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"Hi, Stephane. I would like to suggest a new noise. I’m a Finn, and the sounds of a traditional sauna would be very nice as we Finnish people like to sauna bath a lot. For us Finns, the sauna is a place for relaxing and a sort of meditation. I think it would be a nice addition to your soundscapes!"
This is how I became acquainted with Katri, a fan of myNoise from Finland. Users are always welcome to make suggestions, and I do my best to make these happen. However, it helps greatly when users can give me access to interesting recording locations. That is exactly what Katri did, allowing me to make recordings at her traditional family sauna, located by a calm lake in Finland's countryside.
"Old saunas like ours at our cabin don’t even have running water. It is pumped from the lake, heated in a large cauldron and mixed in a bucket, so the water sounds are different from modern saunas that have showers. Also, an old wooden building creates a very different atmosphere than a modern one with porcelain tiles."
We aimed to provide the most authentic sound experience by recording all the sounds separately, in the real temperature and humidity conditions; the sound colors differ, depending on atmospheric conditions! This was a challenge, both for me and my microphones. The session took more than two hours. But we all survived!
Among other things, you will hear the sounds of the kiuas, the special stove used to warm up the sauna; the löyly, the steam that comes when you throw water at it; and the vihta, whisks made of tender birch twigs that are used to gently beat oneself! The ambience was recorded from the perpective of a small group, all enjoying a sauna session together. You will hear some people bathing outside, while others are having a conversation inside.
It is always a pleasure to team up – or to steam up – with fans of myNoise all around the world, in the making of authentic soundscapes. Special thanks to Katri and Pirkko, for organizing the local sampling session with such success!