'Metsän väki' was performed at the Finnish Nature Centre Haltia on August 27th, 2016 as a part of the Finnish Nature Day event. The Finnish Nature day is a nationwide event which was celebrated for the fourth time this year. There were two short 'Metsän väki' performances at Haltia's Main Exhibiton Hall during the day. There was no dancer in these performances, but there was a panorama wall with changing landscape images as well as projected images of Jenni Tieaho's works on one wall of the exhibition hall. Below are a few photos of the performance location.
It was exciting to create the performance in this space. We used various areas of the exhibition hall in the performance, and the audience could move freely in the space. We received assistance from Haltia's staff in preparing the performance, we also had our own sound technician. Haltia is surrounded by the Nuuksio national park. The centre provided a fitting environment for the performance, and the audience seemed to enjoy it.
The premier performance of 'Metsän väki' was on May 9th, 2016 at the Lapinlahti former psychiatric hospital in Helsinki, Finland. The second floor corridor of the main building was used as a performance space. The historical and intimate space added its flavor to the performance but also brought with it some challenges. Many technical solutions were done on a 'low-tech' principle in this performance. All in all it was a good starting point for developing the 'Metsän väki' performance. There were roughly 30 people in the audience and we received superb audience feedback.
‘Metsän väki - Forest Dwellers’ is a cross-art project combining music, visual art, dance and performance art. In the heart of the project is a performance that highlights the use of different organic materials both as an inspiration and means of creating artworks.
In the performance there are artworks by sculptor and environmental artist Jenni Tieaho, These large overcoats, made out of different organic materials such as pine cones and fireweed, are echoes of the forest guardians of the ancient forest. The overcoat is like our ancient national costume which gives shelter to our naked body. By wearing it, the modern human being goes on a journey into his/her 'forester' history.
The music for the performance is written by Johanna Pitkänen. It's performed by using acoustic instruments and sounding objects. The music also gives room for improvisation.
In addition, the performance includes dance and performance art which examine the themes of the project through the bodily and earthy experience.
Jenni Tieaho - sculptures, performance
Johanna Pitkänen - composition, piano, percussion
Simona Piron - vibraphone, other percussion instruments
Anu Keski-Saari - cello
Eevi Tolvanen - dance, sounding objects
A mysterious curtain separates you from the rest of the world. You hear and see strange things. You disappear into the ground and come up again. You cannot estimate the passing of time. You might have turned into a bizarre stone, a stump or a tussock…You have been covered by forest. - From the book Tree People
I'm very excited to announce that for the premiere performance of Forest Dwellers this spring I'll be working with these great artists:
Jenni Tieaho - sculptures
Anu Keski-Saari - cello
Simona Piron - percussion
Eevi Tolvanen - dance
All of the members in this group are new to me and to each other. I've had the possibility to meet most of them and we'll meet together in April. Working with new people creates an interesting dynamic, and I'm excited to see what will come out of this mix. We are all passionate about working across different disciplines and share also a certain affinity towards the natural world.
In this project I will be working together with sculptor Jenni Tieaho, who is based in Siuntio, Southern Finland. I was really inspired by the expressivity of her different artworks. Also, in a way similar to music, I feel that her works are open to different interpretations.
Today I had the task of explaining the topic of my practice-based research to a group of master students at the Iceland Academy of the Arts' music department. I was asked to choose three objects to help me illustrate my research. I chose an unidentifiable (natural) object, a playing card and a chicken shaped wooden figure. For me the natural object describes the connection between music and environmental art, where both musician and sculptor are working with different materials, and using the materials also as a source of their creativity. The playing card symbolizes many things, of course the nature of playing a game, but also the unpredictability of the course that the game might take. The king also represents power, perhaps the (perceived) power of human over nature. As the king portrayed in the card can be seen from both sides simultaneously, it's up to the perceiver to determine the angle he or she wants to use...And then there's the chicken; Since I'm interested in the concept of dwelling, this includes not only humans but also animals, plants and everything that the Mother Earth carries on it or within it.