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,


Aug 2 2016


So, here it is:

Soundscapes by Sid Hille – UGETSU

Five years after ‘ONE’, my first soundscape-recording, it felt like it was time again to do something really special. Of course I love all my projects, but going into the studio without any plan, adding layers and ideas on top of each other, being completely in the moment, no goal, except for the vague notion, that it’s going to be on vinyl and therefore the length could be around 18 minutes per side – well, that is something out of the ordinary jazz life (if there is such a thing as ‘ordinary’ jazz life).

I started recording on two days in February, playing percussion, Rhodes, various synths, melodica, kantele, theremin – just about anything I could find in my work room, that would make an interesting sound.
Then I let it rest for a few weeks.

I had booked the Finnvox studios in Mid-March, because I knew, I’d want some piano on the recording, too. A few days before the date, when listening to the material I had already recorded, I started feeling that it needed something more than piano. There was this long beautiful synth-track and I thought a saxophone would be nice with it. Also some singing would be nice.
So on very short notice, I invited Jukka Perko and Anni Elif Egecioglu to come to the session, both had time, and both heard the material there and then for the first time.

I still can’t fathom how masterfully Jukka improvised a 7-minute solo, making my pre-recorded chords sound like they were following him, anticipating chord changes he had never heard before.
With Anni we improvised a complete new track on the basis of a few words I had written that same morning; in the studio I got the idea, what if she sang them also in Swedish. One take – YEP! This was it!

About a month later, in April, still something seemed missing.
During the last year I’ve been doing some voice-over gigs, the first one ever actually for a promo video of my Contemporary Collective, and I started wondering how a spoken text would work. I asked my wife Virpi, who has a wonderful soft voice, to speak a text in dialogue with Jukka’s solo; I spoke a few short texts myself (inspired by Zappa’s ‘Are You Hung Up’ on ‘We’re only in it for the money’, one of my all-time favourite records).

And next, we (engineer and co-producer Tipi Tuovinen and me) were off to guitarist Teemu Viinikainen’s workshop to record a guitar solo on a groovy track that was to be named ‘Stroll in the park’, a sort-of Blues that seemed to be asking for some guitar-wizardry.

Cutting the vinyl master at Timmion records’ cellar studio was another memorable experience, with all these great machines that cut a groove into a piece of vinyl – really – right there in front of your eyes – and then….: wait.
Wait for the test pressing. Four weeks. Good.
Wait for the delivery. Four weeks. Yes.
Here they are now, half a year after starting the project.

So, dear friends: if you’re interested, come to the release party and get your very own copy, vinyl or CD, at the Viapori Jazz Festival on August 25th, 2016.
Or visit the fantastic record store Digelius. They have all my records and thousand other interesting ones on top.
Or just send my publisher SatnaMusic a message, info(at)satnamusic.fi, and have them send it straight to your home.

Enjoy life and good music!
Why not?

Cheers, Sid

May 29 2016

Exciting new stuff

Hi everybody,

where to begin?
Let’s start with the Contemporary Collective: the band has entered a new phase in their work.
The quirky avant-garde quartet with Heikki Nikula on bass clarinet, Teemu Viinikainen on guitars, me on electric piano, theremin and percussion and Markus Hohti on cello has been enlarged into a quintet, with drum wizard Mika Kallio joining the band.
Our first gig with the new program called ‘WARP’ at the Koko Jazz Club in Helsinki was a great success. Here you can watch a short clip:

More concerts will follow in fall 2016; before that CoCo will still play two shows in Berlin and Munich as a quartet. (See the gig calender.)

Another nice thing that happened was that a brief haphazard meeting in a hotel lobby during the JazzAhead trade fair in Bremen led to a gig at the Pori Jazz Festival.
F#, my new trio with bassist Jori Huhtala and drummer Markus Ketola, was only formed in March this year. This will be our first public performance on July 15th, and Pori is certainly a nice place to have it, as part of the Ultra Music series.
Here you can watch a little video from our first rehearsal in March:

A little later in summer, on August 25th, I will play a concert at the Viapori Jazz Festival together with singer Anni Elif Egecioglu and percussionist Abdissa ‘Mamba’ Assefa.
This will be a very special occasion where we ‘New-Finns’ (as opposed to ‘True Finns’) get a chance to interpret essential Finnish music (from Sibelius to Virta and Kärki) through the lense of our ‘outside perspective’. A lot of inverted commas there, but it’s gonna be wild!
On the same night I will present to the world my new soundscape-recording ‘UGETSU’ (on vinyl and CD), to which Anni Elif has contributed as well as saxphonist Jukka Perko, guitarist Teemu Viinikainen and voice artist Virpi Taskila.
Here is the cover art and the link to a clip on Vimeo.


