Eicca Toppinen, a member of the Finnish cello metal band APOCALYPTICA, has composed a new piece of music based on DNA samples gathered around Finland by geneticists. The effort is part of Visit Finland's new campaign, "The Symphony Of Extremes - Born From Finnish DNA", to honor the 100th anniversary of Finland's independence.
"Finland is a nation of extremes and strong contrasts — in our seasons, nature and people," Visit Finland's Paavo Virkkunen explains. "Authenticity is a major trend in tourism and travellers are especially interested in stories and local lifestyles. The campaign combines all this into a fascinating true story of science and art."
"The Symphony Of Extremes - Born From Finnish DNA" follows the composition process, from gathering the DNA samples to the final premiere. The Finnish icons behind the DNA are also part of the campaign.
"The symphony is a symbol of diversity as well — our travel destinations range from idyllic Lakeland and Archipelago to the urban beat of Helsinki and the Arctic spell of Lapland," Visit Finland's head of marketing Heli Jimenez says.
As Finland is a nation of vast extremes, not only in its weather and seasons, but in its peoples' adventurous lifestyles and taste for both "headbanging" metal and classical music as well, Visit Finland has delved into the nation's distinct character by examining its heritage and culture and turning the Finnish genotype into music.
The campaign closely follows the creative process and highlights a group of noteworthy people behind the genes, each of whom exhibit some extreme and distinctively Finnish trait, such as "sisu," their unique grit, or a strong bond with the Arctic.
A number of professionals at the apex of their fields were also brought together, including Jonathan Middleton, visiting professor at the University of Tampere who has developed a program that can create sounds from the base pairs found in DNA; and Toppinen.
"The Symphony Of Extremes" also focuses on extreme freediver Johanna Nordblad; Tinja Myllykangas who lives with dozens of dogs in the wilderness of Lapland; and a group of children living in the extreme conditions of outer Finnish Archipelago. Their unique and personal stories inspire international audiences and also draw attention to the mysterious wonders of Finland, drawing in tourism and visitors around the globe.
This cooperation involves extensive research, product development, and expertise from a number of key academic influencers, including Paivi Onkamo, lecturer of genetics in The University of Helsinki; Jonathan Middleton, a composer based in Spokane where he teaches composition at Eastern Washington University; and Janna Saarela, research director of Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland.
Finland appeals to travelers searching for unique and extreme experiences in their destinations. For example, there are 500,000 summer cottages throughout the country, 188,000 lakes, over 3,000,000 saunas (more than the number of cars), 179,000 islands and over 70% of the land covered by forest. Its spectacular nature wonders has attracted travelers and lovers of the outdoors to visit Finland from all over the world.
Besides its stunning landscape wonders, Finland's seasons present extreme conditions that test the strength of its people, with freezing temperatures reaching -51°C in the winter when the sun doesn't rise above the horizon for 52 days in Lapland, and 70 days of midnight sun in the summer; and these intense conditions seem to have given birth to an impressive 3,400 Finnish metal bands that rock the country with sound waves.
Over the year, Visit Finland has orchestrated this grand campaign of audio-visual stimulation to showcase the unique and authentic Finland in all its extreme adventure and glory, and to enhance the destination's brand awareness to markets across the globe. Audiences can expect a very real, firsthand look into the nation's core DNA, from its people's ancestry, love of extreme sports, to its rural communities' passion for environmental sustainability.
Finland has also been named one of the top countries in the world for travelers, receiving the accolade in Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2017, the highly anticipated collection of the world's hottest trends, destinations, and experiences for the year ahead.