Kalle in Denmark

Life, Passion, Learning, Action

The last post

Sorry I have been lazy updating this blog. But this post will bit longer long because quite many things happened during the spring.

After my winter break I kept on working hard with my school. My leg was really bad in the end of February but after few visits to different doctors it has become better little by little. I have even been running already. Danish health care system seems to be superb as well.

In April I visited New York with some of my fellow students for 9 days. It was very nice trip but it didn’t blew my mind. We had lots of free time because there were only one school visit in one day. I heard some nice concerts, visited museums and walked around mostly with my friend Sophie.

Me at the Staten Island, Manhattan at the backround.

long island

During the easter few of my friends came to visit me. It was really nice to have them around. We made a road trip to northern Germany to place called Prora. There is a huge hotel from Third Reich era which was never used because second world war started. The hotel complex is totally four kilometers long. Now there is hostel where we stayed and they are developing the area as well. I think I will go back there some day.

Seebad Prora.


In the beginning of May my parents visited me also. It helped me a lot when I gave them one bag of mine which was filled f.e. with all my vinyl records I had bought during the year.

Before I left back to Finland I played three gigs in one thursdays cafe. First I played some of my own material that I had composed during the year. Then we played our own compositions with 4th year project band and last set with little big band. After concerts there were huge party and jam session. It was really nice evening. Good thing was that my brother came to visit me and were there as well.

During the last weekend I had to clean and paint (!) my apartment before giving it away. I luckily had my friend Mads helping me with the job. And we did good job because I didn’t need to pay any penalty fees. We played a short gig with Mads also. Last two nights I slept at my friends place because I moved out from my apartment.

Me and Mads playing.



Mads is painting.


Then it was time the leave back home. It was of course little wistful to leave Denmark and say goodbye to my new friends in Denmark, but in the other hand it felt really nice to come back to Finland. My family and the most of my friends lives in Finland and I know a finnish language. I have nice apartment, nice job and so on.

After all I think it was a really nice year in exchange. I think that the danish way to learn music is slightly different that we have here in Finland. I had really nice teachers and it felt good to concentrate only to music for so long time. I’m also grateful for my new friends i got. I think I can see my circles in Finland from a different view after spending nine months in different place. Highly recommend!

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Happy new year everybody!

I had really nice christmas holiday in Finland. It felt so good to see my finnish friends and family and speak some finnish.

I came back to Denmark 2nd of January and at the same day I went to a music camp which was held in an old Engelsholm castle. This  6 day camp is annual part of studies in SMKS. There were also other rhythmic music students from Odense, Birmingham and Malmö. Students were divided in to 11 groups according to their own interests. The groups were led by professionals of their own fields. My teacher was Judy Niemack who normally teaches jazz vocals at the Berlin University of the Arts.

The Engelsholm Castle


At the last evening every group had a 20 minute performance of what they have been working on for a week. The performances were really on high level and besides that we ate traditional danish banquet. Otherwise the food was good the whole week and a bar was open every evening at a cellar of the castle. In the evenings there were intensive jam sessions as well because there were so many good players from different places. For me it was good and memorable week.


Our performance at last evening.


After the camp I had no lessons for two weeks but the other week we had some masterclasses. In SMKS there are few weeks with no lessons but there can be some interesting music lectures. In three days we learned some songwriting, composing and avantgarde-jazz playing with Helle Hansen, Jacob Anderskov and Maria Faust.

At one weekend I also went to Copenhagen to see the city and some gigs. Copenhagen was nice but my leg got sore and it is still difficult to walk with it. It has been painful almost for three weeks now. I showed it to doctor here but he only gave me stronger painkillers. I’m going to Finland next saturday for a winter break and I am going to meet doctor there as well. I really hope it will get better.

Otherwise everything is fine. Lot of work with composing and practicing. There’s only 4 months of my exchange left so I think I will manage.

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The Good Music Festival

In our school there are held many concerts with regularity. Every other week on thursdays there is “torsdags cafe” where some rhythmical student organizes a concert to schools cafe. Audience can buy beer or wine which was surprising for me in the beginning because in Finland selling alcohol is extremely controlled by law. But I think it is cool to buy a beer from schools tap and then walk home with it if I want. Here in Denmark people can also start to buy beer when they are 16 and I interpreted that there is no proper minimum age for drinking alcohol.

