With his documentary Thank You for the Music (1997), Taanila already expressed his fascination for a musical phenomenon often disregarded as ‘elevator music'. For Taanila, however, music is not just something to fill silent moments, but a very important part of the way he makes films. Some documentary makers shun the use of music, but for him it is just the opposite. In Thank You for the Music there was music playing practically all the time.
Observing a society filled with technology is the sustaining theme throughout Taanila’s work. Stimulus Progression (Rotterdam) consists of contemporary muzak ‘field recordings’ at department stores, indoor car parks, IKEA, etc. Taanila likes to consider his ‘city symphony’ as the urban equivalent of the influential historical etnographical music projects that Alan Lomax did for Folkways Records, capturing fragile beauty and tradition before it is all gone. Also see Short Profile: Mika Taanila and Mind the Gap: Thu 24 in Spectrum Shorts. Thu 24-Sat 2, 11:00-18:00, free admission, TENT