This past summer, I featured The Darkeyed Musician and her album Illumina on my livestream The Tavern and also here on the Bonfires, Castles, and Time Travel. Through interviewing her, I discovered Timo Paakkonen of Grimwater Music, who also happened to produce her album!

I ended up checking out his music as well and was loving it. So of course I had to feature him!

Read on for more on this awesome fellow artist of Medieval and Celtic inspired music!

TA: First, introduce yourself and tell a little about what it is that you do.

TP: I am an independent composer and producer of an instrumental music project called ‘Grimwater’ from Finland. Grimwater’s music combines strong melodies and various fantasy themes and musical elements, like Celtic, Nordic folk and medieval folk music, into epic game and film-score influenced soundscapes.

The history of this project dates back to 2013 when I started making music under the pseudonym ‘Grimwater’. In the beginning, the original style of this project was a mix of different folk music combined with metal music. However, I was more interested in cinematic orchestral music and traditional medieval and Celtic folk music rather than metal, so after working on this project for one year, I decided to change my style completely and leave out the metal music elements altogether.

Since 2017, I have focused on bigger releases and published music more regularly until this day on several streaming services all over the Internet. My goal is to continue in the same way and produce new music on a regular basis.

TA: Who are some of your earliest musical influences?

TP: Film and game music soundtracks and folk music from different nations have greatly influenced my own choices in general when I started to make music. Irish folk and neo-medieval music were especially a big source of inspiration for the development of my own style.

From the beginning to this day, I haven’t had any favorite artists that I would also like to sound like myself.  But if I have to list some good examples of music what I like to listen to a lot outside of my own music production would include music from composers and bands like; James Horner, John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Trevor Morris, Howard Shore, Chance Thomas, Ramin Dwajabi, David Arkenstone, Faun, Corvus Corax, Estampie. I have a very broad taste in music so it’s difficult to highlight any special favorites.   

TA: Much of your work has a Medieval and Celtic theme. Do you have a favorite myth or tale from the medieval era or Celtic lore?

TP: Celtic mythology and the Middle Ages are interesting topics themselves, and so it is quite difficult to highlight any single favorite themes of them. Perhaps Irish folklore could be one that I could mention in this context. The Celtic culture and history in the period of the Roman Empire is also an interesting topic. 

Both of these topics have generally been the biggest influencers in the development of my own musical style. As I mentioned before, I don’t think this music project would exist today if I hadn’t been interested in the Celtic and Medieval concepts. My style might surely change again in the future, but I think some of the same elements will always stay in my music no matter what I do.

TA: What is your music writing process?

TP: I compose and produce my music using keyboards and virtual instruments. Sometimes I record some instruments in the traditional way when there’s a need to do so, like guitars, bass, percussions, flutes, wooden horns.

Basically, the whole process starts when I have an idea of a melody, and right after that, I try to add new tunes to it, then drum sounds and multi-layered orchestral arrangements. Sometimes it’s very hard to decide in which direction the current song should be developed, and this means that several songs remain unfinished, but it is part of this process.

As for themes of the albums or songs, I do not have any specific idea what they should be like. In fact, in most cases, I don’t deliberately look for specific sources of inspiration for composing. Of course, some things, like the books I read recently and the movies I watched, can affect my creative work at the moment, but usually I don’t look for any topic I’m going to make a song about. Mostly I start to plan themes and titles only at the very end of the production process and very first I want to focus on the music itself. After I have composed everything that I have planned, I start the mixing process and design other material. This is my usual way of creating music. 

TA: Out of all the songs and projects you’ve worked on, do you have a favorite or one that feels closest to you?

TP: Almost every project I’ve worked on is important to me in one way or another. Perhaps the most important release to me is my previously released album ‘Silvermoor’, which differs quite a bit from my own current style in its orchestrality, and which is a tribute to works of J.R.R Tolkien (who is also one of my favorite authors). At the time, I had to do an extraordinary amount of work compared to my current skill level, and I invested a lot in production. I think this experience has created a strong attachment to these songs. Of collaboration projects, The Darkeyed Musician’s recently released album Illumina, where I was part of the production team, was also a really great and unforgettable experience.

TA: What future projects do you have coming up?

TP: At the moment I’m working on my next album, and its production is almost finished. There’s still much to do, and I can’t say exactly when it will be released, but I’m going to post about it on my website and social media sites soon. The overall theme of the album is related to Celtic mythology and culture during the ancient Roman Empire. I’ve recently released an excerpt from this upcoming album, a song called ‘Äijö’ on my YouTube channel. The song ‘Äijö’ is a funny exception on this new album and regarding its theme because the name of the song is more related to the Finnish mythology than the Celtic one. But it still gives an example of what the album might sound like. In addition to this, I am also working on a couple of small releases which will be released by the end of the year. In addition to ‘Grimwater’, I also produce and publish music by two other personal music projects, as well as via a couple of collaborative projects.

TA: Where on the internet can people find you?

TP: You can find and reach out to me on Instagram and Facebook, and download and listen to my music on Apple Music, Bandcamp, iTunes, Soundcloud, Spotify, and YouTube.  Also, I’ve activated my website again. There you can find the latest updates and news plus links to my other sites and profiles.




Thanks for reading! Go on a musical adventure with me through time where for three days I’ll send you a new song or story, and a personal email from me!