fall, into the ocean

by Tuomas Kettunen

for orchestra

Empty sheet

Tuomas Kettunen

fall, into the ocean

Music Finland


Earth’s continental glaciers have formed slowly, layer by layer over hundreds of years. The biggest ice sheets are found in areas so distant to modern society that even time itself seems to be frozen. However, even a slight change in surrounding conditions can start a chain reaction that can lead to fast and dramatic consequences; despite its apparent stagnation glacier is in constant state of change and movement and even the most massive structure is fragile and vulnerable.

This piece builds on collapsing gestures that shatter and distort the surface of the music, releasing even greater forces along the way. Harmonic structure is constructed on rough and primitive quarter tone harmonies through which solo instruments momentarily break surface despite the enormous gravity and power created by full orchestra. The first ideas for the piece came from a video of glacier wall collapsing into the ocean and the middle section of the piece follows this timeline from the first particles to final collapse.

About 10 percent of Earth’s land area is covered with glacial ice and glaciers store about 75 percent of world’s fresh water. If all the ice stored in glaciers around the world were to melt, sea level would rise about 70 meters. Oldest parts of the Antarctic ice sheet are over 2 million years old.


3333 4331 12 1, str [pic, ehn, bcl, cbsn]


Works for Orchestra or Large Ensemble


Norrlandoperan Symphony Orchestra, Giordano Bellincampi, cond. August 29, 2019, Umeå, Sweden

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