Saturday, 12 April 2014

Tampere Biennale Day 4 (Part 2: Lecture Concert II, Music and Darkness & Klubi)

Saturday April 12th. At 19.00 the second lecture concert called Music, Mathematics and Everything took place in the Tampere Cathedral.

“Professor of Space Astronomy Esko Valtaoja and organist Susanne Kujala will discuss the fascinating historical ties between music, mathematics and astronomy, with intriguing insights into the development of Western music and science.”

TampereRaw and Uusinta ensemble. © Maarit Kytöharju

The programme was:

Esko Valtaoja – speaker, Susanne Kujala – organ, Veli Kujala – electronics, TampereRaw, Uusinta Ensemble
Olli Virtaperko: Dawkins (2007-2008)

I Kopioitujat (Replicators)

II Kohti monimuotoisuutta (Toward Polymorphism)

III Ikuiset kierteet (Immortal Coils)

Vincenzo Galilei: Dialogo (1568)
Johannes Kepler: Sfäärien harmonia (1609)
Juhani Nuorvala: Prélude non retouché (2012)

Veli Kujala: CybOrgan (2012)


II On the Strand of Remoteness
III Warp

Duration approximately 90 min, no intermission.
TampereRaw and Uusinta ensemble. © Maarit Kytöharju

Tampere Cathedral is a very nice place for having concerts; it is very big, has a long echo and is decorated by one of the most famous Finnish artists Hugo Simberg. The only minus I can think of is that the wooden benches are very uncomfortable, so I found it quite hard to sit the whole 90 minutes without an intermission. I didn’t find this lecture as interesting as the first lecture about language and music.

Juhani Nuorvala, Susanne Kujala, Esko Valtaoja,
Veli Kujala and Olli Virtaperko
© Maarit Kytöharju

After this concert we hurried with my composer friend Dante Thelestam to the Music Hall of the Old Library House to hear the second concert by Kairos Quartett called Music and Darkness. I was actually really tired and had a headache (because it had been such a long day) but the concept of this concert was so intriguing that I “had” to go! And I’m glad I went!

“The second recital of the Kairos Quartet will present an anti-statement to the visual theme of the festival, as „In iij. Noct.”, the Third String Quartet of Austrian composer G.F. Haas, lasting about one hour, will be performed (and heard) in complete darkness.”

The programme was:
Georg Friedrich Haas: String Quartet no. 3 „In iij. Noct.” (2001)

Duration approximately 60 min, no intermission.

The hall was absolutely cramped full of people, because this is a rarity you don’t get to hear often. The reason it is performed so seldom are easy: it’s very hard for the quartet to learn this contemporary piece by heart and you can’t look at your fellow musicians at all, and it’s hard to find a venue where it is possible to get complete darkness. Because not everyone feels comfortable in complete darkness we were prepared for the concert by an introducing 3 minutes of absolute darkness in silence. After the 3 minutes the lights were dimly lit and people who felt uncomfortable were asked to leave now, because during the next 60 minutes that is not an option. I think no one wanted to leave the room.

It actually was an absolutely amazing feeling sitting in complete darkness, I can’t remember ever having been in such a place. It felt weird closing and opening my eyes as it was the whole time as black anyway. And the way you were “forced” to listen was also interesting, you had no other option than just listen 100%. (But the dark room and the headache were also challenging me with a non-electable second option: sleep.) I can’t actually say if I liked the piece or not, but still it has left a very big imprint on me and is one of the most memorable concerts I have ever been to.

After the concert I went with Dante to Klubi for the last gig of the evening. Dante only stayed four half an hour before taking the 23.06 train back to Helsinki. Apparently most other visitors from Helsinki also took that train because Klubi was quite empty and there were only few people I knew, which isn’t that common on the last evening club gig of Tampere Biennale…

Stringpurée Band © Cecilia Damström

The programme for Klubi was
21.00 Humus
22.00 Stringpurée Band
Lauri Porra Band
Lauri Porra Band © Maarit Kytöharju
Lauri Porra © Maarit Kytöharju

So after midnight when the gig was over people started heading home and I was also thinking of heading home. But the night ended late as usual.

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