Finland Tourism: The Symphony of Extremes: Born from Finnish DNA

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To honor the 100th Anniversary of the country’s independence, Visit Finland has launched an exciting new campaign: The Symphony of Extremes — Born from Finnish DNA. 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 will delve into the nation’s distinct character by examining its heritage and culture and turning the Finnish genotype into music.

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The Symphony of the Extremes — Born from Finnish DNA delves deep into the Finnish psyche to introduce Finland’scultural core, by tracking the composition of a new piece by heavy metal band Apocalyptica, who use Finnish DNA samples as raw material for a genre-crossing track which will premiere later this year along with an visually-engaging music video to showcase the work of art globally. The campaign trailer is now available on its official website: http://www.visitfinland.com/symphonyofextremes/.

Eicca Toppinen, a member of the Finnish cello metal band Apocalyptica, will compose a new piece of music based on DNA samples gathered around Finland by geneticists
Eicca Toppinen, a member of the Finnish cello metal band Apocalyptica, will compose a new piece of music based on DNA samples gathered around Finland by geneticists

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 will also be 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 Eicca Toppinen, a member of the Finnish cello metal band Apocalyptica formed in 1993, who will then compose a new piece of music based on DNA samples gathered around Finland by geneticists. The campaign starts with the collection of the genes, culminating in the work’s publication by late 2017.

Extreme freediver Johanna Nordblad
Extreme freediver Johanna Nordblad

The Symphony of Extremes will also focus 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 will inspire international audiences and also draw attention to the mysterious wonders of Finland, drawing in tourism and visitors around the globe.

Tinja Myllykangas who lives with dozens of dogs in the wilderness of Lapland
Tinja Myllykangas who lives with dozens of dogs in the wilderness of Lapland

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.

A group of children living in the extreme conditions of outer Finnish Archipelago
A group of children living in the extreme conditions of outer Finnish Archipelago

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 will orchestrate 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

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Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.