(12') for harpsichord
Commissioned by: The Pirkanmaa Regional Fund of the Finnish Cultural Foundation
Premiere: The 60th anniversary of The Pirkanmaa Regional Fund of the Finnish Cultural Foundation, Funkkistalo Sastamala, October 25 2021. Jouko Laivuori, harpsichord
Sateisen päivän elegia (Rainy Day Elegy) (2020)
(2 ') for guitar
Commissioned by: Kai Nieminen
Premiere: Spaces - Ilkka Hammo's composition concert, Pirkanmaa Music Institute, Tampere, September 25, 2022. Olli Hirvanen, kitara
Guitarist-composer Kai Nieminen asked me for a short elegiac piece for solo guitar some years before this work was completed. This idea was simmering in my mind until the opportunity opened up in the fall of 2020. The harmonious material of the Rainy Day Elegy was developed when I was composing a duo piece And when it rains…. So these works are like cousins to each other. I finally wrote Rainy Day Elegy from one sitting on a rainy day on November 2, 2020. It is, as its name implies, a melancholic elegy, in which melodic and choral gestures inevitably descend downwards, accompanied by a note b as a pedal point.
Prelude No. 1 (2019)
(4 ') for organ
Premiere: Tampering Festival, Tampere August 22, 2019. Esa Toivola, organ
Commissioned by: Tampering Society
This prelude is the first work I have written for organ. I got the definitive enthusiasm for composing the work in January 2019 from an organ seminar held by Esa Toivola, where he presented the possibilities of the organ at Tampere Cathedral. The main theme of six notes, which will be introduced right at the first beat, has its roots in my composition work from year 2018. I was composing my orchestral work On the Horizon, which also produced additional material, e.g. a sketch on this six-note theme and its choral treatment. The organ's orchestral possibilities are especially evident at the end of the Prelude in the form of a massive chorale.
Rajalla (On the Boundary) (2016)
(11 ') for guitar
Premiere: Concert of the KAKAKIKO guitar festival, Helsinki, December 1, 2016. Aleksi Rajala, guitar
Commissioned by: Aleksi Rajala
Rajalla (On the Boundary) has a special meaning to me in the sense that it is my first solo work for my own instrument guitar. The threshold for writing the work was high for a long time precisely because of the familiarity of the instrument. Thousands of practice hours with guitar took my thoughts in the early stages of the work primarily to player’s perspective whenever I thought of guitar. Finding a composer’s mindset was a challenge particularly in composing a solo guitar work for a long time. After crossing the threshold as the work progressed, my experience as a guitarist was of considerable benefit.
Rajalla (On the Boundary) is composed for Aleksi Rajala. The title refers primarily to Aleksi, but it can also refer to being on different borders. During the composing process, I often found myself in the middle ground between an improvising guitarist and a composer. Many ideas were born precisely through practical improvisation, where intuition and physical touch to the instrument dictated the nature of the ideas. On the other hand, I composed a considerable amount of the piece without guitar. At times, it even felt detrimental to try all the compositional ideas right away on the guitar because I felt it limited my imagination and analytical thinking. Finding a balance and navigating the interfaces of player-composer identities were the most important challenges in composing the work.
The metaphor of moving on both sides of the border also refers to the textures of the work. There is a lot of percussive energy in the piece, but also contemplative lyricism as well as balancing on the border of these extremes.
Liito-orava (Siberian Flying Squirrel) (2016)
(2 ') for guitar
Premiere: Helsinki November 26, 2016. Petri Kumela, guitar
Published on the album Petri Kumela: Small Creatures
Commissioned by: Petri Kumela
(6 ') for clarinet
Premiere: Concert of the Ears Open Society, Helsinki on May 29, 2011. Lauri Vaahtoranta, clarinet