NAALA - a text pro motion

by Harri Suilamo

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Harri Suilamo

NAALA - a text pro motion

Fennica Gehrman


I composed the piece NAALA – a text pro motion in response to a commission from the University of Industrial Arts for a work to be performed at their first ever promotion ceremony, i.e. degree day for doctoral students, held on 4 June 1993. Since the University, in commissioning the piece, had been generously open-minded in letting me freely choose the instrumentation, genre and nature of the piece, I decided to not to compose anything overtly academic or grandiloquent. Instead, following the line taken by my recent work, I wrote a short and intense piece for a polychromatic instrumentation in which absolute (i.e. non-programmatical) music suggests to the listener one or more routes through a labyrinth saturated by various motoric energies (hence the subtitle pro motion). I applied some of the most subtle techniques at my disposal in shaping the detail and micro-level filigree. Ruptures appear in the free fantasia form, serving to generate friction: my choice to base this aspect of the piece unequivocally on non-causality was a conscious deed rather than an attempt to evade problems linked to the opposite attitude. The word "naala" of the title is an ancient Finnish word which continues to live on in some dialects. Its etymological tree includes ideas such as habit, fashion, behaviour, gestalt, form, stance...

© Harri Suilamo


cl+bcl, vlc, acc, pno, perc


Chamber Works


Avanti! Chamber Orchestra (Heikki Nikula, clarinet, Lea Pekkala, cello, Marjut Tynkkynen, accordion, Naoko Ichihashi, piano, Riku Niemi, percussion), cond. Tapio Tuomela, Helsinki, June 4, 1993.

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Commissioned by the University of Industrial Arts Helsinki for its first academic degree ceremony.

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