Biographical is the first Timo Komulainen album. The two albums preceding it were difficult but essential learning experiences for me. While working on Biographical, I pushed myself to create more daring music than ever before. Along the way I learned a great deal about myself.
Biographical is a concept album. Besides being a music autobiography of my life, it’s a story of human existence. The album begins with “I”. In a very real sense, a great deal of your future is dictated by the seed you have grown from: Your DNA, your parents, your society. The rest of the tracks are contained within “I”. They represent a full arc, containing themes of beginning, destruction, creation and love.
Biographical is not just a music autobiography of my life; it is a story of human life. Its tracks encompass all the major parts of the life I have had during my first 30 years in this world.
“I” is the source of everything. A great deal of your life is dictated by the seed you have grown from: Your DNA, your parents, your society. On “Biographical”, everything is contained within “I”.
Begin is about the necessity of growth. Whether you are a newborn or beginning to learn a new language, you must take the first step and begin. It may feel chaotic at times; scary, even terrifying. A newborn has no choice but to grow and learn and the same applies to you: To live a fulfilling, happy life, you need to “keep beginning” for as long as you live. Remember that the beginning is the hardest!
Explore deals with the colorful, imaginative and naive world of a young child. It is about simple pleasures, learning and discovery. On the other hand, it contains a dark side as well; that of aversion and aggression. You may learn that the world, or whatever you have gotten yourself into, is not quite as perfect as it first seemed. The question is, how will you deal with this discovery; through love or fear?
Avert is a piece of pain, sorrow and hate. At times it may feel as if the world hates you. There may be people who abuse you and aim to hurt you physically or mentally. This can result in aversion, as happened in my case. I was subjected to mental torture through bullying, which made me wary of other people. This forced me to turn to myself for strength, which resulted in growth and insight. Aversion can also evolve into hostility and even physical violence. Violent tendencies grew within me, but did not externalize.
Self-Actualize is the polar opposite of “Avert”. It is about embracing the world and making the most out of yourself. On the other hand, it deals with the uncertainties and pains that come with responsibility and change. “Self-Actualize” represents a paradigm shift in a young adult’s life; that of maturing into a responsible adult.
Destroy deals with the time I served in the army, when my boyhood fantasy of becoming a mighty warrior clashed with the harsh reality of serving as a grunt. “Destroy” is about destructive ways of getting what you want, whether you wage war or live at the expense of others in some other way. As a species, we destroy ourselves by destroying each other. We depend other human beings and this planet. How long can we go on like this before time runs out?
Create is, once again, the polar opposite of the previous track. It poses the question, “What will you create?” In a narrow sense, “Create” is about being an artist. However, everyone in this world is a creator. Every action you take is an act of creating something, whether it is taken in the realm of art, science or business. We are manifestations of the creative force that created us; thus there is a godly seed in each of us.
Love closes the album with a wordless message. Love encompasses all you are, for how you treat others is a reflection of how you treat yourself. My experiences of love, as those of countless others, have brought me sorrow, disappointment and pain, but also joy, harmony and insight.
The ultimate question posed by Biographical is “What will you focus on?” What will you embrace and reject in your life? You are the one most responsible for the quality of your life. What kind of life will you create for yourself and your children?
Everything by Timo Komulainen