SOLA Festival 2019
Once again the annual festival for experimental music and moving image SOLA takes over the screen and speakers of WHS SOLA celebrates its fifth year by bringing out cavalcade of exciting sound performers and a great selection of experimental audio-visual works from 21st century.
We’ll see a set of science-oriented short films of Semiconductor (Ruth Jarman & Joe Gerhardt) from UK; biogeographical sci-fi-esque “Slow Action” from the renowned US based experimental filmmaker Ben Rivers; a 16mm film live cinema action from Marek Pluciennik and finally digital audio-visual extravaganza from the one and only Pink Twins!
After Semiconductor’s short films, Friday evening’s music program is opened by W, whose abstract digital music could be described as a modern day equivalent of musique concrète. W is followed by aetherlinna, who mixes ritualistic performance art and noise. After a short break the Friday evening continues with an exclusive meeting of guitarist Jukka Kääriäinen and drummer Simo Laihonen providing a blast of free jazz improvisation. After the jazz blast we have Jousitus, a supergroup of string based musicians focusing on making a collective improvised drone piece. Friday night is concluded with the aforementioned extravaganza of Pink Twins.
Sunday opens with the live cinema performance of Marek Pluciennik. After, the internationally acclaimed folk avant-gardist Meriheini Luoto will bring up a new kinetic piece on stage, exploring motion sensor system with musical performance. Then we go on with multidisciplinary artist Kati Roover’s brand new sound pieces based on her video works. After a break and Ben Rivers’ cinematic trip Kuupuu sets onstage with layered dreamy loops and found sounds. We´ll finish the festival weekend with Antti Salminen & Ilpo Numminen, an unique collaboration of electro-acoustic improvisation and flow of live poetry and prose.
This year we will have exceptionally the festival dates as Friday and Sunday as there is the excellent Maunula Electronic event on Saturday that we don’t want to compete with. Check more about it here ︎︎︎
Accordingly the audience has a chance to spend the whole weekend full of great audiovisual experiences - without missing anything.
The festival is organized by the non-profit association Välirivi ry in collaboration with WHS Teatteri Union. Supported by Helsinki City Council and The Finnish Music Foundation.
Fri & Sun 15€
19 Semiconductor (UK): 20Hz (2011, 5min, HD file), Black Rain (2009, 3min, HD file), Magnetic Movie, (2007, 5min, HD file), All the Time in the World, (2005, 5min, SD file) (total 18min)
21 Jukka Kääriäinen & Simo Laihonen
22 Pink Twins (live av)
18 Marek Pluciennik (live cinema performance)
18.30 Meriheini Luoto
19 Kati Roover
20.15 Ben Rivers (US): Slow Action (2010, 40min, DCP)
21.30 Antti Salminen & Ilpo Numminen
︎WHS Teatteri Union: Siltavuorenranta 18
Simo Laihonen & Jukka Kääriäinen
Jukka Kääriäinen is a guitarist specialized in experimental and free improvised music. His sound palette consist of acoustic and prepared guitar in addition with the possibilites provided by live-electronics, effects and bow. Jukka has performed in many different countries in Europe and has been working with the likes of Teppo Hauta-Aho, Kalle Laikman, Jone Takamäki, Roomet Jakapi, Pauli Lyytinen and Paul Pignon to mention a few.
Simo Laihonen is a drummer / percussionist focused on improvised music, traditional music of different countries and music pedagogy. Besides being a member of the long-standing free jazz band Black Motor, he has worked with saxophonist Mikko Innanen, Juhani Aaltonen, Stanley J. Zappa. Laihonen is also member of Belize, which specializes chanson-like Spanish language songs.
Antti Salminen & Ilpo Numminen (AV)
Writer, poet & philosopher Antti Salminen and synthesizer enthusiast Ilpo Numminen (of Pai Pai Tapes and Vuosi collective) are going to present an exclusive audio visual work for SOLA festival. Sadly Salminen can’t be present at the festival, but together they have created a piece, where oceanic soundwaves of Numminen’s modular synthesizers meet fragments from the slipstream-like prose of Salminen’s ”Lomosovin moottori” and ”Mir” books. Animated and still texts from the books will be projected and we will also hear the recorded voice of Salminen narrating from them. Together they form an intriguing double narrative, where the seen text doesn’t match the heard one.
