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  Sväng Background story

We are frequently asked about the origin and the birth of the band. Here is a short and official version of it for you and the future generations.

The name itself and it's spelling is by it's own right entitled a chapter.

First of all, the name Sväng has no real meaning. It is not a Finnish word. It is, in fact and by accident a Swedish word meaning a 'turn'. So, u-turn would be 'u-sväng'. Ikea seems to carry a nice hat rack named 'Sväng'. This we always take as a compliment.
The story about the name dates back to time when Jouko had a bunch of harmonica students at Sibelius Academy. At some point they formed an ensemble. Jouko, as being very supportive coach did not dismiss the initial achievement but rather said something like 'well, this is not exactly swinging yet - it's more like swänging.' This comment remained to resonate in some students' minds and worked out to encourage for more and deeper undestanding of this funny little instrument.
The name Sväng is pronounced as [svæng], the Finnish way.

The band itself was formed as Eero Turkka needed content for his second main exam. The exam was about improvisation and own compositions. Eero already had the general idea of combining Romanian folk music and harmonica. Jouko, his tutor, suggested then that Eero should work on composing for a complete harmonica ensemble. He volunteered to pitch in himself as a chord harmonica player. Another very talented musician and harmonica player at Sibelius Acedemy, Eero Grundström was easy to talk into this. Bass player was now needed. Jouko asked for Kimmo Pohjonen, but he was way too busy in his other projects. Instead he suggested Jouko to give a call to Pasi Leino who has played bass with Raimo Sirkiä trio/quartet. Pasi was in for this right away and the rehearsals begun.

Eero Turkka started to compose and and soon we had 12 feet of score and some structures to support improvisation. All we needed was to rehearse this Romanian suite, which was about 30 minutes in length and offered multiple dangerous twists and turns in speed well over regular limit.

All in all, the process was fun. We had a great time together and the exam board liked to result so much that it was clear that this must be carried on.

Sväng was born!

We started to figure out material for our first album. Rehearsing that we soon had enough repertoire to be able to go out and market ourselves. Luckily we got a deal for a tour in France and Belgium in December 2003. That tour was a great platform to really stitch the band together in terms of strong mutual respect and groove.
Seriously speaking, achieving a great groove with an ensemble which lacks percussions is somewhat a challenge. There is no shortcut but investing in lots of saliva, draws, blows, sweat and bad jokes.

From the original Romanian Suite, we have one piece in our regular set. We are composing and rehearsing material for the next albums and developing the unique sound of our band to a direction which makes it even more interesting and we are doing this without any effects of electronic processing.

When we hear people say that they liked what they heard and what they heard was something they have not heard before, we know that we are on right path.