Artist and Project Management PEKKA KUUSISTO THEME & VARIATIONS

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1 HarrisonParrott Artist and Project Management PEKKA KUUSISTO THEME & VARIATIONS

2 Pekka Kuusisto is probably the most engaging maverick in classical music today - The Times A violinist whose rare gift is to become rather than perform the music he plays - The Guardian ALTERNATIVE REALITIES One of the most brilliantly constructed works in the violin repertoire, Ligeti s Violin Concerto picks apart a variety of musical ingredients, before reassembling them into a perfectly logical image where normal laws of nature don t apply. Finnish jazz musician Esa Pietilä is writing a sister piece to the Ligeti Concerto, using the same orchestration and featuring solo tenor sax and processed violin with extensive improvisational elements. The alternative sonic reality that Ligeti creates can be compared to groundbreaking work in other artforms. Molecular gastronomy is a revolutionary movement in gourmet cooking and its champions Heston Blumenthal and Ferran Adriá are building extraordinary culinary illusions. These sounds and tastes must be brought together. In the guise of a dinner, perhaps in a pop- up venue specially designed for the project, the musical performances and different sections of a multiple-course meal would be served at the right moments to create an intoxicating 21st century feast. This is designed to take place each night of a festival. AURORA After recording Magnus Lindberg s Violin Concerto (with the Tapiola Sinfonietta, to be released on Ondine Records) Pekka was inspired to write a work for electronics based on nuances he picked up from the concerto, entitled Gadgets. In this one-hour concert project (no interval), Lindberg s Violin Concerto sets the scene. The electronic work follows, accompanied by a media/light installation with visualisations of the music. The orchestral musicians remain on stage and, using the latest high definition projection technology, the choreographed movement of their bodies and instruments forms part of the projection.

3 Reddress is a door to a secret place Reddress Video clips (click below) > Designer Aamu Song speaks about the dress > From the London Design Festival - Pekka Kuusisto REDDRESS: POCKET PROJECTS Created by Korean designer Aamu Song, this extraordinary installation is over three meters tall and 20 metres in diameter. Using 550 meters of upholstery, the dress contains 238 pockets, in which the audience sit. The dress is worn by the soloist. Kuusisto first collaborated with the Reddress installation at Helsinki s Design Museum in 2007, later bringing the dress to his own festival and Eindhoven. The intimate concert space breaks down any traditional boundaries that exist between performer and audience, something Pekka advocates strongly the audience s proximity allows them to become performers themselves. An art installation in its own right, the dress can also remain open to the public outside of the concerts, to be used as a space for festival-goers to relax between events. The project is ideally suited to an unusual indoor space (warehouse, empty church, barn, hangar) although outside performances are possible depending on weather conditions. This project works best within a residency or festival, with Pekka curating a series of projects over this period, such as: Dressed for the Movies Silent movies are projected on a number of screens set up around the dress and Pekka performs in correspondence with the images on screen. Alternatively, a large cloth (approx six metres high) could be suspended above and around the dress, to be used as a continuous screen for projections. This cocoons the audience within the dress, emphasising the intimacy of the space. Four Seasons With Pekka in the dress, the other musicians are placed within the audience. Vivaldi s work can be performed with chamber orchestra or string quartet plus continuo. Once upon a dress... The Reddress provides the perfect backdrop for musical story-telling, probably as a matinee performance aimed at a younger audience. This would need to be programmed within a series of other performances on the dress. Nocturne A late-night event, this showcases Pekka s skills with electronics, improvisation, folk music and jazz. For example, Pekka accompanies jazz singer Anna Mari-Kähärä, or Joik (traditional Sami) singer Wimme Saari. In these cases the singer wears the dress whilst Pekka, weaving around among the audience, creates soundscapes. More generally, Pekka could collaborate with local video artists and DJs. Illumination One of Pekka Kuusisto s signature pieces directing from within the orchestra, Britten s Les Illuminations lends itself perfectly to the Reddress. With the soloist in the dress, Pekka and the orchestra are placed on the dress and within the audience, and choreographed movements by the players enhance the poetry of the text. An example minute concert might include: Vasks: Distant Light or Vox Amoris Tippett: A Lament Britten: Les Illuminations

4 A GOOD SHAKING ON A STRING - LIVE MOZART MANIPULATED AT THE BLUE HEDGEHOG Forming part of a concert programme, the orchestra performs John Adams Shaker Loops, with Pekka in the play/direct position. Picking up on the motoric rhythms, this unique project focuses on highly-skilled juggler Jay Gilligan, as a (visual) soloist. Gilligan coordinates his juggling to the rhythms of the music using complex, finelytimed sequences. The Finnish dance project On A String was devised by dancers Minna Tervamäki and Kaari Martin, who choreographed the Sibelius Violin Concerto for two contrasting styles of dance Ballet and Flamenco. Pekka expands on this project by substituting the recorded accompaniment with live music (solo violin and piano). This can also be done with full orchestra. In an unusual twist to Mozart s opera, The Magic Flute, this production replaces the usual orchestra and singers with puppetry, modern circus arts and a projected video backdrop. The music is performed by a string quartet, as arranged by a contemporary of Mozart. Without singers, it gives a completely different insight into the popular work. This version of Schubert s Octet involves two actors and the music is performed as part of a theatrical work. It is divided into three blocks, combining narration, theatre and Schubert s music. The performance also includes two songs from Winterreise and an excerpt of a piano Impromptu. These are played from a recording but can also be done live. Versions of the play already exist in Swedish and Finnish, but this can also be translated into other languages.

5 Our Festival is gentle. It lives in these beautiful little places, in living rooms, on lakes, in forests, and wants to whisper some exciting things into your ears. We ll be sharing a secret. Our Festival wants to invent new flexible forms for concerts, where the message is more important than dress codes or good behaviour. Our Orchestra takes the most promising ideas from the Festival to other platforms - Pekka Kuusisto

6 PEKKA S BIOGRAPHY Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto is internationally renowned both as soloist and director and is recognised for his spontaneity and fresh approach to the repertoire. In addition to his concerto performances, Pekka continually seeks to collaborate with people across the artistic spectrum, working on new interpretations of existing repertoire alongside original works. He regularly directs from the violin, working on projects with ensembles such as the Britten Sinfonia; the Australian, London, Irish and St Paul Chamber Orchestras; as well as the Amsterdam and Västerås Sinfoniettas. Pekka has been artist-inresidence at the Aldeburgh Festival, Avanti! Summer Sounds Festival and Concertgebouw s Robeco Zomerconcerten and was one of Konzerthaus Dortmund s Junge Wilde artists. He has been Artistic Partner with the Tapiola Sinfonietta since September CONTACT Viola Frankenfeld +49 (0) Anna Power +44 (0)

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