What a week!
And what a thrill it was to play!
Six days, six concerts, 2500 kilometers covered.
If you have followed this blog, you might remember how multi-instrumentalist Herbert Könighofer and I met last year in September to play three concerts in Austria.
The Vienna concert can be viewed here on Vimeo:

This time in Finland, we played three gigs as a quartet, Herby joining the Sid Hille Trio F# with bassist Jori Huhtala and drummer Markus Ketola, one as a quintet in Tallinn, Estonia, with the addition of singer Liina Saar, another one as trio, Herby, me and violinist Virpi Taskila and one more as a Duo at the Sara Hildén Art Museum in Tampere.

The wonderful and challenging thing of it was that all the concerts were completely improvised.
One of us would play the first note and we’d take it from there, responding to each other, to the surroundings and the audience.
Exciting!
NOW – and nothing but the present moment!
I’ll post some videos soon.

Before Herby left Finland, we had a little photo session at the villa where Herby had been staying, the Eläintarhan huvila in Helsinki, which is a residence for foreign artists to spend up to two months and get inspired by this country and culture.
Here is another picture from that session:

So, while we’re looking forward to some concerts coming up in Austria this fall and possibly also in Finland again, I got a pretty busy spring here in Helsinki.
First me and my old friend saxophonist Manuel Dunkel will be playing with tap dancers Max Pollack and Jussi Lindroos this week in Turku, then it’s time to get into the composer’s shed to dedicate myself to two commissions for organ pieces and then I’ll be heading to Bremen again for the JazzAhead, meeting ‘the industry’, promoters, agents, musician colleagues…

Things are happening!
And I haven’t even mentioned the new string quartet CD ‘Farbformen’ yet… But I’ll get back to that next time.

All the best to y’all
Sid

Feb 6 2017

Farbformen

So, here’s what I’ve been up to lately:

  

The Sid Hille Camerata‘s new CD ‘Farbformen’ (SatnaMusic CD 171) will be ready in May 2017.

We had rented a lovely villa in the Finnish countryside last November and spent three days recording two of my string quartets and some additional pieces for piano quintet.

It was an inspired session, relaxed yet concentrated, everybody played their souls out and engineer Markus Ketola recorded and mixed the music with a fantastic sound.
The same artist that had painted the cover for our first CD ‘The Zen Connection‘ five years ago, Keanne van de Kreeke, also designed this new cover for ‘Farbformen’ and I’m really happy about how it turned out.

Here’s the nice pair side by side: The Zen Connection and Farbformen

  

Chamber music, fresh, beautiful, exciting, full of energy – music to keep you inspired.
Keep an eye on the gig calendar for upcoming concerts, and like our Facebook page to hear the latest gossip about the band.
If you would like to order the new or any other CD’s of mine, please send an email to SatnaMusic (info{at}satnamusic.fi).

 

Just a little blip in the middle of a pretty busy fall:

I paid a visit to Austria last week (mountains and lakes), where I met up with multi-instrumentalist Herbert Könighofer for the first time ever. We played three concerts, in Salzburg, Hallstatt and Vienna, the last of which was recorded and can be viewed here:

As you can see, we had a pretty good time and we connected well.
I got to play around with my pedal board, especially the Ditto looper came in really handy, but also harmonizer and ring modulator are in good use.
The co-operation is sure to continue, maybe already as soon as mid-October.
(For regular updates check the SatnaMusic Facebook site or follow my Twitter)

pedal board

After finishing a new big band composition this week (ominously titled ‘Spotify my Jazz’) I am now getting ready for next week’s concert of the Contemporary Collective. We’re playing at the legendary Digelius record shop on Helsinki’s Five Corner Square on October 3rd. Come and pop in, it’s free entrance and they always have a bombastic atmosphere there, a comfy sofa and a great host, the owner of the shop: Emu!

coco-digelius-poster

Last not least, I’d like to mention that UGETSU is gathering some very nice reviews. I might play some of it live in Digelius and of course they’ll have the record there, vinyl and CD.
Actually, why not turn this into a little lottery: the first person to come up to me in Digelius saying ‘Hi, I came to listen to your gig because I read your blog’ will get a free copy of UGETSU right there and then. How does that sound?

Hope to see you there,

Sid

Aug 2 2016

UGETSU

So, here it is:

Soundscapes by Sid Hille – UGETSU

Five years after ‘ONE’, my first soundscape-recording, it felt like it was time again to do something really special. Of course I love all my projects, but going into the studio without any plan, adding layers and ideas on top of each other, being completely in the moment, no goal, except for the vague notion, that it’s going to be on vinyl and therefore the length could be around 18 minutes per side – well, that is something out of the ordinary jazz life (if there is such a thing as ‘ordinary’ jazz life).

