Hello and welcome to the less formal part of my website! My name is Philip Holm and I'm a musician based in Helsinki, Finland. I play double bass, electric bass and an old sewing machine turned into an instrument.
Several records are out or on their way: I released my solo album Trådlös in June (vinyl only!), Helsinki Klezmer Kapelye released their debut in May and Oiro Pena released their latest album in August. I was also asked to join Nordic ladino band Sheine Ite in the studio, so at some point that's coming out as well.
Barlast creates spacious new music with a silence echoing in the background.
The silence can be heard between the notes. Everything unnecessary is stripped away.
Only the name remains as ballast.
From the soothing sound of a telecaster to the calling of the herder instrument mänkeri, from the rumble of a frame drum to a free double bass solo. The aural visions range from 18th century dances to heavy breathing in hazmat suits.
The quartet was formed in Helsinki in 2016 and has since performed in Finland, Estonia, Norway, Hungary and Japan. Barlast has released four albums: Musik för Scener (2022), Live and electric (2021), Svanvik (2019) and Ihantola (2017). Barlast has been said to "play their ethereal and expressive music so magnificently that the in principle challenging fusion of folk music, jazz and improvisation captures the listener" (Onni Rajaniemi, Kansanmusiikki magazine 2/2019).
Philip Holm - Double bass and synthesizer
Heikki Hänninen - Acoustic and electric guitar
Minna Koskenlahti - Percussion and flute
Santte Salonen - Soprano saxophone, bass clarinet and mänkeri
"The spiritual jazz vibe of the late 60s and 70s, spearheaded by the Coltranes, Pharoah Sanders and Sun Ra is being recharged by a new generation!" - Jazz Journal
Buko Shane is an americana influenced rock band that features Philip on the electric bass and tailor's fiddle.
With two records released (Buko Shane, 2017 and Old Blues, 2020), Buko Shane continues to spread raw electrified sounds and psychedelic improvisation in rock clubs around Finland.
Heikki Hänninen - vocals and guitar
Ville Tolvanen - organ and background vocals
Philip Holm - bass and tailor's fiddle
Joonas Anttila - drums
The tailor's fiddle (Räätäliira in Finnish) is an instrument constructed by Mayim Alpert and Lauri Kallinen according to Philip's idea. In 2023 Philip released a solo album called Trådlös with music played only on tailor's fiddle. The album is available on vinyl only.
It is constructed out of an old sewing machine and is played a bit like a hurdy gurdy. It has been used in theater plays, rock concerts and even as the solo instrument in a concert by a symphony orchestra. Listen to the instrument in the videos below!
Philip has collaborated with the critically acclaimed theater group Krepsko since 2013.
Krepsko was founded in 2001 in Prague and has performed in 26 countries and won several awards. Philip has featured as performer in the play Illuminium and as a musician in the cabaret Portwine, Popcorn and Puppetry. He has also played on the soundtrack of several other plays.
"When birds start falling, and theremins are calling - we're close to Illuminium."
Illuminium is a story about a world that is not yet or no more, the glimmer in unexpected places, a girl with radiating golden shoes and a bit about bugs too.
In what do we want to believe even if we shouldn't?
In what should we believe even if we don't want to?
Working group: Mayim Alpert, Iivo Baric, Kristina Dementeva, Laura Hallantie, Linnea Happonen, Philip Holm, Gabi Reinhardt, Outi Sippola and Pau Zabaleta i Llauger
The play has been performed in Tehdas Teatteri, Turku and Nukketeatteri Sampo, Helsinki
Krepsko cabaret is an international troupe traveling from one imagined city to another, a unique performance offering surprises, circus thrills, pearls of puppetry and live music.
"The cabaret should remain, resonating in the audiences' subconscious, as a smile the next day, a hummed melody, a picture you don't want to forget."
Performers have included Mayim Alpert (USA), Kristina Dementeva (BY), Perrine Ferrafiat (FR), Linnea Happonen (FI), Philip Holm (FI), Jan Jakubal (CZ), Antti Korhola (FI), Niina Lindroos (FI), Ville Niska (FI), Juho Sarno (FI), Katrine Weigelt (DK), Jiri Zeman (CZ) and other guests.
Breaks at Dawn is an improvised live cinema collaboration by the folk/jazz band Barlast and media artist Nina-Maria Oförsagd.
