Seurat I

by Osmo Tapio Räihälä

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Osmo Tapio Räihälä

Seurat I



"Seurat I" was commissioned by Eija Kankaanranta, a champion of new Finnish kantele music. Her interest expands itself beyond acoustic music, and the using of electronics was her wish from the onset, when she asked for a new work from me. Including the violin in the line-up was also Eija’s proposal, since she has performed a lot together with Maria Puusaari – another fearless expert of contemporary music.

Using electronics was a novelty for me. I wanted the music to have an improvisatory nature, and partly this ruled out strict pre-set kind of electronics, like the use of tape sounds. In the end the best way to enhance the sound of the instruments was to use pre-set sound effects, that the players control themselves from their on-stage pedals. The use of a sound engineer in a performance is desirable, but not strictly necessary.

The title "Seurat I" came about from my interest towards the art of Georges Seurat, the father of pointillism. However, the word has a double meaning, as the Finnish word ”seurat” translates to a "religious meeting". The words that the violinist whispers into the microphone are quotations from a TV sketch that made great comic about pointillism. Number "I" in the title points out to the idea, that there could be another Seurats with a different instrumentation later.

The world premiere of the piece in March 2012 took place incredibly fittingly at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, France – where there are 19 paintings by Georges Seurat on the walls! It’s not very often the audience can take a Seurat home from that museum, like in this case...

© Osmo Tapio Raihala 2012


kantele, vln, live electr


Chamber Works


Commissioned by Eija Kankaanranta.World premiere by Eija Kankaanranta, kantele, Maria Puusaari, violin & Hervé Le Dorlot, sound engineering, Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France, 30th March 2012.

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