Thursday, 10 April 2014

Biennale day 2 (Bus Number 13, Pretty Intense, Kairos I)

Thursday April 10th. A free morning and noon! So I had for once time to sleep enough, do all my dishes (which have been waiting for about 10 days…) and clean up my room! Because tonight two friends from Helsinki, composer students Lauri Supponen and Niilo Tarnanen will be staying at my place, so it was about time to get my room in some kind of order!

My free-pass to the festival. ©C.Damström

At 17.00 it was time for the third and last performance of Bus Number 13 in the Studio of Tampere Hall, this time part of the Tampere Biennale festival programme. Musically this performance wasn’t the best (at least in my pieces there were very many mistakes, like for instance in one of the songs that was supposed to be in three voices (harmony) the middle voice got lost, so partly it was only in fifths instead of major chords, which does sound very different from the original idea…). But both the director Auvo Vihro as well as one of our compsition teachers Jouni Kaipainen said this anyway was the best performance because it was the most intense and coherent. The audience was great and laughed and applauded loudly their content. (This is something that happens quite rarely in Finland, especially in concerts of classical or contemporary music, maybe mainly because Finns generally are quite shy and don’t show their emotions very much.)

Bus Number 13 at Tampere Biennale ©Maarit Kytöharju

My song "Erottelua" ©Maarit Kytöharju

My song "Anglisms" with Tiitus Ylipää "driving" the bus number 13.
©Maarit Kytöharju

My song "Word classes".
©Maarit Kytöharju

All of the musicians and composers in Bus number 13. From the left:
Jarkko Pajunen, Pauli Marttinen, me, Saara Lehtonen, Eero Kokkonen, Andreas Heino,
Roope Mäenpää, Antti Kerosuo, Alina Lehti, Meerika Ahqvist, Tiitus Ylipää,
Heidi-Annina Nikkilä and Anni Härkönen.
Photo ©Maarit Kytöharju

After the great show all people who had been on stage were really tired. Because it was the last show we had to pack everything away, all lights and microphones and cables and chairs etc.

At 19.00 it was time for the next festival concert, Pretty Intense (Tiukahkoa settiä) in the small concert venue of Tampere Hall. This was a chamber music concert by Uusinta Ensemble. The concert was accompanied by a light “show”, which consisted mainly soft changing colours of light on the walls.

The programme was:

Klaus Wiede: Oh, These Disgusting, Lovely Lovers (first performance in Finland)
Antti Auvinen: Kaarea (2006 / 2007)
Jarkko Hartikainen: magnetic (2011 / 2013)
Kimmo Kuokkala: Ocra (2005 – 2007)
Antonin Servière: Kumahdukset (first performance, commissioned by the Tampere Biennale) (2014).

Duration approximately 75 min, no intermission.

Jukka Iisakkila, conductor
Malla Vivolin – flute, Markus Kaarto – clarinet, Lauri Kilpinen – trombone, Väinö Jalkanen – piano, Antti Suoranta – percussion, Maria Puusaari – violin, Teija Kivinen – violin, Max Savikangas – viola, Markus Hohti – violoncello

Uusinta Ensemble ©Maarit Kytöharju

Uusinta Ensemble ©Maarit Kytöharju

I have to say, this concert actually was pretty intense, and I had at this point a terrible head-ache so unfortunately I can only conclude that I enjoyed the concert although I wasn’t able to absorb very much.

At 21.00 it was time for the last concert of the day, Kairos I – Discipline and  Fantasy at the small but cosy Student Theatre on Itsenäisyydenkatu. This concert concentrated once again on Biennales theme of the year: combining visual arts with music. So after Haapamäkis String Quartet, we were presented four silent films to which the Kairos Quartet (from Berlin) improvised.

The Kairos Quartet ©Maarit Kytöharju

The Kairos Quartet ©Maarit Kytöharju

The Kairos Quartet ©Maarit Kytöharju

The programme was:

Kairos Quartett (DE)
Sampo Haapamäki: Connection (2007)

Silent films by Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp (improvisation)
Films: Le retour à la raison; Emak bakia; Anemic Cinema; L’étoile de mer © Kuvasto. Duration approximately 70 min, no intermission.
The Student Theatre was completely full, every single place was occupied and extra chairs had to be brought in. When the quartet accompanied the films they didn’t only use their instruments in every thinkable way, they also used other things for making noises, such as for instance an old fashioned car horn and rubber toy pigs (which made a grunting noise). One of the sounds I liked especially much was when the violin moves its bow in slow circles over the strings with a lot of pressure, which produces a kind of grinding sound.

The Kairos Quartet improvising to a silent film.
 ©Maarit Kytöharju

After the concert most of the festival attendees moved on to pub Soho. (This pub had been chosen because their kitchen is open late.) I happened to sit beside the producer of Tampere Biennale, Minnakaisa Kuivalainen and we had a long chat about concert and festival arrangements and how the festival had gone so far. It was very soothing to hear that it always seems to be a lot of last minute arrangements in every festival, however professional it is arranged.

The fun thing about festivals is that you not only get to make new friends but also get to meet old friends which you otherwise see very rarely. Tonight for insance I got to meet my friend, pianist Väinö Jalkanen whom I last saw almost 2 years ago while I was studying in Berlin for the summer. Väinö, who plays in Uusinta Ensmble and had performed earlier this evening, studies at the Hanns Eisler School of Music in Berlin, but is this year an exchange student at the Liszt Academy of Budapest. Having been an exchange student my self (at the Conservatory of Valencia) it is always fun to hear all the anecdotes of friends about what it’s like getting accustomed to new traditions and bureaucracy.

When the bar closed (at 2.30) we were (for once) sensible enough to go straight home with my guests Niilo and Lauri for getting some sleep. But what a great second day at Tampere Biennale it has been!

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