Young Finnish pianist accompanies the silence and makes it sparkle

Reetamaria Rajalas er født i Finland, men bosat i Malmö. "SILENCE" er hendes første album. Foto: PR

Review of new album


Artist: Reetamaria Rajala

Company: Vallemusic/MWMusica

Music: Among others music by Matti Bye, Cecilia Damström, Benjamin Staern og Jennie Löfgren

Released: July 2022

Somehow, silence seems like a withdrawn, and maybe withered title for a debut album. But what a valuable silence when one lets Reetamaria Rajala accompain with Scandinavian minimalistic music.

It appears to be a very brave choice to name your debut album “SILENCE”. There are not much of “see me!”, “listen to me!” or technical monumental pieces to make us speechless. On the contrary, the 32 year old Reetamaria Rajala has chosen a more simple, well proportioned and predominantly melodic repertoire that makes one sigh of relief: Actually, there are also wonderful and meaningful pieces of classical music of today that have not the purpose to tear down the music and simply smash everything that may work out well.

Amen to that.

There are 10 pieces of music on the album. That is manageable in a wonderful way. Only one piece lasts longer than six minutes. The album is diverse and affordable but still there is space for silence and immersion. There are a lot of minor emotions, thoughtfulness and nice melodies just like there are many silent and beautiful endings with a nice touch of surprise.
In fact, the music manages to say more in short time, if it has a clear message. Also because of that "SILENCE" has the power to break down the prejudices there might be around classical music.

Another quality is that Reetamaria Rajala encourages the pieces with great humility and deep understanding; she does not overdo the music in panic and fear of not being heard. Instead she plays with great mastery and superior peace. She still has space for the pondering drama which is also to be found in the 10 pieces.

Contemporary music is the big

mirror for Reetamaria Rajalas album. Photo: Mats Bäcker

Reetamaria Rajala puts off land with “Frozen in time” by the Swedish composer Jennie Löfgren. A heartfelt and perhaps a little naiv introduction to the album with a pearly melody that goes straight to the heart.

The Finnish composer Mari Sainio is represented in two pieces with melancholy, simple beauty and sad melodies. Besides, there is music of the three Swedish composers Matti Bye, Erik Valdemar Sköld and Benjamin Staern. From Finland we also get to know Panu Aaltio og Cecilia Damström of which the latter finish the album with her piece “Psychedelic”.

What a postlude.

It seems that Cecilia Damström repeats a pattern, a small fragment of a harmony in minor. She puts the fragment in a carousel. It sounds as if the music is in a fight with someone or something. Slowly the piece is build up with severity and increasing power from the bass.  

Around 3:50 it gets really great. Now the music is very expressive and makes the listener feel that the music has a certain message.

The atmosphere gets more serious while the fragment is moving in the right hand. Suddenly, silence is back as if it all returns to the beginning - as if silence was stronger than the noise. 

The piece lows tide out. The listener is left behind in silence. Reetamaria Rajala is in control with all details and she really nails the essence of the pieces. She is very succesful because she lets the silence speak instead of just rumbling forward.

"SILENCE" is that kind of music you just want to listen to over and over. You want it as yet another piece of furniture in your home. That is quality. The music formulates emotions and messages that can actually be used.

Published October 27 2022

Rachel Einarsson