Friday, 11 April 2014

Tampere Biennale Day 3 (Rock Crushers & Telakka)

Friday April 11th. After having got all my application papers sent of to Berlin I came back to Tampere city centre and went straight to the Tampere Hall. I was very lucky, I arrived about at 20:20, just when the intermission was about to end. My friend Suvi working in the cloak room of Tampere Hall, who is accustomed to me being late concluded “Well today you are officially late!”. I of course didn’t have a ticket and the ticket office was closed, but my friend, composer Jonne Valtonen said there was a free place beside him.

I was absolutely exhausted, starving and through frozen (due to so much waiting for the bus in the rain), and it was like heaven being able to sit down and relax on the soft and comfortable chair of Tampere Hall, with no more responsibilities and no hurry anywhere.

The programme of Rock Crushers was:

Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra
 Anna-Maria Helsing – conductor
Cho-Liang Lin – violin

Harri Vuori: Die Elfenmusik (first performance of new version) (2009)

Jukka Tiensuu: Hou (concerto for violin and orchestra) (2012)

Documentary film Super M – konsertto murhaajalle (1982) Director Arvo Ahlroos, music Usko Meriläinen: Kivenmurskaajat (first performance of orchestral work) (1981)

Documentary film Hanasaari A (2009) Directors Hannes Vartiainen ja Pekka Veikkolainen, new orchestral score Perttu Haapanen (first performance, commissioned by the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra) (2014)
Produced by the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra

Helsing conducting a rehersal with Tampere Phil. © Maarit Kytöharju

It was a pitty I missed Jukka Tiensuu’s piece, because everything I have heard so far by Tiensuu I absolutely love! Anyway, no can do. So after the intermission we were presented two films accompanied by live music. The films reminded very much about each other, even to the extent that Hanasaari A (2009) almost could be thought of like a “re-make” of Super M – konsertto murhaajalle” (1982).

In the programme book it was written like this about Hanasaari A:
Hanasaari A (2009) is a short (15min) documentary about the last moments of the old coal-fired power plant in Hanasaari in Helsinki. It reflects a profound change in the cityscape: the disappearance of the industrial environment of the 1950s, which will be replaced with a modern complex of apartment buildings on the sea. The film combines animation, live action and graphic elements. It is a composite of half a million photographs taken during the last two years of the existence of the power plant.”

The music by Usko Meriläinen was quite peculiar, almost like a potpourri of different musical elements, but at times stunning and impressive. Then again Perttu Haapanen’s soundtrack to Hanasaari A  was absolutely brilliant, I loved it! And I must say that Haapanen is an supreme master at orchestration!

Helsing conductingthe the concert with
Tampere Phikharmonic 11.4.2014 © Maarit Kytöharju

The Tampere Philharmonic played very well as always but  I was completely stunned by the conductor Anna-Maria Helsings performance tonight! After having personally being attending conducting courses and having an adequate amount of trouble keeping my nose enough out of the score, remembering to show in different instruments and also being able to express music at the same time, the prospect of someone additionally having to follow a film and its tempos was just something over my understanding! And Helsing did an absolutely fantastic job! All her timings were perfect and musically it was well formed and moreover she was a joy to watch while conducting.

Helsing conducting a rehersal with Tampere Phil. © Maarit Kytöharju

After the concert I went with my composer friends Jonne Valtonen, Dante Thelestam and Juho Miettinen to eat Chinese food at a restaurant nearby. (I can get very dangerous if I get very hungry, and only having eaten breakfast, I was getting very close to that danger point at 21.30…) I told Dante about my application day and we both laughed at the fact that it seems like you end up always having to chose the “extra-quick-express package” for getting your things on time in, at least if you are a composer…

After a great Chinese meal I was as happy as can be! It’s incredible how much food can improve my mood! Anyway, we headed to Telakka for listening at the final gig of the day: Folk Pop, Progressive Rock and All That Jazz.

The programme of the gig was:

 Victoria Lindqvist - voc, Lauri Schreck - gtr, voc, Riku Kantola - gtr, voc, acc
Ice Loving Animals
 Marzi Nyman - gtr , Niko Kumpuvaara – acc, Arttu Takalo – vibr, Jaska Lukkarinen – dr

“The wonderfully expressive voice of Victoria Lindqvist and Lauri Schreck’s mastery of the guitar form the core of Sepia, a combo that blends folk music with pop and progressive rock. Ice Loving Animals, on the other hand, is a soul food combo that serves up imagined dances from the Balkans, some sort of jazz and very curious progressive rock”

Sepia © Maarit Kytöharju

Ice Loving Animals © Maarit Kytöharju

I hadn’t noticed when I read the programme book that the first band Sepia included my friend Victoria Lindqvist, and I was ever as surprised when I walked in to Telakka when I noticed someone was singing in Swedish and then noticed I also knew the person! Victoria has taught me ensemble singing at the Wegelius summer music camp in 2006. So Sepia plays music that blends folk music with pop and progressive rock, very enjoyable.

Victoria Lindqvist © Maarit Kytöharju

When Anna-Maria Helsing arrived at Telakka I went and thanked her for the fantastic concert. It is a very funny story how I know Anna-Maria: I have been conducted by her at the Wegelius summer music camp in about 2003 when I played cello in the B-orchestra! Yes, I have played cello for three years (so on a very basic level) and Anna-Maria was still a conductor student at the time. So I have to say it’s pleasant to notice that she has developed tremendously in the past 10 years, and I also told her that. At the moment she works as a freelancer and I asked how it was and she replied “well, the same as every freelancer; you always have too much or too little work, but never a suitable amount” which sounds very familiar…

This night my friend Dante was staying at my place, and luckily we both were about as tired at 1.30 and wanted to go home and get some sleep.

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