During the summer of 2013 I had a chance to visit the island of Jurmo, off the southwest coast of Finland. It is a fascinating place, formed during the ice age from millions of small rocks and stones, molded by the ice into round shapes and piled into a mass, forming this rather large island. In all its simplicity, it is one of the most impressive places I have ever seen.
Later that summer I began work on a solo piano piece for Paavali Jumppanen, and could not help being inspired by the ascetic landscape I had just seen, and the silence that you experience there. The music begins from nothing, and builds its texture from a very simple idea of a pile of fifths repeating a pattern of uneven rhythms. The slower middle section is like a scene of musical navigation by night: different notes and groups of notes repeat themselves regularly but independent of one another; much like the light signatures of lighthouses and buoys at sea. One will blink once every other second, another will wait much longer and then blink 9 times very quickly. Eventually daylight returns and we see the original landscape disappear into silence.
Jurmo is commissioned by and dedicated to my friend Paavali Jumppanen. Instrumentation
piano solo Category
Works for Solo Instrument Premiere
Premiere at Kauniainen Music Festival, November 2013 by Paavali Jumppanen.
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