Happy New Year, everybody!

Thanks for stopping by on my page!
Things are happening and I’m happy to let you know about them.

Next week on Wednesday, January 13th, the new season starts officially:
– a solo piano recital in the Temppeliaukio Church at the usual time, 10.30 am
– and in the evening at 9 pm the Contemporary Collective will play in Helsinki’s legendary
Rytmihäiriö Club in the Juttutupa Pub

The piano recital is part of the same concert series that I’ve kept up since 2001: on an almost weekly basis, every Wednesday morning, I improvise for the visitors of this beautiful church and this spring in April it will be for the 350th time. (See the solo page for more info)

The Contemporary Collective has been on two successful tours last year, first in Finland, then in Germany. This spring we will take it a bit easier: after next week’s concert we will meet only on May 21st to play in Helsinki’s main jazz club Koko.
Some summer festivals and a Germany tour in fall 2016 are in the planning, but nothing has been fixed yet. Keep an eye on our gig calendar to stay posted!

One thing I am really looking forward to is a little concert series with the Sid Hille Camerata in April.
The band will premiere my new string quartet ‘Equilibrium’, which I’m just putting the finishing touches on these days, and we will play some of my chamber music for piano and string quartet.
The Camerata is planning a recording session of all three string quartet compositions of mine later this year in fall.

And finally, last, but most definitely not least is a recording session in February, when I get to create a sequel to my vinyl release ‘ONE’ (2011): new soundscapes, appropriately titled ‘TWO’ this time, employing the analog synthesizers I bought recently, a Micro Brute and the Korg MS20.
Obviously the theremin will be used, now that I’ve had a chance to play it so often in last year’s live shows, as well as the little percussion instruments I am so fond of.
‘TWO’ will be released in connection with a concert at the Viapori Jazz Festival in August 2016.
More about that later.

For now, here is a special preview on an as of yet unpublished video from my NUCLEUS project’s concert last October, a duo with trumpeter Verneri Pohjola who plays a Norwegian bull’s horn in this clip as well as some electronica, and me on theremin. Enjoy!

Sep 10 2015

CoCo’s back

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After our extended spring tour the Contemporary Collective took a deserved summer break and  returns now fresh and rested – and crazy as ever – to the stage with a nice concert coming up in Helsinki, next week on Thursday, September 17th.
The jaZZanti-concert series takes place in the wood-paneled surroundings of the Laulumiehet hall. I played there the last time when we premiered my piano concerto. (If you want to have a listen there’s some excerpts on YouTube.)

Next, the band will take a leap across the Baltic pond to visit Berlin. On two consecutive nights, October 14th and 15th, we’ll play in the Neukölln club Sowieso, a place where otherwise heroes and legends like Brötzmann, Schlippenbach, Honsinger and Delius perform. – And now us!

And it doesn’t stop there, because in the same week we’ll visit the legendary Musiktage in Donaueschingen where we’ll play three shows on October 16th and 17th in the beautiful surrounding of the Museum Art.Plus for contemporary art.
The Donaueschingen trip is in a way a return to the scene of crime, because this is the little town I grew up in, and the Musiktage hold a special place in my musical development.

Unforgettable memories include a soundcheck of Stockhausen’s ‘Michaels Reise um die Erde’ which I had managed to sneak into, where I ended up sitting next to the master at the mixing board in an otherwise empty hall, or a concert with the Radio symphony orchestra, conducted by Ernest Bour, in which the music was way beyond my limited understanding. Suddenly people started booing, shouting and leaving the hall. Asking my neighbour what had happened, I was told that there had been a major triad in the composition….

Now, for the Musiktage it will be time for a fresh wind coming straight out of Finland!
To get a taste you may want to watch one of the videos from our spring tour.
Looking forward to seeing you at one of our shows!


Aug 12 2015

Late summer 2015

After a summer that weatherwise didn’t happen (here in Finland), this late summer is showing itself from the prettiest side: sunny & warm with a gentle breeze of sea air streaming into Helsinki. Definitely a nice place to be!
And a lot is happening with the Helsinki Festival, the Flow Festival and the Viapori Jazz Festival starting these very days!

