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Juha Matti Varvikko started playing the bass guitar at the age of twelve and eventually added other string instruments and percussion to his musical skills. Juha studied at the Helsinki Pop & Jazz Conservatory and Espoo Music Institute as a teenager and eventually earned his degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology, specializing in the anthropology of music, more specifically the traditional musical styles of coastal Peru. While doing research for his master’s thesis in Lima, he studied the cajón drum with the renowned Afro-Peruvian musician, the late Manuel ‘Mangüé’ Vásquez.

Currently, Juha performs in different bands with repertoires ranging from Latin American folk to indie rock and electronic music, and also works as a sound engineer, both live and in studio. Some of Juha’s music production, recording, mixing and mastering references can be found on his website: http://www.rahakissa.com

Juha teaches guitar, ukulele, bass and percussion at ISM Finland in English, Finnish, and Spanish.

To sign up for a trial lesson with Juha, please contact us.

Q&A

 

Where are you from and what instruments do you play?
I’m from Espoo, Finland. I play guitar, bass and other string instruments such as ukulele, mandolin, banjo and bouzouki, and percussion.

If you weren’t a musician what would you be doing?
Something visual, most likely. Graphic design or photography, perhaps.

Where did you study?
At the University of Helsinki, where I majored in Anthropology.

Where are you studying now?
Nowhere at the moment, but I would like to study sound engineering.

What was the thing that got you interested in music?
Probably the sheer emotion that can be expressed through music. I remember being fascinated by the raw energy conveyed through metal music as a teenager. While my interest in metal has waned over the years, the search for new, emotionally powerful music hasn’t gone anywhere.

Why are you in Finland?
Coincidentally, I was born in Finland. I’ve tried to leave plenty of times, but always ended up back here.

Who is your favourite musician/composer?
It’s impossible to name just one, but some of my favourites in different genres are:
– Rock: Robert Smith, Thom Yorke, Trent Reznor
– Pop: Max Martin, Greg Kurstin, Ian Kirkpatrick
– Jazz: Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Nina Simone
– Folk: Nick Drake, Gordon Lightfoot, Townes Van Zandt
– Latin: Mercedes Sosa, Enrique Delgado Montes, Antonio Carlos Jobim

What has been your most special musical experience to date?
Doing fieldwork for my master’s thesis with street musicians in Lima, Peru, back in 2007.

Do you have any secret/not-so-secret (unmusical) talents?
I’m very good at procrastinating.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Binge-watching science fiction series.

Tea or coffee?
Coffee

Cats or dogs?
Cats, definitely.

Salad or Pizza?
Both? Ok, pizza.

What is your favourite country to visit?
Peru

What is your favourite season?
Summer

What is your favourite food?
Ceviche

Do you have hobbies?
Reading & running.