As Time Sounds, Chapter one @ Retretti, Punkaharju 30.5.2021 – 30.12.2022

Sound Artist: Jaakko Autio / Choir leader and composer: Jussi Mattila / Nomad Vocals singers: Anna Voutilainen, Reetta Karhunen, Linda Pennström, Juulia Karppi, Emma Jämsén, Kasper Korhonen, Sakari Siira & Tatu Huotarinen / Producers: Pekka Hyvärinen, Sinikka Mäkelä, Jussi Silvennoinen / Exhibition coordinator: Satu Kalliokuusi & Reetta Gröhn Soininen / Stone Ring: TW Rocks & Jaakko Autio / Site manager: Toni Lappalainen & Ilpo Kiviaho / Publicity managers: Minna Pahkin & Erpo Heinolainen / Other artists of the Retretti exhibition: Reetta Gröhn-Soininen (Joensuu), Tiina Hallakorpi (Helsinki), Anne-Mari Heiskanen (Savonlinna), Heidi Hänninen (Helsinki), Tuija Hirvonen-Puhakka (Eno), Maria Huhmarniemi (Rovaniemi), Satu Kalliokuusi (Helsinki), Ilai Elias Lehto (Helsinki), Birgitta Linhart (Luulaja, SWE), Tiia Matikainen (Helsinki), Ahti Meier (Helsinki/Tartto EST), Veera Metso (Imatra), Jussi Nykänen (Pieksämäki), Ahti Pitkänen (Kitee), Outi Savolainen (Savonlinna), Tiina Vehkaperä (Oulu), Vladimir Zorin (Petroskoi RUS).

As Time Sounds, Chapter one, is the first part of a three-part series. The theme of the first part of the trilogy is ancient Finnish ancestors and the Kalevala. The sound installation is site-specific: the stone ring is made of stones excavated from Retret’s cave. The composition and mixing is done against a large monolith in the middle of the ritualistic stone circle. The stone ring is a modern space for the inner ritual of purification. Places where sacrifices were given to ancestors were called Hiisi ( = sacred forest, also a kind of open air temple, often included the Offering-stone, uhrikivi). Later when Christianity arrived in Finland, hiisi was held to be an evil creature and place according to christianity. The old sacred places were often desecrated by being used as the building sites for the churches of the new religion, and the old sacred trees were hacked down.

OlI have approached the theme of the Retretti exhibition (ancient Finnishness) through ritual and mutual belonging. The stone circle has eight stone-shaped speakers, each with its own singer’s voice. The group song forms an ancient ritual through which the visitor can align oneself into the singing and empowerment of the tribe. The installation features two different musical works. The first every hour and the second always from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The music in the work is based on poetic melodies found by researchers from Viena Karelia and other areas of Finnish tribes. The main themes can be found in Iki-Turso’s songbook compiled by the Sibelius Academy’s folk musicians. The music you hear in the work has been composed by Nomad Vocals choir leader and composer Jussi Mattila. The composition work has been carried out on the basis of Jaakko Auto’s wishes. The poem heard in the work originates from the Kalevala (Poem 50). The poem deals with Väinämöinen’s departure, forced to step aside from the new path of Christianity. However, when he left, Väinämöinen prophesied:

“Annapas ajan kulua, päivän mennä, toisen tulla,
taas minua tarvitahan, katsotahan,
kaivatahan uuen sammon saattajaksi,
uuen soiton suorijaksi, uuen kuun kulettajaksi,
uuen päivän päästäjäksi, kun ei kuuta,
aurinkoa eikä ilmaista iloa.

Mitäs tuosta, jos ma laulan,
jos ma paljoki pajahan,
Ei ole emo elossa, oma vanhin
valvehella eikä kulta kuulemassa,
oma armas oppimassa, on mua kuuset kuulemassa,
hongan oksat oppimassa, koivun lehvät
lempimässä, pihlajat pitelemässä.”.

(Photos: Satu Järvinen / Photographed from recording session held in Kuopio, May 8, 2021)

About Nomad Vocals
Nomad Vocals is a diverse and polyphonic community specializing in a cappella singing. Nomad Vocals forms a 40-member mixed choir ensemble that performs on a project-by-project basis in various ensembles. The choir has 5–10 concerts a year and numerous smaller performances. Thanks to its versatile configurations and project-specific adaptability, Nomad Vocals is rare in the Nordic countries.

https://www.instagram.com/nomadvocals/

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