An exciting summer ahead! And I haven’t even mentioned the Summer Academy in Nurmes yet, where I will be teaching improvisation classes and where I’ll play some concerts between July 4th-7th with splendid people like the Meta4 String Quartet.

Feb 28 2016

Many Sids to music

Many Sids to music

This coming spring is turning out to be one of the most versatile ones I’ve had in a long while.
Four different bands of mine will be seen and heard live on various stages around Helsinki and still more new projects are in the making.

– Solo concerts continue on Wednesday mornings at the Temppeliaukio Church. I’ll be playing there on May 4th for the 350th time.

– The Sid Hille Camerata will be premiering my new string quartet ‘Equilibrium’ in four concerts: on April 12th at Länsi-Helsingin musiikkiopisto, on April 15th in Temppeliaukio Church, on April 17th at Pitsku Culture Church, and on May 7th at Uusi Palviljonki in Kauniainen.

– SH5, the new Sid Hille Quintet with Verneri Pohjola, Manuel Dunkel, Jori Huhtala and Teppo Mäkynen will play a ‘Tribute to the Platypus’ (music of the Platypus Ensemble) at the Koko Jazz Club on May 14th.

Sid Hille Quintet

– The Sid Hille Contemporary Collective featuring drummer Mika Kallio will play their new program at the Koko Jazz Club on May 21st. CoCo also has two concerts in Germany in July, in Münchens’s Bar Gabianyi on 21.7. and in Berlin at the Jugendwiderstandsmuseum on 22.7.

And my new trio FIS (Free improvising spirits) with bassist Jori Huhtala and drummer Markus Ketola had its first rehearsals in the beginning of March. Basically a piano trio, all three musicians also employ live electronica. This is going to be fun!

Music is a many-splendoured thing. Enjoy its many Sids!
(Go the Gig calendar for dates and locations)

Happy New Year, everybody!

Thanks for stopping by on my page!
Things are happening and I’m happy to let you know about them.

Next week on Wednesday, January 13th, the new season starts officially:
– a solo piano recital in the Temppeliaukio Church at the usual time, 10.30 am
– and in the evening at 9 pm the Contemporary Collective will play in Helsinki’s legendary Rytmihäiriö Club in the Juttutupa Pub.

The piano recital is part of the same concert series that I’ve kept up since 2001: on an almost weekly basis, every Wednesday morning, I improvise for the visitors of this beautiful church and this spring in April it will be for the 350th time. (See the solo page for more info.)

The Contemporary Collective has been on two successful tours last year, first in Finland, then in Germany. This spring we will take it a bit easier: after next week’s concert we will meet only on May 21st to play in Helsinki’s main jazz club Koko.
Some summer festivals and a Germany tour in fall 2016 are in the planning, but nothing has been fixed yet. Keep an eye on our gig calendar to stay posted!

One thing I am really looking forward to is a little concert series with the Sid Hille Camerata in April.
The band will premiere my new string quartet ‘Equilibrium’, which I’m just putting the finishing touches on these days, and we will play some of my chamber music for piano and string quartet.
The Camerata is planning a recording session of all three string quartet compositions of mine later this year in fall.

And finally, last, but most definitely not least is a recording session in February, when I get to create a sequel to my vinyl release ‘ONE’ (2011): new soundscapes, appropriately titled ‘TWO’ this time, employing the analog synthesizers I bought recently, a Micro Brute and the Korg MS20.
Obviously the theremin will be used, now that I’ve had a chance to play it so often in last year’s live shows, as well as the little percussion instruments I am so fond of.
‘TWO’ will be released in connection with a concert at the Viapori Jazz Festival in August 2016.
More about that later.

For now, here is a special preview on an as of yet unpublished video from my NUCLEUS project’s concert last October, a duo with trumpeter Verneri Pohjola who plays a Norwegian bull’s horn in this clip as well as some electronica, and me on theremin. Enjoy!