story that Heikki told in a concert.
    He was meeting his new metal work students and confronted a guy whose long hair was almost covering his face.
    Heikki said:"You can't come close to my machines with a hair like that.
    It's going to get stuck in the wheels and we'll have to cut it off! "
    Student: " so..that's what happened to you.." pointing his finger at Heikki's bald forehead.
    Last edited by Seppo; Feb-08-2019 at 1:17pm.

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    Default Re: Finnish mandolinist HEIKKI LAHTI, RIP

    Thank you for making Heikki's music available to those of us who never had the opportunity to see/hear him perform live, Seppo.

    We will mourn his loss, but his music will be celebrated and live on.

    Jean

    (By the way, I was just inquiring via the forum a few days ago about the availability of your book MANDOLIINIOPAS. Is it still in publication?)

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    Registered User Seppo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finnish mandolinist HEIKKI LAHTI, RIP

    Hi Jean,
    I have not been here for a while.
    Mandollinopas is not totally sold out.
    Here is a link.
    http://kansanmusiikki-instituutti.va...pas-p-850.html
    If that does not work dor you, send me email sillanp@gmail.com
    Seppo

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    Default Re: Finnish mandolinist HEIKKI LAHTI, RIP

    Hi there again
    I still have a small amount of Mandoliiniopas books in stock.
    I can send them via Paypal for $ 30 including postage. That means economy postage which is approximately $ 15.
    Let me know if you need them. sillanp@gmail.com
    Seppo

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    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finnish mandolinist HEIKKI LAHTI, RIP

    Thanks, Seppo. Am going to order one once I get home from work.
    2018 Collings MT, 1910 Gibson A, 1929 Gibson A Jr., 1941 Strad-O-Lin, 2018 Eastman MDO-305, 1950's Californian, 2015 Ashbury Style E OM
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    Default Re: Finnish mandolinist HEIKKI LAHTI, RIP

    In summer 1989, I went to Finland (first time) playing with my brother Erik as well as teaching some several-day mandolin courses. Heikki was there at the one in Kaustinen, and I really dug his playing (Seppo's description of Heikki is right on), so we set up the mics and did a quick Arhoolie Records style live-direct-to-DAT recording session. This was issued by The Mandocrucian's Digest later that year as a cassette release.

    Heikki teamed up with a fun band from Oulu in northern Finland called Kassiahastus in 1992 and had recorded a cassette album for a series of gigs in the US (Finnfest). They did a really great version of Seppo's tune "Akustin Polska" on it.

    Here are PDF scans from MD#15 of the liner/bio notes and music/tab for one of the tunes.

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  19. #10

    Default Re: Finnish mandolinist HEIKKI LAHTI, RIP

    Thanks, Seppo.

    I’ll shoot you an email.

    Jean

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  21. #11
    Registered User Eric Platt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Finnish mandolinist HEIKKI LAHTI, RIP

    Here's an article from Finland on Heikki and his mandolins -

    https://www.jamsanseutu.fi/a/2014506...4OzuiCInHIpvr8

    It's in Finnish, but Google translate seems to do a halfway decent job.
    2018 Collings MT, 1910 Gibson A, 1929 Gibson A Jr., 1941 Strad-O-Lin, 2018 Eastman MDO-305, 1950's Californian, 2015 Ashbury Style E OM
    http://ericplatt.weebly.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/LauluAika/
    https://www.lauluaika.com/

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