Susan Aho and Johanna Hytti (Virtanen) are good friends about ten years. Friendship started in another band – Värttinä, the most successful contemporary folk group in Finland. As members of Värttinä, Susan and Johanna have toured all over the world, in more than 30 countries in total. One of the group’s most notable projects in recent years was composing music for The Lord Of The Rings theatrical adaptation, based on the book by J. R. R. Tolkien. The musical, premiered in Toronto 2006, moved to London in 2007 and was closed after more than one year run. The many years′- cooperation increased to beginning of the second group – Kuunkuiskaajat (Moonwhispers). For the first self-titled CD, released 2010, all songs have been composed by Susan Aho and Timo Kiiskinen. Same year the duo represented Finnland in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Työlki ellää. But only reached the semi-final, due three points missing. The duo sings accompanied by the accordion and harmonium, and their music is remeniscent of gypsy and Argentinian tango. The sounds is amazing arrangements of traditional Finnish music from 50’s and 60’s and the beautiful female singing. Now Kuunkuiskaajat has increased to a band with three musicians accompanying Susan and Johanna. It’s Topi Korhonen (guitar, trumpet), Sampsa Asikainen (bass), and Kevin Knouna (drums). Anssi Salminen was additional guitar player in the tour with Viktor Klimenko in 2012. In 2014 will be the release of the second album.
How the band was founded?
First concert took place in Germany, and than band was created, and than the name Kuunkuiskaajat (moonwhispers). We got the message from Sibelius Academy, that in Germany someone looking a finnish duo or trio. I though, that it will be nice to do something different without Värttinä.
Susan Aho and Johanna Hytti (Virtanen), that represented Finland in the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 with the song “Työlki ellää”. The duo won the Finnish national final, Euroviisut 2010, with 42% of the super final vote. “Työlki ellää” did not qualify for the final, placing 11th in the first Semi-Final on 25 May 2010 – missing the cut by only three points.
Susan Aho – amused and strong voice
Susan was born 5 March 1974 in Espoo. Started playing 5-row accordion at the age of 13. She has obtained a Master of Music degree at the Sibelius Academy Folk Music Department. In 1997 she join to Värttinä folk group. Played accordion already, before moving to vocals. Susan is not only a professional musician, but also a puppeteer. Currently works at the internationally renowned puppet theatre Sampo in Helsinki. She accord in many musical projects. Played on the accordion and sang in the Greek group Odysseia and was a member of Finnish, folk music groups Metsänväki and Rotunaiset. From 1998 is also an accordion player of the group Vaeltajat, playing Finno-Ugric and Balkan music. Susan is crazy and very confidence. It’s really difficulty to be bored in her companion. Has the great sense of humour, amuses Johanna many times, even in situations where it would be better not to laugh.
She love all of animals truly, for example, even when run to a gig trip to train in a hurry, so if in between Susan sees a wayward path of dew worm, she must save it and it may be that this rescue operation, after seeing only the tail lights the train. Working with Susan is wonderful and rewarding! Although anything catastrophic happen, it is Susan ability to see the positive side of situations, and translating it a victory! Has carefree attitude to life.
Her presence replaces every dialogue, the interview, the song. It will suffice that she is…
Johanna Hytti (Virtanen) – sensitive and lyrical voice
Johanna was born on 16 June 1976 in Kuusamo. She played 2-row accordion, kantele and harmonium. Started her musical studies at the Central Ostrobothnian Conservatory in Kokkola. She continued studying folk music and singing at the Sibelius Academy Folk Music Department and her plan is to obtain a Master of Music degree in the near future. Johanna is a professional vocal teacher and is specialized in childbirth singing. Before she joined Värttinä in 2001 and start singing, played on harmonium in band Leghorn and on kantele with Minna Raskinen. Johanna gave birth to the son Joona–Paavali in 2003.
She is very energetic every days. Making music with her is exciting, bubbling, crackling and often she has hysterical laughter and then again continued work. Can sing whole song on one breath. Has an incredible ability to sense musical colors and empathize with their view.
Johanna always motivates Susan:
Johanna the one of us, which in hopeless situacions she always said: we gonna make it, I’m 100% sure, we gonna make it!
Besides she is active and favourably crazy, what becomes more visible in the free time. She is an excellent interlocutor, but unless has the reason this better not to begin debates with her. Susan needs a lot of sleep, but happens that awakes in the morning bad and sleepy, because Johanna spoke with her the all night. And she herself got up early, well rested after some good sleep.
Joanna is like speaking clock and always drives on me!
There are both together like sisters.