© Heikki Kynsijärvi

UMO Jazz Orchestra

Veli Kujala: Thum Bop (2017), soloist Veli Kujala (accordion)
Sami Klemola: Crazy legs saloon (2017), soloist Jarmo Julkunen (banjo)
Antti Auvinen: Twelve Fn Keys (2017), solpist Kari Ikonen (Moog)

Cond. Kirmo Lintinen

The concert ends at about 17.30

UMO Jazz Orchestra and soloists bring to the Biennale three concertos that they premiered last year. All of them feature a solo instrument rarely heard in a big band context.

Composer and accordion player Veli Kujala self-evidently appears as the soloist in his own work Thum Bop for accordion and big band. He says its inspiration came from the sci-fi parody The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. True to its model, the work contains pretty much everything imaginable, and lots of things unimaginable.

In Crazy Legs Saloon by Sami Klemola, the banjo as played by Jarmo Julkunen is brought to centre stage, out of its usual supporting role, and spiced with electronic effects. Absurd rhythms collide with this completely alien sound world, yet overall the work is energetic and easy to listen to.

Twelve Fn Keys by Antti Auvinen, for big band and Moog synthesiser, focuses on the analogue synthesiser played by Kari Ikonen. The work explores the meaning of space not only through its venue but also in the space between soloist and orchestra. The performance partly takes shape in the moment, in real time. Today, pretty much everything is digital – but not in this concert.

- Niina Eeva