Irti! for music institute


Composition workshop at Helsinki conservatoire with Markku Klami. Photo: Markku Klami

Irti! (2008)

for Music Institute. Duration 20 min.

Commissioned by Central Helsinki Music Institute

A spatial improvisation piece for young persons, 8-200 players (entire music school or a small ensemble)

Fp: Temppeliaukio Church, Helsinki, December 2008

Irti! is a work for a large youth orchestra consisting of the students of the music institute. In its first performance the orchestra was divided into 9 sections located all around the church hall.

A group composed of young students and teachers is distributed around hall for the performance of Irti! (Off!), a spatialized improvisation work where the score (in traditional sense) is replaced with a focus on producing and listening for new types of sounds, noises and shades of musical expression. Relying on one's own creativity, reacting to other performers and a collective search for new sounds can enrich the relationship of young amateurs both to music and to their peers; at the same time, it teaches younger players to listen closely to what is happening around them. Each student can participate equally in the realization of the piece from their own point of departure, regardless of age or skill level. Irti! can be performed with group consisting of mix of beginners and professionals and they all will have enough challenges. Irti! can be performed with any kind and any size of an instrumental group. The idea is to bring new music to young person's ears in practice and to give them a change to play together with more advanced musicians.

The improvisation in the work is carefully prepared and controlled, but requires instantaneous reaction. The work is divided into six (or seven, depending on the size of an ensemble) sections and features such concepts as musical "follow the leader" games, Morse code-like plucking, the generation of musical "coloring book" through different shades of sound, a blossoming of noise effects, crystalline moments and powerful eruptions. The instrumentation involves the entire music school, ranging from strings, guitars and winds to accordion, piano and electric bass, colored by the addition of human voice, bells, guiros and other rhythmical instruments.

Irti! was premiered at Temppeliaukio Church in Helsinki in 2008, performed by the entire 200-member student body and teaching staff of the Central Helsinki music institute. The second performance was in 2010 in Viitasaari Time of Music with a noticably smaller, yet no less enthusiastic ensemble (8 students, 1 teacher and a conductor). In Viitasaari we had 5 rehearsals before the concert.