About me

My picture
Name: Juho Nieminen
Birthday: 22.11.1985
Place of birth: Vantaa
Nationality: Finnish
Hometown: Jyväskylä
Education: Mäkelänrinne high school

University of Jyväskylä
Interests: Music, IT, sports, games, movies
Activities: Playing, listening and composing music

Gym, jogging, swimming and snowboarding
Links: Last.fm, Rateyourmusic, IRC-Galleria


My name is Juho Nieminen but on the internet I'm known as Azhrak. I'm a finnish student in the University of Jyväskylä with mathematical information technology as my major. I was born in Vantaa (next to Helsinki, the capital of Finland) in '85 and I had my early education there. I went to Mäkelanrinne high school in Helsinki and after spent a year working (mainly as a loundry and garbage boy in a harbour cleaning cruisers). Then I entered the University of Jyväskylä and studied one year before going into the army. The next year I was doing my duty in the military serving as an operator in a special electornic warface unit. After I was released from the army I continued my studies in Jyväskylä.



Music has been and is a big part of my life. I started to play piano at the age of six when my mother got a tip from a kindergarten teacher that I might have some musical skills. I attended classical piano lessons and studied music theory until I moved to Jyväskylä (that is 12 years but not all of the time was intensive work). I started to play electronic guitar when I was 13 and that's when I first started to write my own songs too. Soon after I played the guitar in a band formed by the music school I was in. But that didn't last long because I got bored playing in a group below my own level and I quit the band practise. At the time I was about 14 years old.

At this time I also started to write lyrics and compose music more passionately. Trackers and mods came into the picture and I was following releases done by the metal mod scene, a society of trackers on the internet sharing their songs, and ripped many of the samples I got from the downloaded mods to create my own songs. I started with Fast Tracker 2 and that is where I stayed until 2007 when I changed to Renoise because of the MIDI features it offers.

My first years of tracking were quite productive. I did roughly a song per month at least and wrote lyrics about at the same rate. After entering the high school my work pace started to slow down and from 2002 to 2007 I was happy if I finished a song in a year. However, writing lyrics hasn't ever been as critical to me as composing so, during my so called recessionary period, I was able to write stuff down when ever I felt like it.

But something happened after I got out of the army. I realised some problems I had with composing and laid back some of my self-criticism. And I picked up tracking again. Yes, I stopped tracking at one point when I decided to move on to MIDI and live recorded audio completely. I found a program called Renoise, which is one kind of a hybrid of a tracker and a normal mixing program like Audacity for example, and I got my old enthusiasm back again. Too bad the university takes most of my time these days, so the composing isn't as intensive as it was in the early years, but at least now when I get the inspiration I can work something out of it.



Music is my main hobby now but it wasn't always so. I was a semi-pro diver for ten years (from the age of 9 to 19). A semi-pro because basically my life was just school and diving practise. The first couple of years diving I had training only four times a week, but that was because I was doing football too at the time. Soon it was clear that I wanted to do diving at my full potential so I quit football and now had diving practise five or six times in a week (one day was dedicated to piano lessons). But I was quite a hyper active kid so this intensive training actually helped me to focus in school 'cause I could waste all my extra energy to do diving.

Diving really hard started when I went to Mäkelänrinne high school which is a sport school. In there you actually get points for doing sports and thus letting you to skip some of the subjects. In high school I had seven to ten diving practise per week. Three times a week I went to dive before school at seven o'clock to the swimming hall just next to the shcool. It seems pretty rough now but back then I didn't feel overwhelmed by diving, instead, the time went on really fast and I didn't have any problems doing my school work either. This also explains why I wasn't composing so much - my priorities where elswhere. To be honest, I feel like high school was too easy because of all the benefits I had being an athlete.

In spite of all, my diving cureer came to and end when I finished from high school. The reason was that my trainer retired and there was no other trainer available who would be on the same level I was. At first I thought that I would be just taking a short break from diving but as the time went by I realised that going back was getting more and more difficult. And after a few weeks I decided to quit diving seriously for good. It really wasn't that hard of a decicion at the time because of the pause I had had and the fact that before the break I was getting bored not doing any progress.

Still, my ten years of diving gave me lots of good experiences and taught me to deal with pressure and competition and to take care of my health. I had a chance to travel abroad (just around Europe though) and to meet new poeple. I got to say that the years spent on diving have been the best in my life, partially because I was in such a good shape physically and mentally and my social life was very busy.