Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Biennale Day 1 (Grand Opening and Dialogues)

Wednesday the 9th of April. At 19.00 the opening ceremony of the contemporary music festival Tampere Biennale began. This year it was located in Gallery Himmelblau, in the Finlayson area. It is one of the most amazing galleries I know, because the river running through Tampere  (Tammerkoski ) is right outside the large windows of this gallery, only about a meter or two beneath the windowsill. (Two years ago on the 12th of April my piece “Flying High” was performed in this very same gallery in Tampere Biennale 2012.)

Everybody was handed a glass of wine and as tradition is the artistic director of the festival Olli Virtaperko kept an opening speech, followed by a speech by a representative of one of the main sponsors.

The audience at the opening of Tampere Biennale 2014 © Maarit Kytöharju

The theme for this year’s Tampere Biennale is visual arts and video together with music.  For the opening there were three commissioned works of video together with three musical works that had been commissioned by Tampere Biennale in 2012.

The opening of Tampere Biennale 2014
© Maarit Kytöharju

The programme was:

Elina Brotherus: Counter fleurette (2014) 13’
Music by Harri Vuori:  Conter fleurette (2012)

Pirjetta Brander: Mielen tasapainolajit (2014) 6’
Music by Maija Hynninen: Mielen tasapainolajit (2012)

Tuuli Susiaho: Lummelampi (2011) 14’
Music by Olli Virtaperko:  Kuru (2009)

The composers and artist of tonight at the opening of
Tampere Biennale 2014 © Maarit Kytöharju

After the videos had been presented people were free to move around in the gallery. In the second and larger room of Himmelblau, the Printmaking Studio, there was an electroacoustic interactive plant-theremin named Plantomime  that was made by Johannes Ylipää. So when you touched this plant it made a sound, and the sound varied depending on where and how you touched the plant! I had a lot of fun playing with the plant! When I softly tickled the leaf of the plant, it made a high squeaky noise, like a happy little animal. It was a really cute sound! The sound somehow reminded me very much of my rabbit Viljo… I was very impressed by the programming part I must say! Ylipää had created so many extremely cleaver patches with Max MSP, it was very impressive.

Johannes Ylipääs Plantomime. © C.Damström

The Max MSP patch Ylipää has created.
© C.Damström

The midi-piano used for the plant to work with. © C.Damström

Johannes Ylipää explaining how the plant works.
© C.Damström

After the opening and a glass of wine it was time to head on to the next concert Dialogues. Luckily the concert was in the Finlayson church, located very close by the Gallery Himmelblau. This concert was only guitar music, either solo or duo, played by guitarist Ismo Eskelinen and Jarmo Julkunen, who played not only an acoustic steel-stringed guitar but also all guitar related instruments such as Renaissance guitar, Baroque guitar and ukulele.

The programme was:
Sampsa Ertamo: Constructed improvisations (2013, first performance) 8’

Adrian Le Roy: from the Second Livre de Guitarre improvisations (1556) 6’

Jukka Tiensuu: Drang (1998) 8’

Gaspar Sanz: Canarios (1674) 5’

Sebastian Fagerlund: Kromos (2011) 8’

Trad./ Jarmo Julkunen: Pontikka (2002) 8’

Sami Klemola: re (2014, first performance, commissioned by the Tampere Biennale) 10’

The audience was before the concert asked not to clap between the pieces, but at the end of the concert instead, which suited the programme. My favourite piece in this concert was Klemolas piece re. He was testing very interesting glissandos and other sounds. Klemola usually makes a lot of music for electroacoustics, and I felt I could hear that aesthetic in this non-electronic piece as well, and that was one of the most interesting things about the piece I think.

After the concert many composers headed out for drinks, but I headed back to the composition studio. I have to make midi-demos of my pieces for the members of the choir Näsin Ääni, who are going to sing my pieces in my up-coming composition concert on the 14.5. The soundcard on my computer has now stopped working, there comes absolutely no sound out of my Mac anymore, so that is one of the reasons why I’m so much more depending on the composition studio nowadays. So I worked from 23 to 2 o’clock and then headed home for a good night’s rest.

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