F# (F sharp or FIS) is the name of Sid Hille’s new trio.
The band started rehearsing in March 2016 and played their debut concert at the legendary Pori Jazz Festival on July 15th, 2016.
With Sid on piano, Jori Huhtala on bass and Markus Ketola on drums, F# is essentially a piano trio, but with a couple of twists:
Hille plays the Fender Rhodes piano instead of the traditional acoustic piano, using all sorts of effects, sound modifications, expression and loop pedals. Also Huhtala is using electronica to modify his beautiful acoustic bass sound and Ketola employs loops and samples of his own live playing, manipulating them through the Ableton Live application and thus creating spontaneously complete soundscapes.
Here is a clip from their first rehearsal in March 2016:
In March 2017 F# was joined by Austrian multi-instrumentalist Herbert Könighofer for a series of concerts in Finland and Estonia. Here is a clip from their concert in Tallinn (with special guest Estonian singer Liina Saar):
The slightly anarchistic approach in their performance raised much interest, so consequently F# was invited for a 4-concert tour in Estonia to perform with freely improvising vocal artists Laura Põldvere and Ivi Rausi in November 2017.
During the highly popular and succesful tour F# recorded their debut studio album in Viljandi, Estonia, with singer Liina Saar joining them for two tunes.
The album ‘the wannsee punk’ was released in spring 2018 to great critical acclaim. All music on the album was completely improvised, but the fact that all members of the band are acclaimed composers in their own right contributed to the extreme cohesiveness of the improvised material.
Many a critic noted just that: ‘The album being so well organized and aurally multi-faceted, it is at times hard to fathom that all the music on the album was improvised and recorded during a single session’ (Finnish Music Quarterly 10-2018).
In fall 2017 Herbert Könighofer returned to Finland for two concerts and a recording session with F# in Vaasa, and in 2018 two concert tours took the band again to Estonia and to Eastern Finland, re-uniting them with the Estonian singers and Könighofer yet again.
More material was recorded in Viljandi again during the Estonian leg of the tours and the band’s second album is due to be released in spring 2019.
Check the gig calendar for an updated schedule.