Biography

I was born in Paltamo on Midsummer Eve 1966, and in those hilly landscapes of Kainuu on the shore of lake Oulujärvi my charmed childhood and school days passed by. At the beginning of the 80’s I was admitted as student at the Military Band of Oulu and started music studies at the Oulu Conservatoire. My main instrument is the tuba, but through my qualification as a music teacher I also gained the ability to teach other low brass instruments. My professional education comes mainly from the Oulu Conservatoire, from which I graduated in 1985 as a military musician and from which I received a low brass teacher’s diploma in 1990. I passed my postgraduate diploma in 1992 with excellent grades. In the beginning I learned to play the tuba with Jorma Teeri and at a later stage with Jouni Miettinen. The teacher for composition was Vesa Valkama. Ari Angervo taught orchestral conducting. I complimented my studies as conductor during a continuing training at the Sibelius Academy under the direction of Atso Almila, and my instrument studies in master courses, for example at the International Lieksa Brass Week. My teachers were among others Roger Bobo and Jens Bjorn-Larssen.

I gained work experience as an orchestra musician and teacher as well as conductor. I was fortunate to work as orchestra musician in for instance the Kainuu Military Band, the Symphony Orchestra of Oulu, and the Pohja Military Band, where I worked in the beginning as the leader of the brass instruments and later as principal tubist. The work of a musician in the Pohja Military Band was diverse; I made arrangements and compositions, conducted some concerts, and was both the artistic producer and conductor for two recordings, Marssialbumi (March Album) and Soitto (Playing). I am also a founding member of Finland’s first and until now only regularly performing tuba quartette. The group’s original name Northern Tuba Lights changed on the way into Tuuba Duuba.

Teaching enables to follow amateur musicians’ closely. I taught at the Music Institutes of Ylivieska region and of Kainuu, at the Oulu Conservatoire and the Central Ostrobothnia Conservatory as well as during many summer camps throughout Finland where I taught playing the tuba, music theory, orchestral conducting, chamber music, and where I of course also conducted orchestras. Around the turn of the millennium I acted for several years as the co-ordinator and conductor of the music school of the Evangelic Lutheran parishes of Oulu. Managing the music school for its part also gave me practise in the administrative and organisational sides of work. In the role of musical director and conductor I worked with both amateurs and professionals. I acted as an educator for amateur orchestras and was part of many different musical productions, makings and recordings.

 


During recent years the weight of my professional activity turned to composition. Through grants from the Arts Council of Oulu Province, the Arts Promotion Centre Finland and Finnish Cultural Foundation as well as through commissions I was able to concentrate on longer, continuous periods of full-time composition work. The strong and wide-ranging musical experience I gained with the years as conductor, orchestra musician, and teacher has confirmed and sharpened my vocation as composer.

In my works there is plenty of music for wind instruments, but there is also other orchestral music as well as vocal and chamber music. In addition to Finland my work has been performed at least in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Austria and Switzerland. Commissioned compositions were composed for Finnish professional orchestras, among others the Guards Band of Finland, Pohja Military Band, and the Kemi City Orchestra. Additionally, compositions were commissioned by individual artists and several events and festivals like the International Lieksa Brass Week and the Ruskatrööttä event.

In 2007 I participated on invitation in the K.H. Pentti competition for composition. The purpose of the competition was to produce new Finnish music for wind orchestras and my composition Leu’dd won the first prize of the orchestra category. During the years I also received some honours. In 2008, I was chosen the Finnish Military Player of the year, and as an acknowledgement for musical tribute the Finnish Armed Forces awarded me the Sotilasmusiikkiristi (Cross of Merit for Military Music) in 2008 and the Sotilasansiomitali (Military Decoration) in 2010.

Creative work demands time and the absence of haste. Experience has shown that only a full-time composer is able to completely concentrate on artistically qualitative composing work. As a composer I am especially interested in harmony, the colours of timbre and its effects. The development of harmony contemplation and sensitisation is, besides the counterpoint, the one thing a composer may study during his whole life. In my opinion harmony has a significant if not the most significant role in the dramaturgy of composition.

Atonality is a fairly new thing in the history of music and this horn of plenty is not anywhere near void. A musical unity can be approached from many different directions and there are tremendously many alternatives for different effects and constructions of chord. This is interesting but challenging us at the same time. Hearing subtle differences and effects demands sensibility, intuition and knowledge first and foremost from the composer, but in the end also from the musician and the audience.