The text and audio narrative will be in Finnish.
W carefully extracts sounds out of the cacophony of an imaginary cityscape and places them under a magnifying glass for a closer examination. Sounds are frequently solitary and distant, like the communications of an unknown species or a distant star, urging the listener to focus on the smallest detail. The serene, glass-like ambiance is interrupted with Musique Concrète-esque bursts of unruly noise. W’s music challenges the nature of structure, repetition and arrangement in music; themes are explored in minimal fashion, barely enough to portray a flickering image of a scene - often barren and desolate.
W’s latest releases are 2018 album ”Susiovet” on TRUE AETHER label and a sound art & poetry collaboration with Milka Luhtaniemi called ”Neljä koetusta pysyä | Four Try-outs in Staying” on the digital poetry platform Nokturno.
Jousitus is a string ensemble formed especially for SOLA festival. The foundation of their playing is improvisation. At the festival the audience will hear a piece made collectively, where movement, sound and space form a cohesive unity, which will arise, breath and transform during the performance.
Kuupuu was born in the early 2000 when four trackers started to be in fashion again and the inspiring spirits of Tampere underground (Avarus, The Anaksimandros, Islaja and Kemialliset Ystävät, to name a few) were labouring magical tunes next door. Almost 20 years later Kuupuu is still swimming in the lake of muddy dream-pop, found sounds, loops, electro-acoustic hiss & bliss.
Kuupuu is the solo-project of visual artist and musician Jonna Karanka. Her records have been released on such labels as EM Records (Japan), Time-Lag Records (USA) and Dekorder (Germany). Her latest album “Plz tell me” is a self-released tape, which is digitally available on Bandcamp.
Kati Roover is an Estonian-Finnish multidisciplinary artist based in Helsinki. In her works she approaches environmental changes through poetic imagination. At SOLA festival Roover will weave together strands from three recent sound and video works in progress: H2O - Creatures, Soft Tendencies and Viriditas.
All The Time In The World (2005, 5min)
Presented as a fictional documentary, the sound film All the Time in The World sees the millions of years that have shaped and formed the land, played out at the speed of sound.
Semiconductor have reanimated Northumbria’s epic landscape using data recordings from the archives at the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh. This data of local and distant seismic disturbances has been converted to sound and used to reveal and bring to life the constantly shifting geography around us.
We follow the motion of the sound as it travels from the coast at Cocklawburn to the hills of The Cheviots, transforming the land. We travel to Abb’s Head and witness Earth Lights, made visible by the seismic sounds. These phenomena are said to be the result of tectonic movement in the strata below us. Flashes of light and electricity are produced as movement squeezes mineral crystals together, displaying luminous objects whose motion coincides with the direction of ruptures within the earth.
Filmed and animated between October and March 2005 during a fellowship at Berwick Gymnasium Art Gallery, Berwick-Upon-Tweed, UK. Funded by English Heritage and Arts Council England North East.
Magnetic Movie (2007, 5min)
The secret lives of invisible magnetic fields are revealed as chaotic ever-changing geometries. All action takes place around NASA’s Space Sciences Laboratories, UC Berkeley, to recordings of space scientists describing their discoveries. Actual VLF audio recordings control the evolution of the fields as they delve into our inaudible surroundings, revealing recurrent ‘whistlers’ produced by fleeting electrons . Are we observing a series of scientific experiments, the universe in flux, or a documentary of a fictional world?
An Animate Projects commission for Channel 4 in association with Arts Council England.
Shot at the NASA Space Sciences Laboratory, UC Berkeley, California, USA.
Black Rain (2009, 3min)
Black Rain is sourced from images collected by the twin satellite, solar mission, STEREO. Here we see the HI (Heliospheric Imager) visual data as it tracks interplanetary space for solar wind and CME’s (coronal mass ejections) heading towards Earth.
Working with STEREO scientists, Semiconductor collected all the HI image data to date, revealing the journey of the satellites from their initial orientation, to their current tracing of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Solar wind, CME’s, passing planets and comets orbiting the sun can be seen as background stars and the milky way pass by.
