Between 1994 and 2002 I held a teaching position at the Central Ostrobothnian conservatory in Kokkola in northern Finland.
Part of my job was to conduct the school’s excellent big band.
Before that I had composed mainly for the small ensembles I played in myself, but while conducting I got acquainted with some great traditional and modern big band scores. The orchestration techniques of Finnish composer Jukka Linkola and American composers Maria Schneider and Thad Jones intrigued me most.
Eventually I started writing scores, at first orchestrating some of my small band pieces. Then in 2001, I received a grant from the Finnish cultural fund which allowed me to take some time off from work and concentrate on composing.
In three months time I wrote 50 minutes of music, Frutas Maduras, a concerto for trombone and jazz orchestra.
The flow experience during this time convinced me that composing was what I really wanted to do in life.
In 2002 I took the risk of quitting my teaching job.
Even though I’d always enjoyed teaching I never looked back.
One of the movements of Frutas Maduras, a piece called Tango Mòrbido Y Cìnico, went on to win the international composition competition Scrivere in Jazz in Sardegna, Italy in 2008.
Here it is, listen to my ‘Tango’ as performed by the great Finnish jazz orchestra UMO:
|Dismantled||jazz orchestra||duration: ca. 5′|
|Sointi||jazz orchestra||duration: ca. 6′|
|And everybody loves you so||jazz orchestra||duration: ca. 7’|
|Spotify My Jazz||jazz orchestra||duration: ca. 7’|
(3. prize at the Esko Linnavalli composition competition 2015)
|jazz orchestra||duration: ca. 7’|
|Rain Check (listen)||jazz orchestra||duration: ca. 7′|
|Tip-top||jazz orchestra||duration: ca. 4′|
|Raw Bones||jazz orchestra||duration: ca. 12’|
|Tango Mòrbido y Cìnico|
(1. prize at the international composition competition ‘Scrivere in Jazz’ 2008, Italy)
(special re-arranged version of part IV of the Frutas Maduras Suite)
|duration: ca. 8′|
|Dual Layers – trumpet concerto||jazz orchestra||duration: ca. 32’|
|Vrindavan in Vindala||solo vocalist and tentet||duration: ca.8’30|
|Felsenfest – drum concerto|
(listen to part III. Les Cloches)
|jazz orchestra||duration: ca. 30’|
|Odd Men Out|
(3. prize at the Esko Linnavalli composition competition 2005)
|jazz orchestra||duration: ca. 8’|
|Conversations in the ditch||jazz orchestra||duration: ca. 8’|
|Pitch Bend||jazz orchestra||duration: ca. 8’|
|Musta Kissa||jazz orchestra & 3 voices||duration: ca. 8’|
|Uanda||jazz orchestra & 3 voices||duration: ca. 7′|
|Frutas Maduras – trombone concerto||jazz orchestra||duration: ca. 50’|
And here is another piece from Frutas Maduras called Claredad.
This piece is dedicated to the great American composer Clare Fischer.
It was actually the first original big band composition I ever wrote.
On trombone Antti Rissanen, the orchestra again UMO.