The largest Finnish event featuring contemporary music, Musica Nova Helsinki will be held for the 22nd time between the 8th and 16th of February. This year’s festival will present a veritable smörgåsbord of music from Asia, the Middle East and the Mediterranean. The theme in for the 2013 event is “Orient-Occident”, one of the most geographically expansive in the festival’s history.
Virtually all of the works by international composers presented at the festival are Finnish premieres. Among the featured guests are the Atlas Ensemble, a unique chamber orchestra uniting brilliant musicians from China, Central Asia, the Near East and Europe, Chaya Czernowin, a composer with her roots in Israel, Ryoji Ikeda, a Japanese sound artist who lives and works in Paris, and Mauricio Sotelo, a Spanish composer whose music is shot through with the spirit, rhythm and even melody of flamenco.
The festival’s artistic director for 2013 is Johan Tallgren. Introducing “Orient-Occident”, Tallgren states “The musical East is a place of old cultures, religions and traditions, and the roots of some modern Western instrument families can be traced to Asia. On the other hand, numerous new Western concert halls have been built in the region over the last decades. Welcoming the East here now that Musica Nova is being organized at the new Helsinki Music Centre for the first time felt natural.”
Mare Nostrum : February 9th @19.00 in the Almi Hall, Finnish National Opera.
The Mediterranean meets the Middle East at this concert. The musical language of Jordanian composer Saed Haddad is based on his “otherness”, a constant dialog between Western and Arabic influences. The concert closes with a performance of the dramatic ‘Muerto Sin Fin’, by one of Spain’s leading contemporary composers Mauricio Sotelo. For this piece Avanti! is joined the famed flamenco dancer Fuensanta La Moneta, as well as singer Alba Carmona.
Czernowin Crystals : February 10th @19.00 in G18, Yrjönkatu 18.
Uusinta performs chamber works by Israeli contemporary composer Chaya Czernowin. Czernowin’s tonality is rooted in the subconscious and takes the listener beyond reality and verbal expression. Uusinta is a Finnish chamber ensemble focusing on new music. Formed in 1998, it has since perfomed widely in Finland and internationally, premiering over a 100 works. It has made dozens of radio broadcasts and released several recordings. Uusinta comprises a wind trio and a piano quintet, supplemented by other musicians as required.
Disorient : February 13th @19.00 in the Concert Hall, Sibelius Academy.
The multinational Atlas Ensemble is a unique musical project that brings together dazzling musicians, instruments and cultures from Europe, Asia and the Middle East. In the hands of musicians from different continents the sheng (a Chinese wind instrument), the pipa ( a lute), and the shakuhachi (a Japanese bamboo flute) can be heard side by side. In its second main concert, the Atlas Ensemble will play a piece commissioned by Finnish composer Antti Auvinen, among others.
Datamatics : February 15th @21.30 in the Almi Hall, Finnish National Opera
Datamatics is a startling audiovisual media piece by Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda. True to its name, it explores the visible and invisible information around us. The installation uses different kinds of data to create sound and images: 2D and 3D visual materials have been computer-generated based on hard disks and software code, among others. The visually striking and critically praised work has toured galleries, outdoor venues and museums all around the world.
Full details of all the concerts, and of the venues hosting them, is available at Musica Nova Helsinki 2013.