Ted Ollikkala

(Logistics,Video/Promotional Manager, Mark’s Sidekick)

Ted Ollikkala

“I give my time freely to support the cause of awakening and activating a change in mindset that is necessary to save the human race from self-annihilation. For me there is no better way to spread the message than through the creative musical talents of ‘The Frat’ (UPF) created by Mark Truey Trueack.”

Ted has been fascinated by progressive rock since the early 70’s starting with a flurry of self-discovery with albums such as Queen (Sheer Heart Attack), ELP (Welcome Back My Friends…), and avalanching into Kansas (Leftoverture), Rush (A Farewell to Kings), Blue Oyster Cult, Alice Cooper, Renaissance, Gentle Giant, Genesis, and on and on. Going to university in Boston provided ample opportunity to hone a collection of both new and second-hand vinyl masterpieces. Concerts at the Boston Garden were cherished events.

Fast forward to 2006. MySpace opened up a plethora of first contact opportunities with frontmen and managers of various cover bands, and Ted quickly seized the opportunity to curate a collection of prog rock videos online. He then began blogging and interviewing various personalities including roadies, album cover designers, etc. Eventually he befriended and interviewed rock royalty such as Paul Bielatowicz (Neal Morse, Carl Palmer Band), the late Tony Ortiz, Damon Shulman (son of GG’s Phil Shulman). He collaborated with Anne Leighton on a Gentle Giant project, and has met up with both Paul Whitehead and Leonardo Pavkovic (Moonjune Records) when they were passing through Singapore. He did a 40 minute phone interview with Orianthi Panagaris in 2008 (she was an unknown recording her first album, pre-Grammy performance with Carrie Underwood), and enjoyed chatting with Nikki Squire (Esquire) in both English and Spanish.

Along came Facebook, and Ted became the co-administrator of the first Orianthi FB fanpage, and provided publicity/promotion for Moonjune Records. Working on a project in collaboration with Olga Potekhina (Ed Unitsky fanpage), he was in contact with several of Ed’s best known clients, including David Rohl (Mandalaband), and Mark Trueack (Unitopia). This is how he first met Truey.

Several years and many interviews/websites later, United Progressive Fraternity announced their first single “The Water”. Ted chatted up his friend Truey and offered his services, and the next thing he knew, was given the keys to the website. Since 2014 their friendship and deep understanding of one another’s causes and concerns has rung true in many senses, musically, graphically (Ted now produces the band’s music videos), lyrically (Ted has co-written the lyrics for the epic ‘Seeds for Life’). In addition he managed the lyrics contest for Planetary Overload (PO), and connected with none other than the ‘father of climate change’, Dr. James E. Hansen who agreed to be involved in support of UPF’s message on PO.

For the music video ‘Fall in Love with the World’, Ted arranged for many of the future guest arrangers and musicians on PO to record footage. The video features Kristoffer Gildenlöw, Phil Naro, Steve Unruh, Joanna St. Claire, Owen LeLean, Dale Nougher, Ben Craven, Jose Manuel Medina, and of course, Truey.

For the music video ‘Travelling Man (The Story of ESHU)’ he liased with several award winning international producers of live action, animation, stop motion, and cgi (Blender) short films to create a 20+ minute mini-movie featuring live band footage from UPF’s 2014 European tour (6 cameras). Steve Hackett filmed a guest spot for the video also.

Ted now produces music videos for The Samurai of Prog (Marco Bernard, Steve Unruh, Kimmo Pörsti), DAMANEK (Guy Manning), Interpose+ (Sayuri Aruga, Japan), Paidarion (Kimmo Pörsti), Unitopia (2017 box set). He created the video projections for U.N.I.T.db (RoSfest 2017) for the Unitopia songs ‘The Garden’, ‘Tesla’, ‘Suffocation/Artificial World’, and ‘The Great Reward’. Other video work includes syncing a Skype audio feed from Pennsylvania with camera footage from UPF ‘live in the studio’ in Adelaide, Australia for Marty Dorfman’s Progressive Coffeehouse.