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The Aquaplan story - how did it all come down to this?
Aquaplan was founded in Oulu, Finland in 1999. The idea was to create music containing the challenging song structures and time signatures used in progressive rock, rich harmonic tradition of jazz, accessibility of pop tunes and sensitivity of folk music.
The group was built around composer/guitarist Ari 'Suti' Sutinen, who has been involved in many bands & projects before this one, ranging from jazz to dance music & pop. It was in one of those projects, where he first met the vocalist Maarit Saarenkunnas, and asked her to join the new band under construction. Maarit already knew the band's drummer Tuomas Erkkilä, with whom she had performed in various theatre-related music productions. Tumppa had played previously with Ari back in 1996, when they started a tribute band performing music of Frank Zappa.
Ari Kivelä was a natural choice for the bassist, like Pasi Korhonen for acoustic guitar, both having played together with Suti before in various line-ups. The keyboard player in one of Pasi's numerous other bands happened to be one Juha Anttila, who was asked to join in and complete the first Aquaplan line-up.
Year 2000 saw the first public performance of the group, who played mainly their own material, where the music was composed by Suti, over lyrics written by his wife Terhi and Maarit. The language used was Finnish, although later they would start shifting towards English. The same year they started to record a 4-song EP 'Tekee jäljen veden pintaan', which was released in CDR-format only. The sessions took place at Suti's home and their rehearsal facilities. One track from the EP has been re-recorded later and released on a compilation album by the local folk music association of Oulu, Finland.
More songs were written, arranged & rehearsed, and the group decided to start recording a full length CD. However, in year 2002 the line-up saw it's only change to date. Bass player A. Kivelä wanted to pursue a double bass career in classical music, and decided to leave the band. The replacement was luckily close at hand, as the training facilities were co-hosted by another local group, Trusties. Their bassist Ville Veijalainen, who was already well known since the days of the Zappa-project, agreed to join the group, and recording could continue. The new formation had the first gig in the fall 2002. The two bands were now quite closely linked, as Suti had also joined Trusties a year earlier.
The last tracks were the recorded at the end of the year. Mixing & mastering were done by Suti in his home studio 'Sutio', while Pasi designed the cover art, with a few helping hands. Finally in late December 2003, the CDs arrived, and the album 'Paperimeri' was released immediately. An official album release concert was arranged on Feb 1st 2004. The set contained already some new, unreleased material, e.g. a 15-minute suite in three parts. The album has been positively received by both the local media and the worldwide prog-community, with some absolutely raving reviews.
The most current vibe of Aquaplan is always available at the band's website - http://aquaplan.org/