Event Information:

  • Sun
    03
    Feb
    2019

    TOMBE DE SOMMEIL

    6:00 pmTurbiinihalli, Kaapelitehdas, Tallberginkatu 1, Helsinki, Finland

    Uusinta Ensemble will celebrate its 20th anniversary by world premiering two new commissions at the Musica nova Helsinki 2019 festival. Welcome to celebrate the newest and most exciting contemporary music with us!

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    In composing his new work Tombe de sommeil, Spanish composer and conductor José-María Sánchez-Verdú has been exploring the relationship between sound, space, virtual guitar and Auraphone, an instrument developed at the Freiburg experimental studio. As a result we will enjoy a musical experience somewhere in-between a sound installation and chamber music, redefining space and sound. Tombe de sommeil was co-commissioned by Uusinta Ensemble and guitarist Petri Kumela, who is also performing as the guitar soloist in the premiere. To our great pleasure, José-María Sánchez-Verdú will also conduct our concert, including the premiere of his own composition!

    Sirri (Purple Sandpiper) by Finnish composer Minna Leinonen is a chamber concerto for viola da gamba and ensemble commissioned by Uusinta Ensemble and now receiving its World Premiere. The piece approaches the themes of extinction and the climate change from a musical starting point. The composer writes on her piece: “The Purple Sandpiper is estimated to be one of the first bird species which the climate chance will destroy to extinction from Finland. The bird nests only in open fell uplands, habitats which are disappearing from Finland due to trees invading the fells. Mikko Perkola is an inspiring soloist who has excited me to experiment with new expressive possibilities of viola da gamba within this virtuosic composition. Together with Uusinta Ensemble, the soloist will articulate the distress of the purple sandpiper and its cry for help in the midst of the narrowing living conditions.”

    After the intermission the concert will be concluded with the Finnish Premiere of In the Light of Air by Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdottir. Written for the International Contemporary Ensemble ICE in 2013-14 and premiered by the ensemble at the Reykjavik Arts Festival in 2014, this 40-minute piece could already be considered as a modern classic. The composer writes on her composition: The Light Of Air is a tetralogy of works that together form a structure of a single piece. The four movements bear the titles Luminance, Serenity, Existence and Remembrance and are connected by short transitions to form a seamless flow throughout the work. The work streams from one movement to the next through a flowing texture of sound materials and harmonies. The music material is constructed with focus on subtle nuances and poetic textures that form lyrical gestures throughout the work. Melodies are generated just as much by sounds, gestures and nuances as by pitched lyrical material. Parts of the work are constructed around the idea of each performer being a "soloist" in the setting of a chamber ensemble, in the sense that - throughout the work - the performers alternate between traveling through fields of collective instrumental alliances and moving into soloist approaches. Parts of the fourth movement insisted on echoing the theme of a song that my husband Hrafn wrote and dedicated to me in 2000. I am deeply thankful for this presence in the work. The piece also incorporates a lighting constellation that is a part of the work and is designed in collaboration with ICE. The lights enhance the atmospheric experience during a live performance by visually portraying certain aspects of the performance. The performers directly contribute to the performance of the lighting figures through their breath as well as through their instrumental performance. For the work I have also designed an installation of metallic ornaments that are used in live performance. The installation contributes to the visual atmosphere of the music as well as to the audio experience. The ornaments, called Klakabönd in Icelandic, which translates as “a bind of ice”, are created by Svana Jósepsdóttir.(Please note that for managing production costs, we'll have to perform this exciting piece without presenting the mentioned Icelandic ornaments).

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    ICE performing In the Light of Air

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    Musica nova Helsinki is Finland’s biggest festival of contemporary music and one of the leading events of its kind in Europe. Held every other year, it was launched in 1981 as the Helsinki Biennale. Musica nova presents Finnish listeners with the most interesting new music, comments on topical issues and seeks to build bridges between contemporary music and other genres of the arts.

    Kaapelitehdas Turbiinisali

    The Cable Factory, formerly a large industrial complex, is the largest cultural centre in Finland. It houses 3 museums, 10 galleries, dance theatres, art schools, artists, bands and companies. Unique spaces are also available for rent on a short-term basis to stage concerts, exhibitions, festivals and fairs. Around 900 people work at the Cable Factory on a daily basis, and each year nearly 340,000 people attend special events. The venue at Cable Factory for our 20th anniversary concert, Turbiinisali (Turbine Hall) is a Black Box space, with an audience capacity for ca 100 persons. It has a separate entrance from the inner courtyard at the Cable Factory, with a private lounge.

    Program

    José-María Sánchez-VerdúTombe de sommeil (2018-19, dur. 15 min.) for guitar solo, virtual guitar, auraphone, bass clarinet, saxophone, percussion, piano, violin, viola and violoncello
    World Premiere, co-commissioned by Uusinta Ensemble and Petri Kumela. The performance is produced in collaboration with the Freiburg Experimental Studio (SWR).

    Minna Leinonen: Sirri (2018-19, dur. 15 min.) for viola da gamba solo, flute, clarinet, saxophone, piano, two violins, viola, violoncello and double bass
    World Premiere, commissioned by Uusinta Ensemble

    Intermission

    Anna Thorvaldsdottir: In The Light of Air (2013-14, dur. 40 min.) for percussion, harp, piano, viola, violoncello, light and fixed media electronics
    Finnish Premiere

    Performers

    José-María Sánchez-Verdú, conductor
    Petri Kumela, quitar and virtual guitar
    Mikko Perkola, viola da gamba
    Uusinta Ensemble

More concerts for season 2019 TBA soon – please visit again!

List of All Past Concerts 1999-2018 (PDF)