Finland is a nation of extreme differences. Not only in our seasons and nature, but people as well. To celebrate Finland’s centennial, Visit Finland delves into the nation’s character more vocally than ever before by turning the Finnish genotype into music.

The Symphony of Extremes – Born from Finnish DNA is a global campaign that will be supported through PR, paid advertising and Visit Finland’s channels.


Authenticity is currently a major trend in tourism. Travellers are interested in local people and their ways of life. The Symphony of Extremes is crafted to their needs.

Our current age of media spin dictates a need for new ideas that transcend boundaries and attract attention. Ideas that feel genuinely fresh and evocative. The Symphony of Extremes is a project that unites tourism with science and art in a fascinating way. Finland is at the crossroads of east and west. Our roots straddle the border: western Finland is influenced by Europe’s ancient agrarian culture and Scandinavian DNA, while the east and north come from an age-old line of hunter-gatherers. Eastern and western Finns resemble each other less than Germans and Brits do. It is a fascinating equation, since Finland is also one of the most uniform, equalitarian and safe nations in the world.


The Symphony of Extremes is a project where Eicca Toppinen from Apocalyptica composed a song based on DNA samples sourced from Finland. The genre-crossing song will be premiered on 13 November 2017.

The project’s first phase followed the composition process and introduced a number of interesting people behind the genes. They each exhibit some extreme and distinctively Finnish trait, such as Finnish grit (“sisu”) or a strong bond with the Arctic.

The next stage focuses on the music and its composition. Instead of using generic travel imagery, the project dives deep into Finland’s psyche in order to introduce international audiences to our cultural core. The aim is to illustrate what makes Finland unique – and worth a visit.

The Symphony of Extremes is a captivating true story that turns exceptional ingredients into an international topic.


The Symphony of Extremes brings together a number of professionals at the apex of their fields.

Jonathan Middleton, visiting professor at the University of Tampere, has developed a program that can create sounds from the base pairs found in DNA. His work gave a starting point for Eicca Toppinen, from metal group Apocalyptica, who composed an original song based on Finnish extremes – with the help of geneticists and DNA samples. The project has followed the composition process throughout the year, from gathering the DNA samples to premiering the finished product on 13 November 2017. The Symphony of Extremes is published as a music video. The project is housed on, where Finland’s four major regions and their unique appeal are introduced through inspiring personal stories.


Visit Finland, a unit of Finpro, is a national authority on tourism and an active force in promoting international travel to Finland. Their main goal is to develop Finland’s international image as a destination. Visit Finland supports the travel industry through research and helps businesses and groups develop products and services for the international market.

Eicca Toppinen is the composer and a founding member of Apocalyptica. Founded in 1993, Apocalyptica was first known for covering Metallica songs on the cello. However, their second album already featured original compositions and the group has continued to grow into their own ever since. Their music has been labelled cello rock (their own definition), symphonic metal, neoclassical metal and progressive metal. The group has sold more than four and a half million albums globally.

Päivi Onkamo was the professor of genetics at Helsinki University up to November 2017. Onkamo studies the DNA of ancient peoples in and around Finland. Who lived here then? What are modern Finns made of? The University of Helsinki is Finland’s oldest and largest university of sciences and an international community of 40,000 people. International rankings typically put Helsinki University into the top 100 worldwide. The university has harnessed the power of science to benefit society, education and health since 1640.

Jonathan Middleton is a composer from Spokane who teaches composition at Eastern Washington University. During the project, Middleton was a guest professor at the University of Tampere. His work is based on algorithmic processes that help him transform natural elements into music.

Janna Saarela is the head of research at FIMM, Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland. Saarela’s role in the project is to collect the DNA samples and analyse the results. FIMM is an international research institute focused on human genomics and personalised medicine. The institute works to discover disease mechanisms on a molecular level with the help of genetics and medical systems biology. Their goal is to provide research data to healthcare professionals and promote personalised medicine.

Creative house SEK, Part of Grey
SEK is behind the creative idea of The Symphony of Extremes. SEK also produced the introduction film and profile films for the campaign. SEK is the oldest and one of the largest advertising agencies in Finland and has been ranked 3rd in GREY’s 26th Global Council ranking in October 2017. Visit Finland has been SEK’s client since 2008.

Musuta Ltd & Directors Guild Helsinki
The music video was directed by Musuta, an internationally acclaimed designer and director duo formed by Timo and Jopsu Ramu. Their clients in Finland and Japan include Issey Miyake, New Balance, Muji, James Bond 007, Star Alliance, Shiseido, Nokia, Finnair, Iittala and numerous other international brands. The music video was produced by Directors Guild Helsinki.


  1. Trailer
  2. Project video
  3. Four videos profiles
  4. Key visual images
  5. Photos
  7. Regional videos
  8. My Stay products*
  9. Music video

*My Stay is a product database housed under the Visit Finland website. It contains key travel products from different regions, making it a breeze to plan and book your holiday in Finland.

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