Last thursday there were no concert but on friday there was the Good Music Festival. Between clock 16-24 there was 14 concerts in four venues. In every concert schools students played their own material. I played one song with band called The Fire and saw many interesting concerts besides.

“Migraine And The Mongrel Jazz”




“The Good Ensemble”


Last concert was really good as well. There the teachers of the Academy played some nice jazz. Featuring artist was Marc Ducret who is the new professor of the Academy. Mr. Ducret had also a masterclass and and a gig with his trio on previous wednesday.

“Marc Ducret & SMKS Teachers’s”


Otherwise everything is good. I have lot of time to practice and I’m doing compositions and/or arrangements all the time. I started danish lessons as well and it’s nice counterbalance for music studies. Nevertheless I have to admit that I am already waiting the christmas time in Finland when I am going to see many of my friends and my family too. My flight is after two weeks so it is not a long time.

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Long time no see, long time no BBC

Long time no see, long time no BBC. (Quote from finnish TV-serie Pasila)

During past few weeks I have been studying hard except last week because I had autumn break from school so I travelled a bit. The school takes lots of work because I have to arrange, compose and practice a lot. Luckily I have plenty of time here. Before autumn break I made an arrangement of a Finnish folk tune called “Lapsuuden toverille”. We performed it among other tunes in event called Kulturnatten (The Culture Night) and the audience seemed to like it.

My home has started to feel like home little by little. I borrowed bed, kitchen utensils and some furniture from one friend who needed storage for her stuff. Corners of my home fills up with papers just like in Finland. My address in Denmark is Havnegade 13 2 2, 6700 Esbjerg. I promise to answer to everyone who sends me something with returning address via traditional post.


Esbjerg statue

I had my first visitors from Finland in the beginning of my autumn break. It felt really nice to see some Finnish people and have long conversations in Finnish. I introduced a bit of Esbjerg to Laura and Leevi and besides that we visited in Fanø which is a popular island located 5 kilometers from Esbjerg. A main village of the island was idyllic and houses could be taken straight from children’s storybook. Then we travelled with rented car to Kiel in Northern Germany. In this town we just walked around and enjoyed local food. We also went to see ballet called Swan Lake and I was really impressed. I had been in ballet only once before over 10 years ago and this experience made me really a friend of a ballet.


Laura and Leevi in Fanø



Wind farms in Northern Germany



From Kiel I took a train to Utrecht in Holland to visit one of my old friend from studying period in Helsinki. One day we visited in Amsterdam and otherwise I just explored the Utrecht and did normal things with my friends. I spent there one day more than I planned because I bought a train ticket back to Esbjerg to wrong night by accident. I missed two lessons because of that but I hope it is not that serious.

Me in Amsterdam



So far so good. Only thing I am missing is Finnish sauna, maybe I should try to find one from here…


My first post ever

My career as a blogger starts now. I think I have never written any public text to the internet so let’s see how it goes.

I am going to study next academic year in Esbjerg. A whole name of a school I am studying is The Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts Southern Denmark and it is abbreviated to AMDA. Check their webpage www.amda.dk if you want to know more about the school.

I had never before visited Denmark and either lived abroad before so I am quite excited. Everything seems to go well anyway.

I travelled to Denmark at 26th of August. I advice everybody who is flying abroad to arrive to an airport early enough because I did arrive to a gate 7 minutes before take off. I was also lucky with my luggage because I had one extra item and two of my cases were too heavy but I didn’t need to pay any extra.

I had more than 70 kilos of stuff with me so it was quite challenging performance to get them to a train and to Esbjerg. In the evening I got to my accommodation with my stuff and I had already had my first sax lesson with my new teacher Marc Bernstein.

After three weeks of studying I am really satisfied to the school. In addition to my sax lesson I study composing/arranging, 2 different types of combo playing and notating with computer. Then I have one course witch is called a 4th year project. In that course we compose and arrange our own repertoire and then play it in different places. And then at spring we are going to New York with that project for one week. It takes a lot of work but that is what I came here for.

During the second week of my stay I finally found an apartment via local youth apartment organization. It is a nice 32m2 attic with kitchen and bathroom. A rent is approx. 330 euros, the center of Esbjerg is near and distance to my school is one kilometer.

I also bought a bike which is already stolen. I like walking anyway. The days here go fast while going to school and doing everyday chores. Danish people are friendly and this country seems to work well. After all I have good feeling about forthcoming year.