by Maija Hynninen

for chamber ensemble

Empty sheet

Maija Hynninen


Fennica Gehrman


The mobiles by the sculptor Alexander Calder are built from delicate separate pieces connected together firmly, but in a way to ensure they can move from slightest breeze of air. Hanging in the air, they turn slowly and silently revealing new shapes as they move. At the same time their shadow is changing almost organically creating endless variations on the surrounding surfaces.

The chamber ensemble piece Mobiles draws from the idea of endless variation and change of view point. At times the piece seems to be hanging delicately in the air, at times it grows firm roots into the ground. The first movement Timbre, with its gently fluctuating textures of colour change abruptly into a section of expressive instrumental solos titled Movement. The music is dense with attacks and sound. Gradually changing by omitting the sound tones, the texture morphs into delicate rattling noises and whispers. In the third movement Whisperings the different sections of the ensemble appear to be in a dialogue with each other. For this movement, and with the aid of computer assisted orchestration, I used the sound of a recorded human voice as a timbral model for the ensemble arrangements. From these fragments I gradually built a dense but delicate asymmetrical texture.

In the heart of the piece, the fourth movement Calm, the music stays still almost as if floating in the air. Two crystal singing bowls tuned slightly differently form a mesmerising fluctuating surface on which the other instrumental sounds float. Slowly turning and forming different shapes in the air the piece returns to its original shape. Timbre comes back with its gentle textures of colour with slight change of view point from the beginning. The piece ends with round and soothing multiphonics by the bass clarinet.


fl, ob, cl+bcl, hn, trb, perc, 2vln, vla, vlc, db


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