Kaupungin Naiset (the Townswomen in English) is a lesbian choir from Helsinki, Finland. The choir sings contemporary poetry composed by Petra Lampinen. The songs tell about love, death, and the difficulties of online dating, among other things.
The story of the Townswomen started in the summer of 2014. The Sydney Gay & Lesbian Choir from Australia was visiting Finland, and they were hoping to have some local gay choirs to be the opening act in their concert at the Helsinki Music Hall. Now, Finland didn’t have any female gay choirs at the time, which created a problem. Musician and composer Petra Lampinen came to the rescue: she gathered together a group of singers and formed an “emergency choir” for the event. This choir became the Townswomen.
The Townswomen had their first performance in the Helsinki Music Hall alongside the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Choir, founded in 1990, and by that time the 9-year-old Finnish male gay choir, Out’n Loud. After a successful evening, it was clear that the Townswomen were not just a one night thing. Nowadays there are around twenty members in the Townswomen association and about dozen of them are performing actively.
One of the Townswomen´s most important goals is to create own culture. This is present in that the songs are performed from the point of view of a lesbian choir, but also in the creation of new musical pieces: all the songs are composed by Petra Lampinen to the poetry of contemporary (mainly Finnish) poets (for example Anja Erämaja, Ilpo Tiihonen, Tommy Tabermann). By this point the choir’s repertoire already covers over twenty songs.
In February 2017, the Townswomen released their first music video ”Mä haluun häät” (I want a wedding). The video was created to celebrate the new and improved marriage act in Finland which now includes same-sex marriage.