Interviews

Published on January 24th, 2020 | by Al Geiner

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Let’s chat with Composer Kepa Lehtinen!

Kepa Lehtinen was born in Helsinki, Finland in 1971 and began studying music in childhood, eventually learning to play piano, synthesizers, theremin, and drums. He went on to study Sound Design at Finland’s Aalto University and has since written music for many films, commercials, and TV productions. He routinely works as a composer, sound editor, and sound designer. His work has appeared in award-winning Finnish titles such as Kimmo (TV series),  Almost 18 (feature film), and A Stone LeftUnturned (short film). He released his first solo album, Playing Theremin, in 2018. In 2019 he released Helsinki in November.

Listen to the new song here

The theremin is a unique electronic instrument which produces sound when your hands interact with the electro-magnetic field it emits without actually touching the device itself. It was invented in the labs of KGB  by Russian engineer Leon Theremin in the early 1920s. Letinen’s previous theremin piece “Kontula” has been streamed almost 500,000 times on Spotify and “16mm” will again bring the unusual, violin-like instrument to a large, modern audience.

Kepa Lehtinen was born in Helsinki, Finland in 1971 and began studying music in childhood, eventually learning to play piano, synthesizers, theremin, and drums. He went on to study Sound Design at Finland’s Aalto University and has since written music for many films, commercials, and TV productions. He routinely works as a composer, sound editor, and sound designer. His work has appeared in award-winning Finnish titles such as Kimmo (TV series),  Almost 18 (feature film), and A Stone LeftUnturned (short film). He released his first solo album, Playing Theremin, in 2018. In 2019 he released Helsinki in November.

Check him out on social media https://twitter.com/KepaLehtinen

What first got you into music?

I have been playing piano since I was a child. I had my first garage band at the age of 9.  Music has become my profession after my film studies at the University of Art and Desing, Helsinki. Today, in addition to composing art music, I work as a sound designer and film music composer.

Who inspired you to make music?

At first, probably my parents

How would you describe the music that you typically creat

Dark, kind of old sounding (but hifi), neo classical music.The use of theremin makes it special.

 What is your creative process like?

I play whatever comes to my mind and try pick up all the good pieces.

Who would you most like to collaborate with?

With late Clara Rockmore.

If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?

Late Freddie Mercury

What is one message you would give to your fans?  

Why aren’t you listening to something happy?

Do you sing in the shower? What songs?

Sure. I often improvise.

What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?

Sound design for film and tv.

Where have you performed? What are your favourite and least favourite venues? Do you have any upcoming shows?

I just don’t play live these days but i definitely have plans.

How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?

Things like Spotify are blessing for any artist who is not represented by a big record company.

What is your favourite song to perform?

I can do Valse triste by Sibelius with Theremin.

What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?

A few years ago I was in a motor bike accident that almost killed my wife.

Today she has recovered well.

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

Kill your darlings.

If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?

I am glad that the worst of the loudness war is over. But it’s still not perfect.

What’s next for you?

I am now making my upcoming album ”It Is OK To Be Sad And Dark”. (coming this spring)

How important is the current climate crisis to you and how do you think you could help?

I should do so much more.



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