What happens in the surroundings at night where most are not awake, when time does not really exist as in everyday life? Breaks at Dawn moves in the hours when it’s dark and nothing happens, outside of everyday reality, in an interstice before a million city wakes up.
The live video art and concert involves a discussion between visual material and the sound world. With the help of a VJ program, Nina-Maria Oförsagd is editing a narrative live to the music while the sound track is created by Barlast. Together they create an experimental film in the moment during their live show.
Barlast examines the boundaries between composition and improvisation. The quartet brings together elements from both the archaic and modern Nordic folk music tradition with European jazz and improvised music.
Nina-Maria Oförsagd's separate film sequences have been made (and continues to be made) in an Asian environment, in urban million cities (Tokyo, Taipei, Hong Kong and imaginative Lin-Tsi). Oförsagd is looking for places in different unique surroundings where there is still a magic layer of time where she can squeeze in and build the fictional world and mood she visualizes. Oförsagd also works with local artists on site, with movement and expression using performance and improvisation as a working method in making the separate film sequences.
Philip Holm – double bass and synthesizer
Heikki Hänninen – guitars
Minna Koskenlahti – percussion and flute
Sanna Salonen – soprano saxophone, bass clarinet and mänkeri
Nina-Maria Oförsagd – live visuals
Barlast and Oförsagd work together with the live cinema performance Breaks at Dawn. Another collaboration is the short movie Arrangement non-existent which was made during the social distancing era of the covid-19 pandemic
The live cinema and performance ensemble City Mirage: Where we don't see, directed by Oförsagd, is experimental film sequences designed for a live performance where film, words, sound art, experimental music and performance meets on stage. The working method on stage is a joint experimental improvisation performance.
City Mirage has been invited to perform shows in Sweden, Estonia and Finland. Within City Mirage Philip has worked with Nina-Maria Oförsagd (live visuals) Petri Kuljuntausta (guitar), Sergio Castrillon (cello), Mikaela Taivassalo (text and voice) Per-Viktor Hjalmarson (piano and performance) and Alm Nyman (performance).
Arrangement non-existent is a short movie made during the covid-19 pandemic.
How time is now, in motion, at place, experienced.
Through movement in a selected location as improvised performance two characters get a connection and their movement grows to a larger pattern together with sound, poetry and words.
Nina-Maria Oförsagd (FI) found this visual material in her archives during lockdown in spring 2020. With the cross-disciplinary group collaborating isolated from each other, it was developed further and revealed something about time in relation to our different self-connections and outer perspectives.
The group has been working individually. The performances were made on site in Taipei, words written and then read and recorded individually by Mauritz Tistelö (SE) and Hsinyen Wei (TW). The music was recorded individually through improvisation while looking at the video piece by each group member of Barlast (FI). All the different elements that have been made alone are joined together in the piece.
HD 16:9, stereo surround, 9min, 2020
Performance, poetry, voice, Mauritz Tistelö.
Performance, poetry voice, Hsinyen Wei.
Music by Barlast: Philip Holm, double bass; Heikki Hänninen, guitars; Minna Koskenlahti, percussion and flute; Sanna Salonen, soprano saxophone and mänkeri.
Philip Holm music directing, mixing, mastering.
Nina-Maria Oförsagd, director, cinematography, editing.
Sponored by Arts Promotion Center Finland.
Premier at Pori Film Festival November 2020.
The Bikini Brothers is the only known cold war revival band, playing forgotten American songs about the atomic bomb and the cold war.
Musically it's all about country, bluegrass and early rock'n'roll. Lyrically it's all about fearing two supposedly great threats: the bomb and communism!
Mayim Alpert - vocals, guitar
Antti Korhola - fiddle, guitar, background vocals
Philip Holm - double bass, background vocals
Philip has played klezmer (Easter European jewish folk music) since 2013, when he joined Helsinki Klezmer Kapelye.
Since then he has studied the tradition in master classes and with his bands and performed in different settings. He is a regular face in the Finnish klezmer scene and has toured schools with the quartet Vallila Klezmorim. Watch more klezmer videos below!
Philip performs regularly both at dances and concerts with musicians such as Jimbino Vegan, Tomi Kettunen, Antti Korhola and Antti Sarpila.
Check out 67 times naked in the video above, featuring Belgian drummer Stephen Scharmin! Regular band members are Jimbino Vegan on clarinet and vocals, Tomi Kettunen on guitar, Alm Nyman on washboard and vocals and Philip Holm on double bass.