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.
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.
– 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)
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!
After our extended spring tour the Contemporary Collective took a deserved summer break and returns now fresh and rested – and crazy as ever – to the stage with a nice concert coming up in Helsinki, next week on Thursday, September 17th.
The jaZZanti-concert series takes place in the wood-paneled surroundings of the Laulumiehet hall. I played there the last time when we premiered my piano concerto. (If you want to have a listen there’s some excerpts on YouTube.)
Next, the band will take a leap across the Baltic pond to visit Berlin. On two consecutive nights, October 14th and 15th, we’ll play in the Neukölln club Sowieso, a place where otherwise heroes and legends like Brötzmann, Schlippenbach, Honsinger and Delius perform. – And now us!
And it doesn’t stop there, because in the same week we’ll visit the legendary Musiktage in Donaueschingen where we’ll play three shows on October 16th and 17th in the beautiful surrounding of the Museum Art.Plus for contemporary art.
The Donaueschingen trip is in a way a return to the scene of crime, because this is the little town I grew up in, and the Musiktage hold a special place in my musical development.
Unforgettable memories include a soundcheck of Stockhausen’s ‘Michaels Reise um die Erde’ which I had managed to sneak into, where I ended up sitting next to the master at the mixing board in an otherwise empty hall, or a concert with the Radio symphony orchestra, conducted by Ernest Bour, in which the music was way beyond my limited understanding. Suddenly people started booing, shouting and leaving the hall. Asking my neighbour what had happened, I was told that there had been a major triad in the composition….
Now, for the Musiktage it will be time for a fresh wind coming straight out of Finland!
To get a taste you may want to watch one of the videos from our spring tour.
Looking forward to seeing you at one of our shows!
After a summer that weatherwise didn’t happen (here in Finland), this late summer is showing itself from the prettiest side: sunny & warm with a gentle breeze of sea air streaming into Helsinki. Definitely a nice place to be!
And a lot is happening with the Helsinki Festival, the Flow Festival and the Viapori Jazz Festival starting these very days!
My own little contribution will be the official release concert of my new solo piano album ‘How Shall I Receive You’ on Saturday, August 22nd at 10 am in the Temppeliaukio Church.
The CD has been very warmly received; already before next weeks’s actual release 700 copies have been sold, which I guess is quite extraordinary in these days and times when CD sales are in a general decline. Yet I decided not to hop on the streaming-train, meaning I will not make any more CD’s available for streaming services like Spotify. Some of my albums are there and I noticed that I rather regret it as the services leave me with a feeling of being exploited.
If you are interested in my music there will always be some tracks on my YouTube-page to give you a taste and after that I will be happy to send you a copy of whichever CD you’d like to hear, straight to your home and at very little expense. Especially, if you compare it to the price of a cup of Starbuck’s coffee.
In fall there will be plenty of other opportunity to hear me live in the church (see the gig calendar). One very special recital will be on Thursday, October 22nd, when the great trumpeter Verneri Pohjola will join me for an evening concert in the church. We’ll bring some electronic gimmicks, too, and we’ll improvise our souls out. Welcome to listen!
And last, but definitely not least: the Contemporary Collective will open its fall season in Helsinki at the jaZZanti club on September 17th, before conquering Germany in October.
As the saying goes: ‘…first we take Berlin, Sowieso, Oct 14th & 15th, then we’ll take the Musiktage Donaueschingen, Museum Biedermann, Oct 16th & 17th….’
Have a taste of CoCo: