On how things turn out differently than you expect

Reading my last post from a year ago, when I looked ahead at the upcoming year 2020, brings to mind the old saying: ‘Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans’, a saying that John Lennon appropriated in his lovely song ‘Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)’.

Things certainly turned out differently than anybody might have anticipated (except for a couple of virologists who have warned us already for years about something like this coming up).

Still, in spite of all the necessary restrictions to get a grip on the corona pandemic, I managed to get a lot of things done. I’d like to have a quick look back on what happened in my work during 2020, before I’ll give it another go at projecting into the future and the upcoming 2021.

So, the first half of 2020 was dedicated to composing:
a piece for cello ensemble ‘Musette’, a recorder quartet ‘Bravade’, a four-movement piece for solo violin and electronics, commissioned and first performed by violinist Virpi Taskila and a 15-minute piece for mezzosoprano Virpi Räisänen and string quartet called ‘Begehren’, based on poems by the German poetress Gertrud Kolmar.
I also performed fifteen solo piano concerts I called the ‘Empty Church Concerts’. As there were no visitors in Temppeliaukio Church due to the pandemic, I decided to stream these concerts on SatnaMusic’s Facebook site (where they can still be viewed) and, rather unexpectedly I might say, reached all in all almost half a million people worldwide. Thank you all for your interest and beautiful feedback!

In fall 2020 I released a new solo piano album called ‘Here – Beyond The Infinite’ (download and CD available on sidhille.bandcamp.com).

The CD was released on September 23rd, 2020 on the occasion of my 500th solo concert in Temppeliaukio Church.
The rest of fall 2020 went in adjusting to the second wave of the pandemic. I didn’t have the strength or inspiration to compose, but I kept playing my solo piano improvisation concerts and a couple of very inspiring duo concerts as part of the Two Moons chamber concert series.

At this point I would like to thank the City of Helsinki, the Finnish Music Foundation MES and the Arts Promotion Centre Finland Taike for their support of my artistic work. In these difficult times this support is especially appreciated!
And of course a very big THANK YOU to Temppeliaukio Church for their ongoing super cooperation and their friendly support!

But now, on to 2021!
What’s in store (IF things go this way, my way)?
The solo piano improvisation concerts and the dates for the Two Moons concerts are already set

And my composition concert is still booked in Temppeliaukio Church for May 14th, 2021, which is my 60th birthday (WHAT??…has it been that long already?…). On that evening several of my recent new compositions will have their first performance, ‘Begehren’, ‘Heba’, ‘Bravade’ etc.

Other than these live performances I will concentrate on composing again:
– a piece for the Tapiola children’s choir featuring the splendid saxophonist Jukka Perko (supported by the Oskar Öflund Foundation)
– a piano quintet for myself and the Sid Hille Camerata (supported by the Sibelius Fund of the Finnish Composers’ society)
– a duo piece for my new duo Hille-Hohti Eclectic, featuring piano, cello and live electronics.

Keep an eye on the Gigs page to stay tuned, but most of all:
Keep safe, stay healthy, wash your hands and wear a mask!

All the best for 2021!

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