same song

Bita Razavi
Same Song, New Songlines


18.10.2018 at 18:00

Our friend told a crazy story about a song that saved a city. According to him the song is the most played song of all times in Finland, because during the war it was played on the radio over and over for three months. Nobody really heard the music though, because it was played for land mines and not for people. We tried to find the song he was referring to, and here is what we found. According to Finnish legend, during the Continuation War the Finnish army discovered that the retreating Soviets had scattered radio-controlled mines throughout the re-captured city of Viipuri. These land mines were set to explode when a three-note chord was played on the frequency they were tuned to. Once the Finnish army and Yle radio experts discovered how the mines worked, a mobile radio transmitter was brought to Viipuri, and a song called Säkkijärven polkka was played on the same frequencies the mines used to interfere with the Soviet Union transmission. The song was played continuously from September 1941 until 2 February 1942.

Same Song, New Songlines, deals with the legend behind this song and online conversations and debates about it; conversations that reveal an abundance of patriotism and xenophobia, and turn into virtual war zones.

The project is based on a research of radio propaganda and sonic warfare in Nordic/Baltic area carried out by Société Anonyme Ahlqvist in 2011-12.