First of all: Thank You!
Thank you for following this blog, visiting our concerts, buying our records – in general: for being interested in my music!
It’s been an amazing year in many respects, and at the same time an ambiguous one, too.
After enjoying the enormous privilege to receive a grant from the Finnish Arts Council for the previous three years, 2014 saw me at the mercy of the liberal market again.
I decided not to go back to teaching, but rather threw myself into the business side of music, even more than I had before.
The result was an incredibly productive year with two new records that received splendid reviews, two orchestral premieres, four active bands performing different repertoires all exclusively of my own music.
On the other hand, as the saying goes ‘The artist pays’, I could continue by saying: ‘I did so much work this year that soon I will be broke’.
I’m not complaining, I’m merely stating the fact that it ain’t easy these days to make a living as a creative musician, even when your work is well received.
Well, so much for the year gone by. Despite the challenges, I am deeply grateful for the beautiful response I’ve received after my solo concerts in Temppeliaukio Church or during the Contemporary Collective’s tour, for the glimpses of blissful presence with my fellow musicians, and I’m happy that some reviewers really understood what I am after.
I wouldn’t change any of this for a safer job in an office.
Which brings me to the prospects of the year to come, 2015.
I would have loved to record the Brotherhood and the Jazz Camerata, but until some great, wealthy jazz lover comes along to sponsor these fantastic projects (Hint, hint!), I will go with the most feasible and, in a way, also most logical idea: after thirteen years of playing solo piano improvisations regularly, once a week, in Temppeliaukio Church, I’ve decided to make another solo piano recording.
I will try to capture these magical moments at this fantastic instrument in this amazing space.
The church has gracefully given permission for me to spend two evenings in March at their glorious Steinway grand piano and currently I’m making a selection of Hymns and Finnish folk songs that could serve as points of departure for my improvisations.
This might be a good moment for interaction with the audience and I’d like to encourage you to send me suggestions of pieces that you would enjoy to hear me play. If I know the song well enough, or I can get to know it well enough, to make a personal statement on it, it just might be a beautiful addition to the set I have in mind. (See the contact page for address details.)
On April 11th, I will perform the new program in an evening recital at the church.
Welcome to join the concert!
I will digress a little from the solo piano versions to be recorded, on the one hand of course, because I’m improvising and can never be sure of what ideas will come to my mind in the given moment, but also in respect to the choice of instruments. As I have mentioned in earlier blogs, I have developed an interest in the use of electronica in recent years, so, on that evening I will include in the setup my Rhodes piano, effect pedals, a loop machine and other little gimmicks that are fun to use.
Other than that the year is wide open. The opera project sadly had to be postponed due to the lack of financial resources.
The Contemporary Collective will be on tour again in May, however, which is fantastic prospects, and another nice thing is the fact that Infinita will perform in Finland; so far, March 6th has been set at the Sellosali in Leppävaara. This is one beautiful band not to be missed!
On that note, let me wish you a very happy new year 2015 and I’m looking forward to welcome you at one of my concerts.