Go Back

Sakari Pesola

Sakari Lauri Pesola
Born October 4, 1963, Töysä

Master of Arts (Finnish History), 1995, University of Helsinki
Licentiate of Philosophy (Cultural History), 2003, University of Turku

Teacher, History and Civics (Pohjois-Haaga Comprehensive School)
Musician (Kolmas Nainen, Moon Cakes, Luunelonen)

Written by Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta
Translated by John Calton

Got into aesthetics, came out with an MA in history

Sakari Pesola was accepted into the University of Oulu after completing upper secondary school in 1982. In those days the field had an odd abbreviation -  ADP.

– Good lord, I wonder how life would have worked out if I had gone there. Instead of ADP, I ended up studying land surveying at the University of Technology in Otaniemi.

 Around the same time in the early 1980s, Pesola’s music career began to grow into something more than casual band hangouts. He needed to think of a subject he could study by doing book exams when necessary, in case his career as a musician with the band Kolmas Nainen (‘The third woman’) took off. Pesola skimmed through the choices in the University of Helsinki’s study guide and eventually chose what came under the heading ‘aesthetics’.

– My mother had underlined the phrase ‘A degree in aesthetics does not expressly prepare students for a particular profession’ in the study guide. I started my aesthetics studies in the autumn of 1984 at the Faculty of Arts at the University of Helsinki. I realised quite soon that the theoretical nature of aesthetics did not suit me.

History had always been an interest of Pesola’s, so he applied to change his main subject. He duly started his history studies in 1986, the same year Kolmas Nainen released its first album. Pesola went on tours with the band and studied on the side.

– A lot of the courses I passed by copying the lecture notes of my study mates and taking the exam. I have to say that I wasn’t a model university student. A special thanks to Leena, Marjo and Veijo that I even graduated in the end. When I came to the University on my free days between gigs, I was quite out of that side of life. I was still interested in history though, and maybe that was the most important thing in the end.

Kolmas Nainen broke up in 1994. Pesola had time to study. He wrote his Master’s thesis on the history of light music. In his thesis, he focused on the beginning of the twentieth century when music began to be produced for the radio and records. That is when music became publicly available through various channels and no longer required the same degree of contact between the musician and the listener.

Pesola graduated as Master of Arts from the University of Helsinki in 1995. After a couple of years, he returned to the University to complete his teacher training and together with some social studies to become qualified as a teacher. He has also completed a licentiate study in cultural history at the University of Turku, Suomalaisen populaarimusiikin tuotanto ja julkisuus 1925–1938 (2003) (‘The production and publicity of Finnish popular music 1925-1938’).

Sakari Pesola & year 1994. Photo: Jari Eklund.​
Sakari Pesola & year 1994. Photo: Jari Eklund.​


Go Back