As in Semiconductors previous work ‘Brilliant Noise’ which looked into the sun, they work with raw scientific satellite data which has not yet been cleaned and processed for public consumption. By embracing the artifacts, calibration and phenomena of the capturing process we are reminded of the presence of the human observer who endeavors to extend our perceptions and knowledge through technological innovation.
20Hz (2011, 5min)
20 Hz observes a geo-magnetic storm occurring in the Earths upper atmosphere. Working with data collected from the CARISMA radio array and interpreted as audio, we hear tweeting and rumbles caused by incoming solar wind, captured at the frequency of 20 Hertz. Generated directly by the sound, tangible and sculptural forms emerge suggestive of scientific visualisations . As different frequencies interact both visually and aurally, complex patterns emerge to create interference phenomena that probe the limits of our perception.
A Semiconductor work by Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt.
The internationally acclaimed folk avant-gardist Meriheini Luoto will experiment the connection between sound and movement by (Mugic) motion sensor system. It's a new kinetic improvisational piece which got its power from partly unpredictable sounds based on body gestures and granular synthesis.
"There are things known and things unknown, and in between are the Pink Twins."
Pink Twins was formed in 1997 by brothers Juha and Vesa Vehviläinen, electronic musicians, audiovisual artists and filmmakers born and raised in Helsinki, Finland. Since starting in the hotbed of arts and underground music that was turn-of-the-millennium Helsinki, Pink Twins have polished their musical and visual output into a distinctive and superimmersive audiovisual mayhem. Call the sound of Pink Twins chaos mongering, ambient gone wrong or the New Wave of Finnish New Age, it is as instantly recognizable as it is elusive of classification. The colourful, abstract cyclic flow of their digital animation works focus on human perception, its functionality and limits.
Pink Twins have presented their works in exhibitions and festivals on all continents and performed audiovisual live shows through Europe, Americas, Asia and Australia. They have released several audio and video releases in physical formats and online, including 2017’s Infinity, an interactive online audio platform.
The live concerts by Pink Twins incorporate live electronic music on computers and analogue synthesizers with a live mix of video projections. Pink Twins employ an array of concrete and electronic sounds, noises and harmonic musical elements to create a hyperactive, constantly changing and extremely detailed wall of sound. Together with the immersive visual Pink Twins aim for a wholesome and transformative experience.
Slow Action (2010, 40min)
Slow Action is a post-apocalyptic science fiction film which exists somewhere between documentary, ethnographic study and fiction. Slow Action applies the idea of island biogeography – the study of how species and eco-systems evolve differently when isolated and surrounded by unsuitable habitat – to a conception of the Earth in a few hundred years; the sea level rising to absurd heights, creating hyperbolic utopias that appear as possible future mini-societies.
Slow Action is filmed at different sites across the globe: Lanzarote – a beautiful strange island known for its beach resorts yet one of the driest places on the planet, full of dead volcanoes and strange architecture; Gunkanjima – an island off the coast of Nagasaki, Japan, a deserted city built on a rock, once home to thousands of families mining its rich coal reserves; Tuvalu – one of the smallest countries in the world, with tiny strips of land barely above sea level in the middle of the Pacific; and Somerset – an as yet to be discovered island and its various clades .
Slow Action, (2010) has been commissioned by Picture This and Animate Projects. Supported by Bristol City Council, Elephant Trust, Arts Council England, Daiwa Japan Foundation and the British Council.
aetherlinna is a practice-led research artist who fabricates performative sound sculptures. The sculptures assist her live performances and form a hybrid between performance, sound and installation. Her conceptual thought negotiates the state where objects are not yet identiﬁed. aetherlinna's interest lies within ritualistic loops and she plans to perform alongside the mythical creature named Hydra.
Marek Pluciennik is an independent filmmaker and cinema artist based in Helsinki. The main concern of his work is the materiality of the film medium. Aside from films, his work is site specific, ephemeral projection performances and installations. His films have been screened among others in Madatac07 Festival in Madrid, Images Film Festival in Toronto, International Short Film Festival in Tampere. His performances has been shown in contemporary art galleries and festivals in Latvia, Finland, Poland, Sweden, Hungary and Italy.