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The Symphony of Extremes - Born from Finnish DNA is a project where we examine our heritage and turn it into music that reflects these extremes

11/14/17

Bulletin from Visit Finland

Finland is a nation of extreme differences. Not only in our seasons and nature, but people as well. To celebrate Finland's centennial, Visit Finland delves into the nation's character more vocally than ever before by turning the Finnish genotype into music.

The Symphony of Extremes – Born from Finnish DNA is a global campaign that will be supported through PR, paid advertising and Visit Finland's channels.

Why?

Authenticity is currently a major trend in tourism. Travellers are interested in local people and their ways of life. The Symphony of Extremes is crafted to their needs.

Our current age of media spin dictates a need for new ideas that transcend boundaries and attract attention. Ideas that feel genuinely fresh and evocative. The Symphony of Extremes is a project that unites tourism with science and art in a fascinating way. Finland is at the crossroads of east and west. Our roots straddle the border: western Finland is influenced by Europe's ancient agrarian culture and Scandinavian DNA, while the east and north come from an age-old line of hunter-gatherers. Eastern and western Finns resemble each other less than Germans and Brits do. It is a fascinating equation, since Finland is also one of the most uniform, equalitarian and safe nations in the world.

What?

The Symphony of Extremes is a project where Eicca Toppinen from Apocalyptica composed a song based on DNA samples sourced from Finland. The genre-crossing song was premiered on 13 November 2017.

The project's first phase followed the composition process and introduced a number of interesting people behind the genes. They each exhibit some extreme and distinctively Finnish trait, such as Finnish grit ("sisu") or a strong bond with the Arctic.

The next stage focuses on the music and its composition. Instead of using generic travel imagery, the project dives deep into Finland's psyche in order to introduce international audiences to our cultural core. The aim is to illustrate what makes Finland unique – and worth a visit.

The Symphony of Extremes is a captivating true story that turns exceptional ingredients into an international topic.

How?

The Symphony of Extremes brings together a number of professionals at the apex of their fields.

Jonathan Middleton, visiting professor at the University of Tampere, has developed a program that can create sounds from the base pairs found in DNA. His work gave a starting point for Eicca Toppinen, from metal group Apocalyptica, who composed an original song based on Finnish extremes – with the help of geneticists and DNA samples. The project has followed the composition process throughout the year, from gathering the DNA samples to premiering the finished product on 13 November 2017. The Symphony of Extremes is published as a music video. The project is housed on visitfinland.com, where Finland's four major regions and their unique appeal are introduced through inspiring personal stories.

More Information

Visit Finland, a unit of Finpro, is a national authority on tourism and an active force in promoting international travel to Finland. Their main goal is to develop Finland's international image as a destination. Visit Finland supports the travel industry through research and helps businesses and groups develop products and services for the international market.


National Park Bringing New Feeling of Optimism to Hossa

by Fran Weaver, August 2017

Lenny Daly of the local firm Hossan Lumo feels that the new Hossa National Park provides ideal settings for the trendy outdoor activity of SUP-boarding. The Daly family's dog Vicky is also on board. Photo: Maija Daly, Hossan Lumo

The opening in June 2017 of Finland's 40th national park at Hossa, to mark the centenary of the Finland's independence, has been a great boost for local entrepreneurs offering services related to nature tourism and outdoor recreation. New jobs and income are very welcome in this part of Finland's north-eastern borderlands, between the towns of Kuusamo and Suomussalmi.

The clear waters and sandy shores of Hossa National Park are particularly popular among paddlers. Visitors can rent kayaks from local firms or join guided paddling tours to discover the park's highlights. Photo: Hannu Huttu / Metsähallitus

Local firms are already providing a wider range of services for increasing numbers of visitors with different interests. The small family firm Hossan Lumo, run by locally born Maija Daly and her Irish husband Lenny Daly, rents out equipment including fat tyre mountain bikes, kayaks and SUP-boards, while also offering cosy cabin accommodation and lovely lakeside locations for tents and caravans.

Lenny Daly feels that Hossa provides ideal settings for many popular outdoor pursuits. "Hossa's clear blue lakes are great for paddling, and Finland is now also catching on to the international boom in SUP-boarding," he says. "The trails along Hossa's sandy ridges are likewise ideal for mountain biking or hiking." 

Hossa Reindeer Park gives visitors to the nearby national park a chance to get up close to reindeer. Raili Karvonen brings tasty snacks out to some of the park's residents. Photo: Sini Salmirinne

Maija Daly believes that especially for foreign visitors, Hossa's new status as a national park makes it much more attractive than its previous designation as a hiking area. 

"There's a new feeling of optimism as interest in Hossa increases, and people are getting keen to branch out and start new businesses and activities."  

Joga instructor, wilderness guide Saija Taivalmäki is one of the new entrepeuneurs working in Hossa National Park. Photo: Raili Takolander

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