by Harri Suilamo

for orchestra

Empty sheet

Harri Suilamo


Music Finland


I wrote Aiva for orchestra 1991 for a competition by invitation in honour of the 75th aniversary of Finland's independence. The title of the piece originates from archaic Finnish - "aiva" is an obsolete word meaning "bare" or "pure", thus pointing to the translucent and chamber musical character of orchestration.

The musical gesture at the very beginning of the piece is a kind of seed in two senses. Firstly, it was just this little and all which I had as a kindling in my hand, when I lighted a fire for the process of composition. Secondly, it also has more or less clearly proveable relations to the later events of the work. Nevertheless, Aiva does not confess itself to be a piece totally based on just one fundamental idea - quite soon there appeared additional material, molecular gems of music which strongly manifested themselves, redeemed their admission with convinging tendency towards the same work-identity, towards the same possible world. On the other hand, Aiva has been born partly via filtering, through revealing and reducing, thus resembling sculpture which uses stone as its basic material. Under the textural surface of Aiva there is concealed a microtonal, symmetrical 24-note chord, a kind of macro chord, out of which I hammered a number of subharmonies for the piece. The harmonic outlines of Aiva are marking the limits, as happens very commonly in my production, for a relatively narrow territory, which without doubt is one elementary factor in creating musical cohesion, organically united with such archetypes of chords, which progress one could chronologically observe from one work to another, as a history of evolution linked to my style and production as a whole.

The music video Ssh! a door to morningland is a nocturnal journey of a little boy to a dark deserted house. It is an independent work of video art created and directed by Timo Lähteenmäki on a musical basis offered by Aiva. The video was shot in the middle of the summer 1997 during a few dewy, rainy nights under a ramshackle roof of an old flour millers house between a grassy bluff and stony rapids of clayey Salo river.

© Harri Suilamo, 2001


2232 4230 12 1, pno, cemb, acc, elg, sax, str: 8-8-6-6-4 [cemb=electric cemb, cb 2 tai 4, fl+pic, bcl+cbcl]


Works for Orchestra or Large Ensemble


Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Tuomas Ollila, Tampere, March 29, 1996.

Commisioned by / dedications

Composed for a competition by invitation in honour of the 75th anniversary of Finland's independence.

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120 pages
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