“Taonta” (noun) is Finnish for “hammering” or “forging”, and describes the percussive martellando music of the fourth, central movement. As the title of a suite of character pieces, it can also be read as a pun on the ambiguous old Greek phrase “ta onta”, translated variously as “beings”, “existents”, “objects”, “truths”. Xianwei is named after a technique in classical Chinese music whereby each melodic phrase begins on the final note of the previous phrase; or, literally, each fish bites the tail of the next one. The suite finishes with a Caudal Fin of its own, on a concluding note that brings the cycle of successive, tail-biting movements back to the initial C of the Sarabande.
Rosary and Taonta can both be played as stand-alone pieces; same for the combination of I—II. Other than that, movements should not be performed out of context.
Rosary was premiered by pianist Melinda Lee Masur at the Chelsea Music Festival, New York, on June 13, 2015 (with the title Prelude). The entire work was premiered by pianist Emil Holmström at the Finnland-Institut in Berlin, on December 1, 2016.
- Ilari Kaila Instrumentation
Works for Solo Instrument Premiere
Emil Holmström, piano, Finnland-Institut in Berlin, December 1, 2016 Movements
I Sarabande, II Rosary, III Xianwei: Tail-Biting Fish, IV Taonta, V The Caudal Fin Commisioned by / dedications
Dedicated to Emil Holmström PDF for promotional use
+ Add information