Itella Posti Oy will publish a stamp featuring traditional Finnish musical instruments on Monday, May 5. A code hidden in the image has a link to a brand new music video of Sibelius Academy’s Folk Big Band with a smartphone or tablet. Other spring stamps feature a national park, summer landscapes, and a bunch of violas.
Traditional instruments with a modern touch
The 2014 EUROPA stamps represent national musical instruments. Sanna Mander, a new name among stamp designers, has illustrated two thoroughly Finnish instruments: the accordion and kantele. Mander’s approach to the traditional theme in the stamps is modern and personal. The Europa: National Musical Instruments self-adhesive sheet contains ten 1st class stamps.
Mander considers traditional folk music a continuum that links the past with the future. She says that in the stamps she depicted musicians in the moment in which music and the surrounding nature merge into one. “One is playing in a field covered with notes, another is in a forest with notes rising to form the tops of birches.”
Sanna Mander is an award-winning graphic designer from Helsinki. Her colorful work is familiar among Finnish as well as international customers. Mander has produced illustrations for print media, children’s books and household textiles. Her clients include Itella, Paulig, New York Magazine, and Volkswagen.
An identifier that can be scanned with the CEE App application is hidden in the images of the National instruments stamps. Users who have downloaded the app only need to align their smartphone or tablet with the stamp and directly access the web to watch a video on YouTube with Folk Big Band, Finnish folk musicians from the University of the Arts Helsinki Sibelius Academy, performing. The video was made as part of the extensive and long cooperation between Itella and Sibelius Academy.
The stamps’ CEE App application works on all Android and iPhone phones and tablets. Customers can download the application free of charge from App Store or Google Play. The application will also be released for Windows devices during May.
In the impressive video by Magneetto Media Oy, Folk Big Band performs Konsta Jylhä’s schottice in D minor, arranged for the kantele and accordion in line with the theme of the stamps.
“Various types of accordions and stringed instruments similar to the kantele are common in many countries, but Finnish folk music is quite unique in the world with its Slavic influences,” says Petri Prauda, lecturer in folk music at Sibelius Academy and artistic director of Folk Big Band, consisting of up to 40 musicians.
National park series ends with the nature of the lakeland archipelago
The fifth and last stamp in the series introducing Finnish national parks will be published in May. The stamp depicts the Linnansaari National Park which was established in 1956 and protects the valuable nature of Saimaa island and beautiful landscapes of the Saimaa lakeland archipelago. The 1st class Linnansaari National Park stamp designed by Teemu Ollikainen will be published in a self-adhesive booklet of ten stamps.
Linnansaari is one of the best habitats for the Saimaa ringed seal and offers one of the densest osprey populations in Finland. The 40-kilometer long and 5–10-kilometer wide national park comprises over 130 islands. A dense coniferous and mixed forest begins behind the shore cliffs visible from the lake. One of the most popular sites in Linnansaari is Linnavuori, a magnificent vantage point.
Six summer landscapes in credit card size
Another new stamp designer for the spring is Janne Gröning, who has photographed traditional Finnish summer landscapes for six stamps. The 1st class Sweet Summer stamp will be released in a handy foldable self-adhesive booklet in credit card size. The booklet also contains Priority stickers. The graphic design of the Sweet Summer stamps comes from Tero Jämsä.
The themes include sunsets, lakes and the sea, fields, and forests. With his photographs, Janne Gröning wants to relay relaxing and therapeutic nature experiences to all who cannot or do not have the time to visit nature themselves. The views featured on the stamps were photographed in Iniö, the lsland of Keistiö, the shore of Lake Näsijärvi, Nauvo, and the Salo region.
Theme of the spring flower stamp is a bunch of violas
A flower stamp is traditionally released in the spring; this year, its theme is a viola. Illustrated by Leena Airikkala, the 1st class Bunch of Violas stamp will be published in a sheet of ten stamps. Flowers are an evergreen favorite in stamps. The last viola-themed stamp was released in Finland in 2003.
The plant theme is familiar to Airikkala. Her Apple Blossom stamp was selected as the most beautiful Finnish stamp in 2005. In addition to stamps, Airikkala has illustrated children’s books and magazines, and designed corporate graphics. She has held several exhibitions in the Nordic countries and France, among others.