At this year’s JazzAhead, SatnaMusic published my latest contribution to the world of intense audiophile experiences, the CD of my new trio f# called ‘the wannsee punk’.

The CD has gathered already several excellent reviews in Finland and I’m hoping the world at large will respond in the same way.
At the JazzAhead trade fair in Bremen, anyhow, the reception was very positive. We had a couple of very good laughs about the cover photo and many people expressed their interest in a band where three acclaimed composers have chosen to leave all written material behind and improvise 100 %.

Our co-operation in the band does seem at times almost telepathic – spontaneous ideas are picked up, responded to and developed in such a coherent way that it makes you wonder (while you play) where all that fantastic stuff is coming from. We certainly didn’t plan it, but maybe having written all those scores in the run of years before does help you on a subconscious level – you just know what to pick up on and you sort of sense where it could be taken to. It’s a fantastic experience for players and audience alike, I can assure you: never knowing what will happen next.

Today we managed to get two videos from the ‘wannsee’-recording session onto SatnaMusic’s video channel.
‘The Scream’ gives you an impression of the uninhibited creative atmosphere while we recorded, ‘Suru’ in its turn might be one of the most beautiful, melancholic atmospheres I have ever captured on a recording.

What may have raised particular interest in a CD of freely improvised music, is the fact that my previous release, last year’s ‘Farbformen’ by the Sid Hille Camerata, had been nominated ‘Best recording of the year 2017‘ by YLE radio and did win the public vote.

Farbformen contains my string quartets no.2 & no.3.
In contrast to ‘wannsee’, Farbformen consists entirely of composed music (not taking into account a few bars where I suggested to the players some motives to improvise on), it is contemporary classical music, performed by the most classic of classical instrumentations, the string quartet, but of course there are many elements of jazz and ethnic music in there, too. Have a listen:

So, in case all this caught your interest in any way, you might want to check out some older recordings and projects of mine, too: there’s solo piano recordings, film music, soundscapes, modern jazz, orchestral music… you name it! All recordings are available, just send a message to info[at]

Have a great spring,


Sep 22 2017


I know! Are you kidding me? No updates since March?

Well: Life… you know?
I haven’t been lazy, as you can see in my gig calender.
I’ve been back in Austria to play two gigs with Herbert Könighofer in May and the experience continues when Herby comes back to Finland in the end of November.

In the meantime there are several other projects keeping me busy.
The most time-intensive one is the commission I got from organ virtuoso Susanne Kujala to write a concerto for organ and wind orchestra. Susanne and the Kaartin soittokunta will premiere the piece in August 2018 at Temppeliaukio Church.

In this very same church, by the way, I played my solo piano improvisations today for the 400th time. In August, on the Night of the Arts, I did a multi-instrumental soundscape performance there.

We recorded and filmed the concert.
I haven’t heard or seen the material yet, but if all went well, I might release the concert on DVD. Anyhow, it felt great to play there, with a lovely live sound made by Joonas Saikkonen, with the beautiful new lighting system the church had installed the very same day, and with Sigurdur and Cansu from Hekla Productions filming the whole thing.

So, while spending a lot of time in the workroom now, putting dots on music paper, I once in while take a little break and fiddle with my latest new toy, the Moog Sub37.

I’ll use the Moog (and of course the Rhodes) in our upcoming concerts with the Foreign Friends, so there’s yet another reason to come and check us out (in Pori, Hanko, Juttutupa Helsinki, Turku and at the Tampere Jazz Festival). Great playing, great sounds and a great show.

Barely recovered from Tampere on Nov 3rd, we will get the rare opportunity to perform a film score I composed in 2012 for Saara Cantell’s film ‘Stars above/Tähtitaivas talon yllä’ live, along with the film. This very beautiful film plays in three different time periods in the history of Finland, which is why it is included in the centennial celebrations of Finland’s independence.

If you happen to be in Espoo on November 4th, come to the atmospheric subterranean Kannusali and join us for this exceptional experience.

Heikki Nikula – clarinets
Teemu Viinikainen – guitar
Eija Kankaanranta – kantele
Sid Hille – piano
Ville Herrala – bass
Joonas Riippa – drums

And the year doesn’t end there.
Before Herby joins us in Northern Finland my trio F# will spend a week in Estonia to play four concerts with Estonian vocal improvisers Ivi Rausi and Laura Põldvere.

F# is
Sid Hille – keys
Jori Huhtala – bass
Markus Ketola – drums

Check the gig calender to find out when and where things are happening.
Welcome to listen!

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.
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

Feb 6 2017


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}


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!


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,