My own little contribution will be the official release concert of my new solo piano album ‘How Shall I Receive You’ on Saturday, August 22nd at 10 am in the Temppeliaukio Church.

How Shall I Receive You

The CD has been very warmly received; already before next weeks’s actual release 700 copies have been sold, which I guess is quite extraordinary in these days and times when CD sales are in a general decline. Yet I decided not to hop on the streaming-train, meaning I will not make any more CD’s available for streaming services like Spotify. Some of my albums are there and I noticed that I rather regret it as the services leave me with a feeling of being exploited.
If you are interested in my music there will always be some tracks on my YouTube-page to give you a taste and after that I will be happy to send you a copy of whichever CD you’d like to hear, straight to your home and at very little expense. Especially, if you compare it to the price of a cup of Starbuck’s coffee.

In fall there will be plenty of other opportunity to hear me live in the church (see the gig calendar). One very special recital will be on Thursday, October 22nd, when the great trumpeter Verneri Pohjola will join me for an evening concert in the church. We’ll bring some electronic gimmicks, too, and we’ll improvise our souls out. Welcome to listen!

And last, but definitely not least: the Contemporary Collective will open its fall season in Helsinki  at the jaZZanti club on September 17th, before conquering Germany in October.
As the saying goes: ‘…first we take Berlin, Sowieso, Oct 14th & 15th, then we’ll take the Musiktage Donaueschingen, Museum Biedermann, Oct 16th & 17th….’
Have a taste of CoCo:

 

HowShallCoverOutside

I am happy and excited to announce my new solo piano album ‘How Shall I Receive You’ (SatnaMusic CD 151).
Recorded on March 2nd & 9th in the lovely acoustics of Temppeliaukio Church, playing on the church’s fantastic Steinway grand piano, I improvised on songs from the Finnish Book of Hymns.
Here is the ‘playlist’:

HowShallplaylist

And here is a little video clip from the second evening of  recordings:

I hope you’ll enjoy!
The recording will be available from the usual sources (iTunes etc.) starting September, but if you’d like to have a copy sent to you earlier, personally, maybe even with a signature and if you enjoy beautiful covers (this one again made by Maarit Kytöharju), then just send an email to info(at)satnamusic.fi and you can already spend the summer with this beautiful music.

All the best,
Sid

Federation tour poster

Now the dates are set and a fine tour it will be, indeed:
The Contemporary Collective will perform eleven concerts in eleven cities during thirteen days in May.
The Finnish Jazz Federation in co-operation with SatnaMusic has organized a tight schedule for us, and provides us with the luxury of a tour bus and a sound technician.
Being chosen for a jazz federation tour is a bit like winning a jackpot, when for once you don’t have to do it all by yourself. The jazz federation office takes care of travel arrangements and accomodation, there is a public relation office, Creatika, taking care of the promotion and what’s best: you even get paid in the end! (Thanks to the support of the ministry of culture and various cultural foundations!)

So, we’re very much looking forward to these concerts and we hope to see you there!

May 5th Contemporary Collective Akustiikka concert hall, Ylivieska
May 6th Contemporary Collective Validi Karkia-club, Pori library, Pori
May 7th Contemporary Collective Pitskun kulttuurikirkko, Helsinki
May 8th Contemporary Collective Flame Jazz, Café Tiljan, Turku
May 9th Contemporary Collective Philly Joe’s, Tallinn, Estonia
May 12th Contemporary Collective Music college concert hall, Kaustinen
May 12th Contemporary Collective Conservatory concert hall, Kokkola
May 13th Contemporary Collective Nurmes-talo, Nurmes
May 14th Contemporary Collective Conservatory concert hall, Joensuu
May 15th Contemporary Collective Music center, Kuopio
May 16th Contemporary Collective Pikkuteatteri, Lahti