Photo by Juha Järvinen
I work with material ecology in musical composition. I’m interested in how certain materials (wood, coal, oil) are formed, extracted (forestry, mining), used as energy (heating, transport, industry), as commercial products (packaging, chemicals, plastics), how they disperse (as carbon compounds and microplastics) and affect the biota and soil from which they formed in the first place. I use the sound of these materials and events as musical material, and experiment on how the physical properties and the affective properties of these materials are connected. During 2016-2021 I am also pursuing a doctoral degree on this research topic at the Sibelius Academy. My artistic work is kindly supported by the Finnish Cultural Foundation during 2019-2021.
In recent work, I have investigated coal power plants in Finland, coal mines in Pennsylvania, packaging materials in supermarkets and petrochemical by-products in kitchenware and personal care products. The investigation of packaging materials resulted in the piano concerto Hypermarket and hypercommodity (2015), and looking into personal products resulted in a work for guitar, objects and electronics called Everyday etudes No.2: bathroom (2016). Recording the Hanasaari coal power plant in Helsinki resulted in a work for brass quintet and field recordings called Power plant (2016). Black cloud, under ground (2018) was commissioned by the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the work investigated the underground coalmine fire in Centralia, Pennsylvania. The work was selected as a recommended work in the prestigious International Rostrum of Composers in Argentina in May 2019.
My works have been performed at the Arts Incubator (Seoul, South-Korea), Eclat (Stuttgart, Germany), Mise-En Music Festival (New York City), Tage Der Neuen Musik Bamberg (Bamberg, Germany), Festival Archipel (Geneva, Switzerland), June in Buffalo (Buffalo, New York), Chiffren – Kieler Tage für Neue Musik (Kiel, Germany), Gaudeamus Muziekweek (Utrecht, The Netherlands), l’Abbaye de Royaumont (Royaumont, France), Klang Copenhagen Avantgarde Music Festival (Copenhagen, Denmark), Festival Loop (Bruxelles, Belgium), Open Music (Graz, Austria), Bendigo International Festival for Exploratory Music (Bendigo, Australia), Canadian Music Centre (Toronto, Canada), ISCM Hungary (Budapest, Hungary), Suså (Naestved, Denmark), Sirga Festival (Tortosa, Spain), Centro Gabriela Mistral (Santiago de Chile, Chile), Musica Nova Helsinki (Helsinki, Finland), Festival Musica Estranha (Sao Paulo, Brazil), Time of Music (Viitasaari, Finland), Tampere Biennale (Tampere, Finland), Baltic Circle (Helsinki), Flow Festival (Helsinki), and Nordic Music Days (Reykjavik, Iceland) to name a few.
Groups that I have worked with include the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Lemniscate (CH), Mise-En Ensemble (US), Ensemble Schwerpunkt (DE), Defunensemble (FI), Dal Niente (US), Uusinta Ensemble (FI), Curious Chamber Players (SE), Avanti! Chamber Orchestra (FI), Alter Face (ES), Helsinki Chamber Choir (FI), Gageego! (SE), Lapland Chamber Orchestra (FI), Nyky Ensemble (FI) and Hyvinkää Orchestra (FI) as well as soloists such as Emil Holmström (FI), Saar Berger (Ensemble Modern), Markus Hohti (FI), Marco Blaauw (MusikFabrik), Lauri Sallinen (FI), Tomeu Moll-Mas (ES), Kaisa Kortelainen (FI), Tinna Torsteinsdottir (IS), Janne Valkeajoki (FI), Stephanie Chua (CAN), Väinö Jalkanen (FI), Mariann Marczi (HU), Risto-Matti Marin (FI), Waltteri Torikka (FI), Antti Tikkanen (FI), Minna Pensola (FI) and conductors such as Hannu Lintu (FI), Dima Slobodeniouk (FI), Rei Munakata (SE), Nils Schweckendiek (FI), Dalia Stasevska (FI), Nazanin Aghakhani (AUT) and Ville Matvejeff (FI).
I studied at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki with Veli-Matti Puumala and privately with Georges Aperghis in Paris and attended masterclasses at the Donaueschinger Musiktage, Centre Acanthes, June in Buffalo and at the Viitasaari Time of Music with Helmut Lachenmann, Georg Friedrich Haas, Brian Ferneyhough and Hans Abrahamsen. I’ve given guest lectures at the Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe (Germany), the Liszt Academy of Music (Hungary), the Aalto University (FI) and at the Sibelius Academy (FI). I have also worked as the chairman of the Ears Open association in 2004-2006, festival leader of the Ung Nordisk Musik in 2005-2010 and as the artistic director of Uusinta Ensemble (FI) in 2012-2016. Since 2017 I am working as a curator for the Tristero Piano Trio (FI) and since 2019 as a producer for the Klang Helsinki concert series.
Contact: ville.raasakka (at) gmail.com