Victims Of Ikuri – Valediction
Victims Of Ikuri's album Valediction is a remarkable project by the late Finnish composer, singer and multi-instrumentalist Juho Koivuaho. These songs were recorded at Koivuaho’s home during his last weeks in palliative care. You now have the opportunity to participate in a crowdfunding campaign to make it possible to release this unique album just the way the artist himself wanted it to be experienced. 50% of the profit from this campaign will be donated to Meilahti Triangle Hospital’s haematology wards 7A and 7B where Koivuaho received treatments during his last few years.
In the spring of 2008, when he was only 26 years old, Juho Koivuaho was diagnosed with an acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. After this followed a five-year fight against the cancer, during which his leukaemia was treated successfully twice with intensive treatment and bone marrow transplants. However, the third relapse finally proved to be fatal. The recording process of Victims Of Ikuri album started when Koivuaho was released from the hospital and the palliative care started at home. A month afterwards, on 3rd of October 2013, Koivuaho passed away at the age of 31. There were no more treatments that could have saved him. Even knowing that this time there was no hope of stalling the cancer, Koivuaho remained in fairly good condition and spirits until the end.
Compared to his previous work with Plain Fade, which often was unabashedly bombastic and massive-sounding (for example, the band’s last album Anthropogonia featured a 50-piece choir), Valediction takes on a decidedly more intimate singer-songwriter approach. Musically these songs are diverse and insightful. They range from the elegant and dark moods of Woodwinds Of Judgement to the straightforward bluesy stylings of Misty Cowboy; the Finnish rock legend Michael Monroe guest stars on the latter song, playing harmonica. All in all, the whole album contains a diverse range of musical highlights, ranging from some very minimalistic moments to songs with majestic and massive arrangements.
The lyrics on Valediction (some of which were finished during the recording sessions) are multi-layered and contain allusions to Koivuaho’s condition, as well as to different places he lived in and visited during his short yet rich life. During his professional career in social services Koivuaho worked quite extensively among immigrants, and encountering a diverse array of different cultures and people had a profound effect on him, which is also evident in the lyrics. During his last years Koivuaho lived in Helsinki, the capital of Finland. However, Tampere – his hometown in Western Finland – remained a very important place for him. The name of the project, Victims of Ikuri is a testament to this influence – Ikuri being a district in West Tampere.
The recordings were mainly made at Koivuaho’s home in Helsinki. The musicians on this album were friends of Koivuaho, and it remains a very special and important project for all of us who contributed. The sessions were very intensive, with recordings continuing as long as possible. During the last month we managed to record all the crucial parts to every song. After Koivuaho’s death we finished the album according to his wishes.
This recording process kept Koivuaho attached to life and his friends during the hospice, giving him both fleeting yet very important moments of solace from the illness, as well as providing him courage to face the inevitable. It was also an opportunity to craft truly unique music with his friends one last time. He passionately wanted to have these songs heard; some of them he had created just a couple of months before passing away. This is Juho Koivuaho’s Valediction.
-Juho Salmi, a friend
Track list, publication information and cost breakdown for Victims of Ikuri
Track list for Victims Of Ikuri: Valediction
1. Woodwinds Of Judgement
2. The Bear Park Anthem
4. Waving Heaven Goodbye
5. Misty Cowboy’s Revenge and the Last Breath of the Notorious Butcher
6. Everyday Preciousness
Running time approximately 40 minutes. All music and lyrics by Juho Koivuaho, except Valediction: music by Juho Koivuaho & Juho Salmi.
The album will be released in October 2014 by the latest, and will be released in vinyl according to the wishes of Koivuaho. The LP will be created with exquisitely made gatefold packaging to reflect the extraordinary music on the album. In addition, the package will also contain CD version of Valediction.
The album will be published mainly with the help of the funds received from the crowdfunding campaign. To date the album has been produced with the help of participating family members, friends and musicians donating their own time and money. In order to release the album in a format suitable for its true potential and artistic value, we need funds to pay for the mastering, pressing, mailing and other costs stemming from the album release and promotion. Estimate for the minimum cost is €4500 (depending on the amount of albums ordered). The record will be released by Punos Sound.
Cost breakdown summary:
Pressing costs of the record (300 copies): approx. €2000
Mastering costs: approx. €300 – €500
Recording licence from Nordisk Copyright Bureau: approx. €450
Packaging costs: approx. €150
Mailing costs (150 copies sent): approx. €500 – €1000
Promotional costs for the album: approx. €500
Mesenaatti.me crowdfunding service commission fee: minimum amount €250
If the minimum goal is met, we can pay for the most crucial costs related to the release of the album. If the target amount (€15 000) is reached, we can afford to cover all the costs related to the release, make a donation to the Meilahti Triangle Hospital, as well as to pay a small compensation to all the musicians who have donated their time and skills to complete this project. The rest 50 % of the profit from the campaign will be shared with those musicians and other people, who participated in making the album.
Donation to the Meilahti Triangle Hospital
50% of the profit from this campaign will be donated to the Meilahti Triangle Hospital’s haematology wards 7A and 7B where Koivuaho was also treated. He was very satisfied with the care he received, so we believe that the donations will therefore be directed towards an important and meaningful cause. Patients suffering from malignant blood diseases are treated on these wards; in most cases, patients are suffering from acute and chronic leukaemia, myeloma, lymphoma or aplastic anaemia.
When we reach the goal of €15 000, the amount of donation will be approximately €2 000. The more funds we raise, the larger the sum donated will be.
More information about the aforementioned wards can be found in the following links: