Music

Mikko Ijäs has been involved in music since April 1995 when he formed an intsrumental surf-rock band called the Surftones with his friends Antti Heino (guitar), Panu Pihlajakari (bass) and Kimmo Kuokkala (keys) (Kuokkala was later replaced by Hannu Laru). The band was relatively successful in Finland, but also in Russia, where the band ended up being the first band outside the former Soviet countries to master, print and release an album. Ijäs left the band in May 2001 due to his studies at the other end of the country, but the band continued with a different style. Ijäs remastered some of their best songs from the 1990s and released it on digital platforms in May 2020 titled Themes from the Past, Present, and Future (The Best of 1996–2000).

Ijäs has played drums, percussion and theremin in several groups since the mid 1990s, most notably being the garage cover band The Young Mummies, improvisation bands Vaaleanpunainen Kolmio and Telakan Karhu, Klezmer and Gypsy spectacle Slalom, his duo with his wife Maija Kaunismaa titled The Spouses (formerly known as the Radio Mallorca).

Ijäs returned playing drums, percussion and writing lyrics for Maija Kaunismaa’s album The Pine House Songs in 2020. Ijäs translated two Finnish lyrics for the album. The first was Reino Helismaa’s text Onni, jonka annoin pois, which is a anti-war text that Ijäs transformed into more suitable for the contemporary ecological crisis. The translation Happiness I Gave Away is an anthem for all climate activists around the world.
Another text on the same album is an adaptation of a poem Eriskummainen kantele found from the sister piece of Finnihs mythology Kalevala know as Kanteletar. The translation is titled Beyond the Words.

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