I started recording on two days in February, playing percussion, Rhodes, various synths, melodica, kantele, theremin – just about anything I could find in my work room, that would make an interesting sound.
Then I let it rest for a few weeks.

I had booked the Finnvox studios in Mid-March, because I knew, I’d want some piano on the recording, too. A few days before the date, when listening to the material I had already recorded, I started feeling that it needed something more than piano. There was this long beautiful synth-track and I thought a saxophone would be nice with it. Also some singing would be nice.
So on very short notice, I invited Jukka Perko and Anni Elif Egecioglu to come to the session, both had time, and both heard the material there and then for the first time.

I still can’t fathom how masterfully Jukka improvised a 7-minute solo, making my pre-recorded chords sound like they were following him, anticipating chord changes he had never heard before.
With Anni we improvised a complete new track on the basis of a few words I had written that same morning; in the studio I got the idea, what if she sang them also in Swedish. One take – YEP! This was it!

About a month later, in April, still something seemed missing.
During the last year I’ve been doing some voice-over gigs, the first one ever actually for a promo video of my Contemporary Collective, and I started wondering how a spoken text would work. I asked my wife Virpi, who has a wonderful soft voice, to speak a text in dialogue with Jukka’s solo; I spoke a few short texts myself (inspired by Zappa’s ‘Are You Hung Up’ on ‘We’re only in it for the money’, one of my all-time favourite records).

And next, we (engineer and co-producer Tipi Tuovinen and me) were off to guitarist Teemu Viinikainen’s workshop to record a guitar solo on a groovy track that was to be named ‘Stroll in the park’, a sort-of Blues that seemed to be asking for some guitar-wizardry.

Cutting the vinyl master at Timmion records’ cellar studio was another memorable experience, with all these great machines that cut a groove into a piece of vinyl – really – right there in front of your eyes – and then….: wait.
Wait for the test pressing. Four weeks. Good.
Wait for the delivery. Four weeks. Yes.
Here they are now, half a year after starting the project.

So, dear friends: if you’re interested, come to the release party and get your very own copy, vinyl or CD, at the Viapori Jazz Festival on August 25th, 2016.
Or visit the fantastic record store Digelius. They have all my records and thousand other interesting ones on top.
Or just send my publisher SatnaMusic a message, info(at)satnamusic.fi, and have them send it straight to your home.

Enjoy life and good music!
Why not?

Cheers, Sid

May 29 2016

Exciting new stuff

Hi everybody,

where to begin?
Let’s start with the Contemporary Collective: the band has entered a new phase in their work.
The quirky avant-garde quartet with Heikki Nikula on bass clarinet, Teemu Viinikainen on guitars, me on electric piano, theremin and percussion and Markus Hohti on cello has been enlarged into a quintet, with drum wizard Mika Kallio joining the band.
Our first gig with the new program called ‘WARP’ at the Koko Jazz Club in Helsinki was a great success. Here you can watch a short clip:

More concerts will follow in fall 2016; before that CoCo will still play two shows in Berlin and Munich as a quartet. (See the gig calender.)

Another nice thing that happened was that a brief haphazard meeting in a hotel lobby during the JazzAhead trade fair in Bremen led to a gig at the Pori Jazz Festival.
F#, my new trio with bassist Jori Huhtala and drummer Markus Ketola, was only formed in March this year. This will be our first public performance on July 15th, and Pori is certainly a nice place to have it, as part of the Ultra Music series.
Here you can watch a little video from our first rehearsal in March:

A little later in summer, on August 25th, I will play a concert at the Viapori Jazz Festival together with singer Anni Elif Egecioglu and percussionist Abdissa ‘Mamba’ Assefa.
This will be a very special occasion where we ‘New-Finns’ (as opposed to ‘True Finns’) get a chance to interpret essential Finnish music (from Sibelius to Virta and Kärki) through the lense of our ‘outside perspective’. A lot of inverted commas there, but it’s gonna be wild!
On the same night I will present to the world my new soundscape-recording ‘UGETSU’ (on vinyl and CD), to which Anni Elif has contributed as well as saxphonist Jukka Perko, guitarist Teemu Viinikainen and voice artist Virpi Taskila.
Here is the cover art and the link to a clip on Vimeo.

Ugetsu

An exciting summer ahead! And I haven’t even mentioned the Summer Academy in Nurmes yet, where I will be teaching improvisation classes and where I’ll play some concerts between July 4th-7th with splendid people like the Meta4 String Quartet.