Luonnos, the title of the collection of four electroacoustic works by Ilari Hongisto, refers to a sketch but also, in colloquial Finnish, to being in the nature. The material is of a purely natural origin: sounds of insects (Taivas alla, 2012), birds (Kaakkoismuutto, 2009), and frogs Matkalla (2011), as well as sounds whose source is a ringing stone on the island of Nötö in the southwestern archipelago of Finland (Soiva kivi, 2014–2019). The primary format is Blu-ray with surround sound and nature videos to accompany the music, but a CD is also included.
The degree of manipulation of nature's sounds varies. Taivas alla moves furthest away from the raw material towards an industrial sound world. In Kaakkoismuutto, by contrast, the sounds of 125 different birds from Finland and India are only lightly edited and placed on top of one another in playful polyrhythmic formations.
Bird sounds and especially the frogs’ croaks and calls in Matkalla are so fascinating in themselves that the composer could have elaborated more on the musical possibilities of some selection of them. In Soiva kivi, Hongisto combines Arja Kastinen’s rhythmic improvisations on the ringing stone with kantele episodes, two elements that remain somewhat separate from each other. The variety of sounds coming from the stone is amazingly rich.
Ilari Hongisto: Luonnos
Arja Kastinen and Aino-tytöt, kantele
Alba, ABCD 459