Augusta Liddic/The Daily TimesSinger Pia Leinonen and guitarist Joni Tiala of the Finnish folk duo Velamo perform at a house concert on Wednesday, Feb. 29,
Augusta Liddic/The Daily Times Singer Pia Leinonen and guitarist Joni Tiala of the Finnish folk duo Velamo perform at a house concert on Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2013.
FARMINGTON — On a trip across the United States, a folk duo from Finland stopped in Farmington to sing for a small crowd.

Velamo performed for around a dozen people Wednesday night at local musician Charles Stacey's house. The duo's name, Velamo, came from the Finnish sea goddess.

The small, home environment provided an intimate atmosphere and an opportunity for playful interaction between the duo and the audience.

Singer Pia Leinonen introduced one song by describing a situation in which the singer meets the love of her life, but she can't stand something about him so she has to decide whether or not to "let the flame die."

"If you let it die, you'll always wonder what could have been," Leinonen said.

"I hope she's not talking about me," Joni Tiala, the guitar player, said to the the audience.

"It's been five years, so I think you're covered," Leinonen assured him.

Leinonen and Tiala said they met at a bar.

Tiala said he was playing a game there. Leinonen added that he didn't look like he was doing very well, so she came over to help him. After that, the two began to date and eventually started working with children's theater.

One day, Leinonen said, she headed home from the theater during a break to grab something to eat. As she was driving home, a melody got stuck in her head. As soon as she got home, she got her guitar out and wrote a song about possessive love. Leinonen said that song was the first song she ever wrote.


Last year, Leinonen and Tiala went to visit their friends, who are members of the folk duo Hungry Town. During the visit, Leinonen and Tiala recorded their first album.

Before they left, Hungry Town recommended they visit Farmington. Hungry Town has previously come to Farmington and performed in a house concert. So the Vermont duo got Stacey in contact with Leinonen and Tiala.

Leinonen and Tiala said they flew into New York City in January. Since then they've been driving across the United States visiting places like Florida and New Orleans. Leinonen said they plan on stopping by the Grand Canyon.

While in the Farmington, Tiala explored the town. He said he was surprised by how far Main Street stretches. The duo also got the chance to see Aztec Ruins.

Hannah Grover may be reached at; 564-4652. Follow Grover on Twitter @hmgrover.