Well, then. You've travelled far across the land on your quest to throw a Ring into a bloody volcano. Yet, you ended up here. What say you in your defence?
Who am I? That is a good question, indeed. I am Aadolf Gustav Kärki, the king of the dwarves, the wizard of the urban jungle, the minstrel of the cold north, composer supreme. But you can call me Dolf.
Born in the cold city of Lahti, Finland (don't get me wrong, the weather is just fine: It's the people!) on October 26, 1993 – to a loving mother and a musical father – I quickly grew a beard and started composing music. And that's how my story begins.
I started self-teaching myself how to play the guitar when I was 12 or 13 years old. The classical nylon-stringed guitar, of course. That led to me developing a liking for classical guitar music, since it is beautiful and relatively easy to play. I've never been a team player (in all senses of the word), so forming a band never really was an option, though I still keep trying from time to time. I never bothered to learn the basics, and I just hopped right into the world of fingering.
Once I found the joys of digital composing, however, I've been spending less and less time with my guitars, and more time using my PC. A lot more. In fact, I only (temporarily) leave my workstation to grab something to eat or drink. Cough.
On top of all that, I do web design and graphic design, as well as translation. Oh, and I'm also an amateur actor.
Now, what does this Dolf do? He does all sorts of things. He sleeps, he eats, he drinks. But you're not here to read about those, are you? “What does the Dolf do do?” Well, that's what I'm about to tell you.
As an amateur composer and musician, my compositions, arrangements, and covers are plentiful, indeed.
I'm not going to waste too much space here talking about music, as it indeed has its own page assigned to the subject, but some of you won't go further than this index page. If you've made it down this far, congratulations.
My compositions are boringly monotonous and most of them are 'soundtracks', meant to be played in the background of a video or a game. Or just for fun when you're sipping tea on your porch and don't want to listen to anything complex. I like using orchestral instruments and the piano, though I can use just about any instrument in my digital compositions. Lately I've been using synthesisers and stringed instruments, for example.
My main rig at the moment consists of Studio One 3 with NI Komplete 11 Ultimate, as well as a Spitfire collection, EastWest instruments, and many, many more.
As for instruments I myself can play, the main one is the guitar. Five out of eight of my guitars aren't dead yet. Marvellous. One of them is my Admira Malaga classical nylon-stringed guitar. Lovely instrument. Then there's my other nylon-stringed guitar – a Landola, as are two of the three broken ones, too – and the other three are electric guitars. I also have a couple pennywhistles, a little old piano accordion, and a few other small instruments. The computer software I can also control with my NI Komplete Kontrol S49 keyboard/MIDI controller. And my latest purchase? A cheap violin.
Sometimes I take my Admira Malaga to family parties, where people keep requesting all sorts of songs. Oh god, the horror.
Naturally, I can also create sound effects. Neat.
I may not look the part, but I was an actor in Ainopuiston kesäteatteri, or the Ainopuisto summer theatre. Acting and voice acting are something I would very much like to do for a living, as I certainly do think I have the talent for it.
Originally, I was between a rock and a hard place – should I include acting in what I do? I have little proof of my skill, and little experience, but I thought I would still write about it, because it's something I quite fancy. Call it the whim of an old fool.
This website? Mine. Using a fluid layout I found hidden within Dreamweaver's templates, I decided it's time to update my existing website with a portal of sorts, to separate my public image from my music. I've created and either updated and/or fixed several websites in the past, such as the now-extinct workshop sites of the former municipality of Nastola.
I have also created several custom style sheets for my personal use for websites using the Stylish plugin for Firefox, ranging from simple visual touch-ups to improving functionality by hiding unwanted elements, and so on. I mainly use HTML and CSS, and I try to avoid scripts when things can be done purely using the aforementioned two. Some people block scripts, and I want my content to be accessible to all.
Let's address the elephant in the room, shall we? I'm sure you've noticed the peculiar background used by this site. It's a silly thing I made in InkScape, but it works. You can see a non-transparent version of it right here. Just a strange collection of lines in a circular pattern, made in a couple minutes, but it works wonders as a background. At least in my opinion.
Nearly every image that's part of the site design was made by my hand, either in Illustrator or in Photoshop (InkScape and Paint.NET respectively when I'm on my laptop (blasted thing)). I made my "logo" a few years back, but it's just a quick doodle. I may or may not do it over in the future. (I do love saying "maybe", don't I?)
As I worked at Nastolan Kakstahti for six months as a designer of sorts, I also "learned" to create brochures – not that there was anything to learn, really. Draw a few nice-looking lines, add text boxes and photos, and you're good to go. Magical, eh?
Not translation along axes, but text translation. My translation languages are Finnish and English, and I've worked as a freelance translator since 2012. It's tough getting the commissions in time (sent to several translators at once – first come, first serve), and I certainly don't earn my bread that way, but it's a noice little thing to do on the side. I'd rather do bigger projects, such as translating books, movies, and so on. Can't have everything, right?
Some people love my spoken English because of my accent, others hate it. My tongue gets tangled really easily, though, so I don't do much interpretation. Less formal chatter is fine.
All right. Let's get this out of the way, shall we? I like cooking. What's more, I like eating. I love eating.
Why mention it, though? It's all because I'm a military field chef in reserve. I spent six months in the Finnish Defence Forces (January–June 2013), and even though my rank is a lowly armour jäger – that is, equal to Private – I'm the person who keeps the army up and running if we ever go to war. Nobody marches on an empty stomach. And during my training, nobody did.
Well, thanks to the Defence Forces, I am now in possession of the Finnish Hygiene Passport, or the hygiene proficiency certificate. That means I can legally work with foodstuffs. Not a big deal, but hey, it's something.
Though I don't claim to be an expert, I can at least solder components. I think. How hard can it be? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Truth be told, I'm not at a level where the "skill" could be used for work, but I'm slowly learning as I do little projects. One of the reasons I started dabbling in electronics was so I could fix my computer mice without having to waste €30 on a new one every time the spring in a switch became loose. I replaced the entire switch a few times before I realised it's much easier to just fix the spring itself. I'm silly.