My new trio Voyage for flute, clarinet and guitar receives its first three performances on February 6-8, 2019 in Nurmes, Iisalmi and Kajaani, Finland.
The work is a commission by guitarist Markku Laakso and is written and dedicated to the commissioner and musicians in the trio: flutist Hanna Juutilainen and clarinetist Asko Heiskanen of Tapiola Sinfonietta and guitarist Markku Laakso. My warmest thanks to Markku Laakso for the commission and to the Teosto Commission Fund and North Savo Regional Fund of the Finnish Culture Foundation for their support towards the commission.
When I begin composing a new work, I tend to get sparks of interest from phenomenons usually outside of music. The nature has been a strong influence to me for years. This was the case with Voyage as well.
The ideas for Voyage were strongly affected by my honeymoon trip to California and Nevada in October 2018, especially by the nature on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, in the Giant Forest of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and the Red Rock Canyon in Las Vegas. The sceneries and nature in these places were breathtaking.
Although I have often experienced strong emotions when being surrounded by the nature (not at least the vast open seashores and arid sceneries in remote places), I have never felt – as cliche as it might sound – being so small than when we were walking among the huge giant sequoia trees in the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park in Sierra Nevada, California. It was as if these famous old giants, reaching the heights of a 14-story building, were peacefully looking down to us in their own sanctuary almost 2 kilometers above the sea level. Some of these trees are over 3000 years old and they might still live for another 1000 years, if we people allow them to do so.
With these emotions and experiences on mind and in the heart, this trio became a voyage – though not in a form of a travel diary, but more a musical equivalent of those experiences and emotions.
A short video excerpt from the rehearsals for the premiere can be found on my Facebook page – feel free to check it out!