You can watch a free live stream of the concert on Youtube, 21 August, 19–20. A link to the live stream will be added to this page at the latest an hour before the concert starts.
The title of each of the four movements reflects the musical instruments and soundscapes featured in it. The challenging work is particularly important in terms of its orchestration: the ”sixxen”, an instrument comprised of 19 metal tubes that was constructed by Xenakis himself, plays a key role.
Echo Percussion will start the concert with Elmeri Uusikorpi’s composition Hyades for six percussionists (2020). Uusikorpi composed the piece as a kind of introduction to Pléïades.
Echo Percussion is a group of five young percussionists founded in 2020. Echo emerged from the need to return to concert venues after the coronavirus pandemic to perform percussion classics, new commissions and forgotten gems. Echo members are Sibelius Academy alumni and successful freelance musicians with vast experience of playing as soloists, in orchestras and chamber music and contemporary music ensembles.
Aino Nisula, Tiia Toivanen, Elmeri Uusikorpi, Touko Leinonen, Jarmo Niininen, Tuomas Siddall, percussion
Iannis Xenakis: Pléïades
The Pleiades are a glimmering star formation to the right of the constellation Taurus. In the northern hemisphere, they are visible only in winter. The telescope allows us to observe dozens of stars, of which only six are visible to the naked eye amidst a light milky fog.
According to Greek mythology, the Pleiades represent seven sisters who were servants of Artemis, the goddess of the Moon. One of the sisters, Electra, is said to have disappeared as a grieving comet after the siege and destruction of the town of Troy, which was founded by her son Dardanus, the victim of the famous Trojan horse temple. The lightness and fog of the Pleiades were caused by tears shed by the six sisters abandoned by Electra.
As a musical work, Pléïades is not constrained by any simple definition. The instruments range from mallet instruments (vibraphone and marimba) to percussion and the sixxen instrument created specifically for this composition.
The work has four movements, which are titled according to the musical instruments and soundscapes created in them. In Métaux, the sixxen might remind listeners of the Indonesian gamelan, Japanese instruments, Mediterranean church bells, or even cowbells from the Alps. The sounds of the sixxen evoke ideas of different lifestyles and choices people make. In a world controlled by people, metal is an integral material of the sixxen.
Giving full freedom to the richness of existence, Xenakis’s work is a study of diversity and unity set to a temporal structure.
Elmeri Uusikorpi: Hyades
Uusikorpi’s Hyades is named after the open cluster of stars which is also part of the Taurus constellation. In Greek mythology, the Hyades were a sisterhood of seven nymphs who were believed to control the rain. Hyades contains many references and intersections with Pléïades; a robust rhythm and its manipulation are reminiscent of Xenakis, as are the vast cluster-like chord structures, and unison parts alternating with independent melodic lines.
Unlike the tumultuous and often loud expression of Pléïades, Hyades explores the themes in a quieter, softer and mostly tonal soundscape. The melodies and rhythms are interspersed with sounds reminiscent of raindrops and thunder.
Further information: Anna Huuskonen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Music – of a more recent variety
The students of the Sibelius Academy perform in over 700 concerts each year. The concerts of the internationally renowned academy open doors for future top artists and offer unforgettable experiences.