Trio for flute, viola and piano

by Ville Aslak Raasakka

after 15th century dutch vanitas paintings

Empty sheet

Ville Aslak Raasakka

Trio for flute, viola and piano

Music Finland


The vanitas are 16th and 17th century dutch paintings that seek to remind the viewer of the transient nature of life. In these paintings certain objects or items retain a specific symbolic content. The skull or bones are symbols of death. Different kinds

of clocks or hourglasses remind us that time is ticking away without a pause. Butterflies and flowers (both short-lived) symbolize the momentary nature of life. A candle that is just about to die out tells us of imminent death. Pealed lemons or beautifully arranged piles of seafood (usually lobsters) remind us that something beautiful on the outside can be sour on the inside.

The music is arranged according to certain acoustic models. The categories of sound are grain, noise, transients, frequencies, amplification and depth. All of the models are present in each part, but with different emphasis. Most importantly, sounds are divided into three viewpoints. The "Butterflies" and "Withering flowers" are movements where sound moves linearly. "The skull" moves sound in depth. "Every hour wounds" and "The candle and the smoke" deal with sound as texture. The Trio was commissioned by the danish flutist Sofia Kayaya and was premiered in Copenhagen in May 2012.


fl, vla, pno


Chamber Works


Sofia Kayaya, flute, May 2012, Copenhagen, Denmark


1.Papiliones (Butterflies), 2.Calva (The Skull), 3.Vulnerant omnes, ultima necat (Every hour wounds, last one kills), 4.Flores marcescentes (Withering flowers), 5.Candela et fumes (The candle and the smoke)

Commisioned by / dedications

Commissioned by Sofia Kayaya

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